Investigators: Pilot error, poor weather may have caused Hudson barge grounding


(CATSKILL, N.Y.) — State investigators say pilot error and poor weather conditions may have caused a barge carrying more than 60,000 barrels of refined gasoline to run aground April 4 in the Hudson River, the Albany Times Union reported.

The Albany-bound barge was being towed by the tugboat Meredith C. Reinauer when it grounded at about 8:30 a.m. No fuel leaked from the vessel and no violations were found during the Department of Environmental Conservation's investigation into the incident near Dutchman's Landing Park.

The barge was freed at 3 a.m. the following morning when the tide rose. The tugboat pulled the barge back into deeper water and toward the Port of Albany, where crews pumped gasoline from the vessel into a storage facility.

The tug's captain was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, investigators determined, and neither he nor anyone on the crew face charges in connection with the incident.

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By Professional Mariner Staff