Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads responds to sinking barge

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard received a report of a barge taking on water in the vicinity of Cape Henry, Monday at approximately 5 p.m.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads watchstanders received the report from the captain of the tugboat Lucinda Smith, stating that the 220-foot freight deck barge Dick Z, which they were towing, had begun taking on water.

In an attempt to control the flooding the crew of the Lucinda Smith turned the barge around to tow it from the stern and diverted to Hampton Roads to make repairs.

Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads remained in contact with the tugboat crew throughout the night.

The tug and barge are approximately 1.5 miles northeast of the Lynnhaven Inlet.

There were no people or materials reported on or in the barge.

Coast Guard marine investigators noted damage to the barge and that the bow of the barge is underwater.

Commercial salvage is currently conducting their survey to determine best course of action.

The Coast Guard is making Safety Marine Information Broadcasts notifying nearby boating traffic of the situation.

There is no report of pollution.

The cause of the flooding is unknown at this time.

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