Barge possibly sinks near Nahant carrying construction equipment, fuel

Barge possibly sinks near Nahant carrying construction equipment, fuel

A barge carrying construction equipment that included a maximum of 500 gallons of diesel fuel and 400 gallons of hydraulic oil capsized and possibly sank Sunday night two miles southeast of Nahant, according to an official release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Four of the five barges being towed by the tug boat ‘Big Jake’ broke free and went adrift on Sunday morning. Originally, two vessels detached from the tug boat, before an additional pair did so as the Big Jake was being escorted to Hull, Mass. The U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scenes with crew members coming from the Cutter ‘Key Largo’ and Station Point Allerton in Hull.

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Three fellow tugboats joined the Coast Guard in their attempt to retrieve the loose barges, with each boat locating one. The boats ‘Smith Predator’, ‘Justice’ and ‘Kendall J. Hebert’ each brought their respective rescued vessels to safety. The lone barge to not be rescued capsized two miles off the southeast coast of the Nahant peninsula, where it also may have sank; the barge was carrying construction equipment and a maximum of 900 total gallons of diesel fuel and hydraulic oil. The Cutter Key Lago stayed near the last known location of the unfound vessel through Sunday night.

Massachusetts State Police and Boston Harbor Pilots are slated to search for the missing barge using sonar on Monday. The Port of Boston is still open, but the Coast Guard does recommend to stay clear of the North and South Boston Main Channels until further notice, and to proceed with caution around the port.