Coast Guard Monitors Refloating of Grounded Party Boat off Niantic, Conn.

NIANTIC, Conn.–The Coast Guard is continuing to monitor a 62-foot fishing vessel that ran aground in Long Island Sound, one mile from Niantic, Conn., at 2 p.m. Saturday.

An attempt by tugs to free the Black Hawk II from the rocks at about 12:30 a.m. today during high tide was unsuccessful. Officials are lightering the vessel’s remaining fuel to mitigate any potential pollution concerns and to lighten the Black Hawk II for a second attempt to refloat it during the next high tide at about 1:30 p.m., today.

The Black Hawk II ran aground on a rocky bottom Saturday afternoon and nearby good Samaritans quickly removed the Black Hawk II’s 32 passengers.

There were no reported injuries.

The Black Hawk II’s five-man crew reported sheen on the water at around 4 p.m. Saturday. Officials determined that the sheen was about seven gallons of oily bilge waste. Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection officers immediately deployed a containment boom around the vessel.

No other pollution was reported and the ship’s fuel tanks remain intact.

“We are extremely fortunate that a vessel that ran aground on a rocky bottom suffered no injuries and has resulted in only minor environmental impact,” said Lt. Douglas Miller, a Sector Long Island Sound watch supervisor.

The Coast Guard continues its investigation.

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