News: Coast Guard investigates barge allision near Mason Inlet, NC
Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is investigating a barge allision Friday that happened in the Intracoastal Waterway near Mason Inlet, N.C.
A crewmember aboard the tug Betty Jo contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders at approximately 3:45 a.m. reporting they ran aground and struck a private pier while transiting the Mason Inlet. Five boats were moored at the pier during the impact which resulted in one boat breaking free of its mooring.
Sector North Carolina watchstanders dispatched an investigative officer from the sector along with a crew aboard a 25-foot Response Boat – Small from Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach, N.C., to assist.
The RB-S crew arrived on scene at approximately 5 a.m. and conducted a survey of the pier and located the adrift private vessel aground outside the channel.
Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued a safety marine information broadcast for debris in the water near marker 122 in the ICW and requested assistance from the New Hanover County Sheriff Department to secure the pier until a formal safety inspection is completed.
The Betty Jo completed their voyage back to port in Masonboro, N.C.
“We’re investigating the cause and contributing factors of a barge and tug allision into a private pier,” said Lt. Lane Munroe, the Sector North Carolina Command Center chief. “Our primary concern is the safety of the boating public. We’re notifying them of any hazards they may encounter while transiting the area through marine information broadcasts and a broadcast notice to mariners.”
There are no reports of pollution, and the cause of the allision remains under investigation.