Crew of sunken tugboat declined tow off BC rocks

Web Tug Aground

(BELLA BELLA, British Columbia) — The bridge team aboard the tugboat Nathan E. Stewart declined offers by the Canadian Coast Guard to pull the vessel off the rocks an hour before it sustained a hull breach and began leaking diesel, The Globe and Mail reported. The Kirby tug, which was carrying up to 60,000 gallons of fuel and lube oil, eventually sank in the Inside Passage near Bella Bella. In an audio recording obtained by the newspaper, an unidentified officer on Nathan E. Stewart asserts that the tug was in no danger of sinking and that there was no need to evacuate its crew. "I don’t want to pull it off unless she starts taking on water," he said. About four and a half hours after the grounding, the tug called the Coast Guard to report a hull breach.

Click here to read the story and to hear the recording.

By Professional Mariner Staff