On January 25, seven vessels broke free from their moorings on the Hudson River near Albany, New York. Five barges, one tugboat and the 140 foot long passenger ship Captain JP III broke free after rains and warming weather caused the water level on the river to rise and released several ice jams. Pulled downstream, the Captain JP III drifted until it struck the railroad bridge. The passenger ship was too tall to pass under the bridge and became wedged under the span. Many of the other vessels were able to pass under the bridge without mishap, but several did strike the bridge.
Multiple tugs were dispatched and were able to free the Captain JP III and recover the other unmanned tugboats and barges. No reports of injuries.
Authorities report the bridge did sustain some minor damage, but the bridge should remain in operation. The Captain JP III sustained significant hull damage to its stern.
The tanker-barge RTC 150 being pushed by the 38 meter long, 195 dwt towboat Meredith C. Reinauer ran aground on the Hudson River near Catskill, New York. The tanker-barge, loaded with 2.5 million gallons of gasoline, had run onto the rocks some 30 feet from the navigation channel in 6 feet of water. No reports of injuries.
Local and state authorities along with the Coast Guard arrived on scene. While no signs of pollution being released, authorities decided that the cargo of gasoline should be lightered onto another tanker-barge before any attempts to refloat the RTC 150. The lighter operations were completed later the same day. The Coast Guard then inspected the RTC 15o for damage.
With no signs of damage and no pollution released, the RTC 150 was refloated. The barge was towed to Albany where it will undergo further inspection.
Reports state the cause of the grounding may be due to the foggy weather. However, the report also states the Meredith C. Reinauer was enabled with GPS navigation.
State authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
The 84 foot long tugboat The Specialist allided and sank on the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge, New York. The tug was pushing a barge from Albany and was headed to Jersey City when it struck another barge moored at the construction site around the Tappan Zee Bridge. The Specialist quickly sank after the allision. Reports state all three crew on board perished. Authorities searched the area and found one of the tug’s crewmen in the water, but the other two were still missing. Pollution was spotted around the sunken tug as the vessel had some 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.