Salvors lift sunken tugboat from Massachusetts Bay

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

(BOSTON) — The Coast Guard on Friday ensured the safe recovery of the sunken 55-foot tug Emily Anne from the bottom of Massachusetts Bay near Deer Island.

Emily Anne sank in February with three people aboard, all of whom were saved.

After nearly four months of coordinating a capable crane, commercial salvers, and port partners, all while waiting for optimal weather, the Coast Guard worked with Semper Diving and Marine and followed the salvage plan developed by the tug’s owner, North Shore Marine, to ensure the operation commenced safely. At about noon, with fair winds and calm seas, the salvage crew arrived at the tug’s location, which had been marked since February with a hazard buoy.

The Coast Guard partnered with Boston Harbor Pilots Association and local port partners to minimize impacts to the environment. The Coast Guard oversaw the oil spill response organization, who deployed boom to capture any oil released as the tug was moved to the surface. Once raised, Emily Anne was loaded onto a barge and transported to East Boston for unloading.

Initially on Feb. 16, Emily Anne suffered a breached hull and was taking on water in the North Channel entrance of Boston Harbor. A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Point Allerton and a MH-60 helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched. A nearby crew on a Boston Harbor Pilot Association boat heard the report over the radio and raced to the rescue. They arrived on scene and recovered all three crewmen from the frigid water moments before Emily Anne sank.

“We applaud the work of everyone involved with today’s salvage operation to remove the potential hazard to navigation," said Coast Guard Capt. Claudia Gelzer, commander, Sector Boston. “And we especially commend Capt. Joseph Maloney and co-pilot Capt. Shawn Kelly of the Boston Harbor Pilots for their heroism in the rescue of those three crewmembers that day.”

The cause of the sinking is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff