Runaway barge strikes N.J. bridge

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(PHILADELPHIA) — The Coast Guard responded to two empty barges adrift Sunday in the Salem River near the Route 49 bridge.

Local police contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, in Philadelphia, at about 10 a.m. and reported the tugboat Eric R. Thorton, which was pulling two empty barges, ran aground about one mile downriver from the Route 49 bridge.

After the tugboat ran aground, the two barges broke free from the tugboat and continued up the Salem River until the barges came to a stop against the Route 49 bridge.

A 25-foot response boat-small crew from Coast Guard Station Salem, a Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew and several local emergency responders responded to the incident.

Once free, the tugboat crew was able to remove the barges and continue to their destination. There is no reported damage to the bridge.

One man who was aboard the tugboat was reported to have an arm injury and was transferred to emergency medical services personnel.

By Professional Mariner Staff