Dredge in Newark Bay ruptured from keel to deck

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW YORK) — A unified command with representatives from the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC (the owner of the Dredge New York), Coast Guard Sector New York, New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC), New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) and the vessel Orange Sun continue to monitor the repair and recovery of a damaged dredge vessel after a collision with a freight ship in Newark Bay Thursday.

The Orange Sun, a 669-foot Liberian flagged vessel and the dredging vessel New York were involved in a collision resulting in the New York taking on water and leaking a small amount of hydraulic fluid.

The Dredge New York was carrying approximately 3,000 gallons of hydraulic oil, 50,000 gallons of main diesel fuel and 1,000 gallons of lube oil at the time of the incident.

Crews from the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC deployed booming equipment around the vessel as a precaution immediately after the incident.

As an additional precautionary measure, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC contracted Ken’s Marine to deploy boom around Shooter’s Island, Newark Channel, the Elizabeth Channel and Singer Flat due to sensitive environments and wildlife in those areas.

A Coast Guard Sector New York Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Team, (SCAT) conducted a survey in the vicinity of the Bayonne Bridge and Staten Island at 8 a.m. Friday and reported minimal sheen in the water.

There have been no reports of impact to the waterfowl, fish or aquatic vegetation in the vicinity of the collision as a result of the incident.

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and Atlantic City helicopter crews conducted over flights of the collision site at 2:30 p.m. Thursday and at 10 a.m. Friday. Both over flights reported a light sheen coming from the barge as well as in the vicinity of Shooters Island, Port Newark and Port Elizabeth. A second layer of booming equipment was deployed by Kens Marine around the dredge vessel as a result of the over flights.

The Randive Company, also contracted by the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC, began a dive survey of the Dredge New York at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. The survey revealed four holes in the bow of the ship and a rupture in the hull that spans vertically from its keel to deck. The rupture is about 12-feet to 15-feet long and ranges from two to 12 inches in width on the port side of the ship. The dive survey also revealed that the two forward compartments, which hold the dredge vessel’s spud controls, are flooded. Dive surveys will continue until the vessel has been determined safe to move. Two commercial scow barges initially helped to stabilize the vessel and keep it in place, and a heavy lift crane is now on scene to provide additional lifting support if needed.

The Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon Bay, a 140-foot vessel home ported in Bayonne, N.J., will remain in the vicinity of the damaged vessel to monitor the status of the repair and to enforce a no wake zone until the salvage operations are completed.

Newark Bay was initially closed to vessel traffic but reopened Thursday at 7 p.m.

“The quick initial response from all the agencies involved helped to mitigate what could have been a much more serious situation” said Lt. j.g. Kristin Conville, a Coast Guard Sector New York Incident Management Division officer. “The continued cooperation from all involved parties has allowed crews to stabilize the damaged dredge, prevent impact to the environment and move forward with recovery efforts.”

The Liberian flagged vessel Orange Sun, owned by Arctic Reefer Corporation in Monrovia, Liberia, and operated by Atlanship Switzerland, was outbound at the time of the incident. After the collision, the vessel was escorted to the Southern Bay Ridge Anchorage in New York Harbor. A Captain of the Port Order has been issued for the vessel requiring a specified classification society to verify that the vessel is fit for route and service as well as to provide a dive survey assessing any damage that might have been done to the vessel.

“We will continue the repair efforts on a round the clock basis with our own personnel and with the help of salvage and diving contractors,” said Chris Gunsten, a representative for the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock LLC. “The safety of the environment, our crews and the users of the waterway is of the utmost importance as we continue with this difficult task.”

By Professional Mariner Staff