Coast Guard helps tow barge to safety

The Coast Guard assisted a tug and barge past fast-moving ebb tide conditions near West Haven Marina preventing a barge from running aground Thursday evening.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Grays Harbor towed while the tug pushed the barge to safety within the West Haven Marina.

The Coast Guard received a cell phone call for help from the captain of the tug MaryAnne due to the ebb tide, which was running at about 4.6 mph.

The MaryAnne had been only able to maintain position for the previous two hours at Light 7 with no forward movement with the barge carrying an excavator and 30 tons of rock.

Although there was no standard towing equipment available on the barge, the crew rigged a towing line and worked with the crew of the MaryAnne to get to safe water.

“The ebb last night was one of the biggest ebbs of the year, it was certainly difficult to maneuver to safety,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven McDougal. “En Route to the scene the crew had formulated a plan and it all fell into place pretty smoothly because of great teamwork between my crew and the crew of the MaryAnne.”

The estimated weight of the loaded barge was about 160 tons.

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