Barge slams into Gig Harbor docks and homes

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The barge was pulled free by the tug under its own power. [Image; Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One]

Coast Guard members from Sector Puget Sound responded Monday when a barge smashed into private docks and homes near Gig Harbor, Wash.

Watchstanders at Sector Puget Sound received notification from Pierce County dispatch that an unmanned gravel barge, under tow by the towing vessel Island Chief, had hit several privately-owned docks and residences.

According to the Coast Guard, initial findings indicate that the master of the towing vessel fell asleep while navigating the vessel.

The barge held no cargo at the time of the incident. It was pulled free by the tug under its own power. Neither were seriously damaged, and returned to Seattle for further investigation and inspection.

Local TV station KIRO7 identified the barge as being named the Island Chase.

It quotes the general manager of owner Island Tug and Barge as saying the tug’s four-person crew was able to scramble into action to pull the barge off the beach and prevent more damage and that the company was working with the homeowner to get the damage repaired as quickly as possible.

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