Tanker strikes bridge between Maine and N.H.

The following is the text of a news release from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation:

(PORTSMOUTH, N.H.) — At approximately 5:15 a.m. today (March 7), a ship struck a pier on the Memorial Bridge that carries U.S. Route 1 between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

The 600-foot-long oil tanker Seapride was outbound on the Piscataqua River when it struck a pier of the lift bridge.

Preliminary inspections have found no apparent structural damage to the bridge. The fender system designed to protect each bridge pier was damaged. The struck pier was pier 3 on the Maine side of the channel.

The incident has not affected lift operations at the Memorial Bridge and the bridge remains open to motor vehicle traffic.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation and Maine Department of Transportation engineers are on site to further evaluate the situation.

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

By Professional Mariner Staff