Barge breaks free on Virginia coast, damages fishing pier

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(HAMPTON, Va.) — A construction barge that broke from its mooring Sunday drifted nearly two miles and struck a fishing pier, knocking down a long section of the structure, the Daily Press of Newport News reported.

Hampton police spokeswoman Amanda Moreland said the department got a call about the barge floating near Buckroe Beach at about 5:45 a.m. Sunday. The vessel, owned by Gloucester-based contractor Coastal Design & Construction, was carrying an excavator when it broke free and had its two spuds raised. It then struck and damaged the James T. Wilson Fishing Pier.

Responders secured the barge by cable to another excavator on the boardwalk, and by Monday morning a second excavator was in place to assist and save the pier from more damage. The barge was removed later Monday.

Coast Guard Cmdr. Dean Horton at Sector Hampton Roads said the incident was under investigation, "but one would assume because of the weather (Sunday) that that was a cause or factor in this."

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By Professional Mariner Staff