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10 Disasters

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USCG PHOTO

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USCG PHOTO

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USCG PHOTO

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USCG PHOTO

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USCG PHOTO

USCGC BLACKTHORN WAGL/WLB-391-Tanker CAPICORN COLLISION
January 28, 1980

Having just completed her overhaul, Blackthorn was outward bound from Tampa Bay on the night of 28 January 1980. Meanwhile the tanker Capricorn was standing into the bay. The captain, LCDR George Sepel was on the bridge, but ENS John Ryan had the conn. Having been overtaken by the Russian passenger ship Kazakhstan, Blackthorn continued almost in mid-channel. The brightly lit passenger vessel obscured the ability of the crews of Blackthorn and Capricorn to see each other. Capricorn began to turn left, but this would not allow the ships to pass port-to-port. Unable to make radio contact with the tender, Capricorn's pilot blew two short whistle blasts to have the ships pass starboard-to-starboard. With the officer of the deck confused in regard to the standard operating procedure, Blackthorn's captain issued orders for evasive action.

Though the ships collided, damage did not seem to be extensive. The problem, however, was that Capricorn's anchor was ready for letting go. It became imbedded in the tender's hull and ripped open the port side. Just seconds after the slack in the anchor chain became taut, Blackthorn capsized. Six off-duty personnel who had mustered when they heard the collision alarm were trapped in the dark. Several crew members who had just reported aboard tried to escape and in the process trapped themselves in the engine room. Though 27 crewmen survived the collision, 23 perished. (USCG)
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Bill Collette photo

TUG MORTON BOUCHARD SINKING
1983 Cape Cod Canal
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Bill Collette photo

TUG MORTON BOUCHARD RAISING
1983

In the late afternoon of April 11, 1983 the tug MORTON BOUCHARD was towing a barge with 3 million gallons of unleaded gasoline on it heading for Boston. While transiting the Cape Cod Canal the current was running the same way the tug was going to the east side of the canal. The barge overtook the tug and wrapped its tow line around the tug causing the tug to capsize and sink.

By the time the Coast Guard 41 foot UTB's(41363 & 41491) arrived the barge had grounded and a helicopter was on scene and hovering so close to the barge that if it lost power the three million gallons of gasoline would have exploded destroying the barge, helo, the Coast Guard crew and boat that were standing by. All personnel aboard the tug were rescued by the CG.

A few weeks later the tug was refloated and from that time forward the Army Corp of Engineers would not let tugs through the canal towing a barge. They had to push it and were escorted by an Army Corp tug. Not sure if this is still the case today (2006).
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Courtesy of Bill Collette

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Bill Collette Photo

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Bill Collette Photo

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Bill Collette Photo

ELDIA
MARCH 29, 1984

The M/V EDLIA stranded on Nauset Beach, Mass. on March 29, 1984 during a terrific storm.
Twenty-three crewmen were airlifted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and safely delivered to Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. During the rescue winds were reported as 80 mph gusts with 20-foot seas.
The ELDIA was a 471-foot, 4300 ton Maltese cargo vessel. Upon grounding the Coast Guard ordered Thenamarias Inc., of Greece to unload approximately 14,000 gallons of fuel as a safety precaution.
Donjon Marine Co., of Hillside, N.J., was contracted to remove the vessel and after 51 days aground on May 17, 1984 she was freed and towed to Derecktor Shipyard in Newport, R.I., where an inspection found extensive damage to the ships bottom, inner fuel tanks and ballast tanks.
Her final disposition is unknown but it is believed she was scrapped shortly thereafter. (Historical data provided by Bill Collette)
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Courtesy of Bill Collette

F/V Eastern Rig fire

30552 Plastic 30', 4059? 40'UTB, 40532 40' UTB and the 44352, I believe out of Sandy Hook. Helo HH52 type. Also a small boat hidden on the Stb. stern section of the F/V.
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