Four rescued after tug takes on water, grounds near Fort Lauderdale

(MIAMI) — Crews from Coast Guard Station Fort Lauderdale and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations rescued four people from the grounded tugboat Sea Eagle and its barge Thursday approximately 3 miles east of Hillsboro Beach.

CBP AMO rescue crews arrived on scene and picked up three people from the attached barge. Station Fort Lauderdale’s crew rescued the Sea Eagle’s captain, who stayed behind with the tug. Sea Eagle’s crew was reunited on Station Fort Lauderdale’s vessel and were brought shore. There were no reported injuries.

The Sea Eagle’s crew sent out a mayday call at about 8:45 p.m. to Sector Miami watch standers, reporting they were in distress and taking on water. The 70-foot tug is reported to have approximately 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

Sector Miami’s Incident Management Division personnel are working with the responsible party, who hired a salvage company to remove the product from the vessel and the barge from a Boca Raton beach.

The 70-foot Sea Eagle began taking on water Thursday approximately 3 miles east of Hillsboro Beach, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard photo

The barge and tugboat were chartered by the U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command. The vessels were on a scheduled routine supply mission to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center, Bahamas, and the barge was carrying ordnance, fuel and other supplies.

The tug and barge are operated by Northcliffe Ocean Shipping & Trading, which is currently working with a salvage company to safely remove the vessels and tow them to a nearby port. There is no danger to people living nearby the stranded barge. The Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six (EODMU 6) will safely clear the barge of any potential munitions or ordnance on board.

The cause of the grounding is under investigation. Click here to view a video of the scene.


(MIAMI) — The Coast Guard, along with state and local partners, completed salvage efforts at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday for the grounded tugboat Sea Eagle and its barge they gr0unded off Hillsboro Beach.

The tugboat and barge are at Port Everglades for inspection and repairs. The barge was refloated at 10:30 a.m., Saturday.

Sector Miami’s Incident Management Division personnel worked with the responsible party and a commercial salvage company to refloat the tugboat and barge, and oversaw the removal of 9,500 gallons of diesel fuel from Sea Eagle.

“With the help of the responsible party, federal and local partners, we were able to safely and expeditiously remove the hazards from the beach,” said Cmdr. Eric Pare, the incident commander for the response. “It was inspiring to be part of such a unified response.”

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller