A second tugboat sinks off Atlantic Beach

250-ton barge being pulled back into water


Two days after tugboat “Pushy” sank after separating from the barge it was towing, another tugboat, the 38-foot Sea Lion, sank approximately three miles off Atlantic Beach near the East Rockaway inlet on Jan. 15 after taking on water, Coast Guard officials said.

Four people were taken to the hospital, according to Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department Chief John McHugh, whose members responded to the scene, along with Atlantic Beach Rescue and the Inwood, Woodmere and Long Beach fire departments. The boat capsized at 4:11 p.m. on Wednesday. One of the four had serious injuries and another complained of chest pains, officials said.

“The Coast Guard, Nassau County Police, FDNY and NYPD boats assisted the four injured civilians who had been rescued by civilian boats,” McHugh said. “All suffered from hypothermia and were ambulatory. The four were brought back to the dock at Atlantic Beach Rescue headquarters by the Coast Guard, where they were transported to South Nassau Hospital.”

Atlantic Beach Rescue Chief Neil Metz said the rescue operation "went as smooth and easy as you would want a call like that to go." The fog has made boating difficult. "The weather was not favorable unless you had a boat with radar," he said.

On Jan. 13, the 26-foot tugboat “Pushy” lost control of a barge it was towing off Atlantic Beach sank. Pushy and the 125-foot deck barge it was towing separate “following an interaction with a large swell” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, the Coast Guard said.

After Pushy sank, the barge, which was hauling construction equipment, washed up at Silver Point County Park , Coast Guard officials said.

One person was aboard the tugboat, and he was rescued by a NYPD helicopter. No injuries were reported.

Salvage of the 250-ton barge was underway on Thursday. Two tugboats, the Captain Zeke and Dory were working on pulling the barge back into the water. It is estimated that it will take about 30 minutes around high tide (8:33 p.m. tonight) to get the barge offshore.