Coast Guard Monitors Freeing of Party Boat

NIANTIC, Conn.–A 62-foot fishing vessel that ran aground in Long Island Sound one mile from Niantic, Conn., at 2 p.m. Saturday, safely refloated during high tide around 12:20 p.m. this afternoon.

United Oil Recycling, a commercial salvage company, removed around 400 gallons of fuel to lighten the vessel earlier today. One tug from Douglas Marine pulled the 62-foot Black Hawk II from the rocky bottom, then released the Black Hawk II to steer under its own power to Noank Shipyard in Noak, Conn., where investigators from Sector Long Island Sound will continue their investigation.

The Black Hawk II ran aground on a rocky bottom Saturday afternoon and nearby good Samaritans quickly removed the Black Hawk’s 28 passengers.

There were no reported injuries.

The Black Hawk II’s six-man crew reported a sheen on the water at around 4 p.m. Saturday. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection immediately deployed a boom around the vessel to contain any leaking fuel. It was determined later approximately seven gallons of oily waste from the vessel’s bilge tanks had leaked. No other pollution was reported.

“This was about as best a case scenario we could ask for; a ship runs aground on a rocky bottom, none of the 28 passengers or six crewmen suffer injuries, and environmental impact is minimized,” said Lt. j.g. Kristin Diroma, a Sector Long Island Sound watch supervisor.

The incident is under investigation.

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