SUFFOLK MAN MISSING AFTER TUGBOAT SINKS IN
DELAWAREPublished: May 12, 2001
LOCAL, page B1
Source: STEVE STONE THE
© 2001- Landmark Communications
A Suffolk man was missing Friday night after a 115-foot,
Norfolk-based tugboat capsized in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal,
blocking the waterway, the Coast Guard said.
Four other crewmen aboard the tug Bay Titan and
a fifth man on a barge it was towing were rescued by a passing
boater. Three of the men were hospitalized, but were expected to be
released soon. A search continued for the missing crewman, whose
name was not released.
The Bay Titan, launched in 1970 and rebuilt in
1994, was towing a barge loaded with liquid sugar when the accident
happened just before noon.
Lt. Peter Stinson of the Coast Guard's Rescue Coordination
Center in Portsmouth said the tug was about 1,000 yards into the
canal, having just entered from the Delaware River south of
In essence - like a truck tractor and trailer - the tug and
``The captain had just shortened the tow (line) and was
maneuvering to port,'' Stinson said. As the barge passed the stern
of the tug, ``the line ran out and it pulled the tug over.''
Rescue boats from several agencies in addition to the Coast
Guard were soon on the scene. But there was no sign of the missing
It was unclear whether he made it off the tug before it
capsized and settled into the canal.
The man piloting the passing vessel that rescued the five men
said he believed he saw a sixth man in the water waving his arms,
but then lost sight of him, Stinson said. The crew of the tug said,
however, that their missing mate had been in the tug's galley, three
decks down, when the boat capsized.
Dive teams went down to the tug four times Friday in search
of the missing man, said Sr. Chief Robert Ward, the command duty
officer at the Marine Safety Office in Philadelphia.
``This is still considered a search and rescue mission,''
Ward said Friday night.
Another dive team, hired by Bay Towing Corp. of Norfolk,
owners of the tug, is expected to go down to the vessel at 9 a.m.
today. They will make another search for the missing man and assess
what it will take to salvage the tug.
The tug has to be removed and the quicker the better, Ward
said. For now, it is blocking the canal, forcing its closure to all
commercial traffic. Only smaller pleasure craft are able to pass
The barge was not damaged and was towed off and later picked
up by the tug Baltimore.
Reach Steve Stone at 446-2309 or stone(AT)pilotonline.com
Description of illustration(s):
CORP. PHOTO Four crewmen aboard the tug Bay Titan,
and a man on a barge were rescued. The missing man's name