Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to grounded tug, barge

Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations rescue crews assisted four people after their 70-foot tugboat, Sea Eagle, began taking on water approximately 3 miles east of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, Feb. 3, 2022. No injuries were reported. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations rescue crews assisted four people after their 70-foot tugboat, Sea Eagle, began taking on water approximately 3 miles east of Hillsboro Beach, Florida, Feb. 3, 2022. No injuries were reported. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Miami — Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crews rescued four people from the 70-foot tugboat, Sea Eagle, and barge, Thursday, approximately three miles east of Hillsboro Beach.

CBP AMO rescue crews arrived on scene and picked up three people from the attached barge. Station Fort Lauderdale’s crew rescued the Sea Eagle’s captain, who stayed behind with the tug. Sea Eagle’s crew was reunited on Station Fort Lauderdale’s vessel and were brought shore. There were no reported injuries.

The Sea Eagle’s crew sent out a mayday call, Thursday, at about 8:45 p.m., to Sector Miami watchstanders reporting they were in distress and taking on water with four people aboard.

The tug is reported to have approximately 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Sector Miami’s Incident Management Division personnel are working with the responsible party who hired a salvage company to remove the product from the vessel and the barge from Boca Raton.

Sector Miami established a 1,000-yard waterway security zone and a 1,000-foot security zone around the site. Shoreside beach access and physical security is being maintained by Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, and Broward County Sheriff’s office.

The barge and tug boat were chartered by the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command. The tug and barge were on a scheduled routine supply mission to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, Bahamas and was carrying ordnance, fuel and other supplies. The tug and barge are operated by NOSAT, Northcliffe Ocean Shipping & Trading, which is currently working with a salvage company to safely remove the tug and barge, and tow them to a nearby port. There is no danger to people living nearby the stranded barge. The Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six (EODMU 6), Det. Mayport will safely clear the barge of any potential munitions or ordnance on board.

Mariners and beachgoers should avoid the area to allow all agencies to continue the response to the incident.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation.

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