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125-Foot Deck Barge Ends Up On Long Island Beach After Tugboat Sinks

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A 26-foot tugboat sank after losing control of a barge it was towing off Atlantic Beach in Nassau County, the Coast Guard said.

The tugboat, "Pushy," and the 125-foot deck barge it was towing separated "following an interaction with a large swell" around 7:35 p.m. Monday, the Coast Guard said.

The tugboat sank and the barge, which was carrying construction equipment, ended up on the beach at Silver Point County Park, the Coast Guard said.

A mariner aboard Pushy at the time of the incident was rescued by a New York police helicopter.

No injuries were reported.

Officials are now trying to figure out how to safely remove the barge. The Coast Guard said it's going to wait until high tide Wednesday morning, again using a tugboat.

Barge Goes Aground In Atlantic Beach
Barge Goes Aground In Atlantic Beach (credit: U.S. Coast Guard)

So far, there is no evidence the barge caused any negative impact to the marine environment, the Coast Guard said.

The incident is under investigation.

"The Coast Guard responds to all marine accidents in order to protect our nation's waterways from hazards to navigation and pollution," stated Lt. Chris Barger, supervisor of the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Detachment in Coram. "After ensuring mariner safety and neutralizing any threats to the waterways, we analyze these mishaps to prevent similar events from occurring in the future."

Pushy and the deck barge were heading to Weeks Marine Shipyard in New York City after leaving a job site on the Robert Moses Causeway Bridge, where the barge was being used to sandblast and paint the bridge. 

An insurance agent was out inspecting the barge Tuesday night as it sat on the sand, CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco reported.

Atlantic Beach residents were shocked by the site. They told Carrasco such large vessels never come near the beach, let alone wash ashore.

"They hover out there during the summer and just come in out of the harbor, but obviously they stay about a mile out," said Charles Fries. "I've never, ever seen one obviously on the beach or even anywhere close to the beach."

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