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)
TUG MORTON BOUCHARD SINKING
1983 Cape Cod Canal
TUG MORTON BOUCHARD RAISING
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
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
|Courtesy of Bill Collette
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
|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.