2 people OK after tugboat sinks in N.H. river

A video shot by Bruce Addison captures the sinking of a tugboat in the Piscataqua River in New Hampshire on Oct. 24, 2012. CBS News/WBZ

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. Authorities say two people are safe after escaping from a tugboat that sank in the Piscataqua River.

The two were able to get onto a barge that is working on the new Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Steve Achilles, assistant fire chief in Portsmouth, said the tugboat went down between two barges Wednesday afternoon. The Coast Guard said the tugboat will be recovered on Friday. It is unknown why the tugboat sank.

Bruce Addison, who recorded the tugboat sinking on video from an office, described it like watching a plane crash. "The boat was basically on its side and two people jumped out and were able to get on the barge which was amazing," he told CBS Station WBZ Boston. "Then you start going, my God I hope there wasn't three people on it."

The tugboat is known as the Benjamin Bailey and is owned by Ken Anderson Riverside & Pickering Marine Contractors in Eliot, Maine.

"The deck hand said an angel grabbed him and took him and placed him on the keel as the boat rolled over," said Ed Valliere of Riverside & Pickering. He added that neither of the crew members even got wet." It could have been a catastrophe," said Valliere.

Coast Guard Lt. Nick Barrow said divers will take steps Thursday to reduce any further environmental threat. He says a heavy lift barge will retrieve the boat on Friday.

Watch the footage of the tugboat sinking from CBS Station WBZ Boston:

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