Hell, John can probably see the response operations from his house
[B]Four Rescued After Tug Sinks Off Big Sur, California[/B]
BY GCAPTAIN STAFF ON APRIL 14, 2013
Delta Captain. Photo: Marine Express
Earlier: The U.S. Coast Guard rescued four people from a liferaft Saturday after the Delta Captain tug sank off Point Sur, California, which is located along the pristine Big Sur coastline.
The Coast Guard said it received a distress call from the Delta Captain at 2:55 p.m. Saturday and dispatched a HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from San Francisco as well as patrol boats.
The 83-foot Delta Captain was towing a deck barge with a crane on board when the incident occurred about 13NM off Point Sur, CA, NOAA’s incident news reports. The tug and barge had a total of 22,000 gallons of diesel on board (18,000 on the tug, 4,000 on the barge), sparking fears of a spill.
By the time a USCG helicopter was on-scene, the barge, a life boat and debris was visible but no signs of pollution and no tug boat. The rescue helicopter crew was able to locate the survivors and deployed a rescue swimmer to hoist them aboard. All four were transported to shore in Monterey, and transferred to awaiting emergency medical technicians. There were no reports of injuries.
The tug is believed sunk and possibly suspended below the barge by a 1,400 foot tow cable. Water depths in the area are approximately 2,400 feet. Seas were reported to be 14-16 feet and gale force winds.
Two tugs were en route to the scene to tow the barge as of yesterday evening.
The Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response have set up an incident command post to respond to a spill. An overflight Sunday would assess any environmental risks.
The Delta Captain is owned and operated by Marine Express in Alameda, CA.
Really bizarre to think the tug is dangling at the end of its wire. Wonder if there is any way to heave it back up to the surface to salvage it?
In an opposite version of this story, my dad was towing a crane barge south from the Columbia River to Oakland in the early 80’s when during morning light they discovered the barge had capsized in the night and was going down. He told me they just let the wire pay off the drum and let the barge go blub. Of course, it was an unmanned tow so no injuries or rescue needed but imagine what was going through their minds on the tug that morning seeing the bottom of the barge behind them!