Crowley barge runs aground off Virginia after tow lines part

The following is a press release issued by Crowley Maritime Corp.:
(VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.) — The La Princessa (a triple-deck, 580-foot long barge) left San Juan on 11/6 at 12:12 AM pulled by the tug Sentry en route to Pennsauken, NJ for a regularly scheduled liner cargo service. The barge was loaded with 187 container/trailer units including 9 refrigerated containers, which are currently operating on a power pack. The barge also included 125 empty units, 5 vehicles and 1 power pack used to power the refrigerated containers. Eighty-four HAZMAT loads, which contain products such as syrup for soft drinks, alcohol, empty cylinders formerly containing water purification chemicals, etc. are also on board. Despite the fact that there is no compromise of cargo, environmental response teams are standing by. The barge was approximately 100% full. At this time the cargo remains securely onboard and does not pose any threat to either local citizens or the environment.

During its voyage, approximately 12-14 hours from destination and 30 miles from the sea buoy, the tug/barge encountered heavy seas that were remnants of Tropical Storm Ida. The two towlines used to pull the barge, broke in heavy weather and the barge was carried approximately 100 miles southwest where it came to rest parallel on Sand Bridge Beach in Virginia. It currently sits idle ¼ mile from the public fishing pier. An incident command post has been set up at the local fire station with a salvage team standing by.


· La Princessa – a non-self propelled vessel with no fuel tanks. It is a triple deck, 580-foot cargo barge.

· Sentry – 136-foot long, 7,200 maximum horsepower, 6-man crew all of whom are safe

· Tow wires– 2 steel tow wires – each 2.25-inch diameter. Both wires, which broke at the tug end are certificated and are under a periodic testing program. Once the wires are recovered they will be further inspected. Each wire costs approximately $35,000 and has a breaking strength of over 500,000lbs. The tow wires are 2,700 feet long and when connected pull the barge about ¼ mile behind.

· Titan Salvage has been engaged. A salvage master is on site and a naval architect and assistant salvage master are en route. Removal plans are being developed. Improving weather conditions should enhance the salvage and removal efforts.

· Proper authorities have been notified and we are fully cooperating with the local incident management team. These authorities include the United States Coast Guard, the local fire department and as a precautionary measure the National Response Center.

· All cargo remains in tact.

· Security is being established to prevent entrance to the barge by unauthorized personnel.
· Customers and the community are being notified and will continue to be apprised of progress.

Jacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 117-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are the following services: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response through its TITAN Salvage subsidiary; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture through its Jensen Maritime subsidiary; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at

By Professional Mariner Staff