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This was on WDIV's website...

Does anyone know what Marina he crashed into and what kind of boat was thunked??

Bathroom Break May Be Cause Of Tugboat Crash
Fines Could Be Levied On Canadian Company

POSTED: 11:08 am EDT July 12, 2004
UPDATED: 11:47 am EDT July 12, 2004

A tugboat captain's bathroom break reportedly led to a crash into a St. Clair County marina Saturday.

The operator left the controls for a few minutes and when he returned, the tugboat veered off course and was headed toward several docks, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. The U.S. Coast Guard said the Evans McKiel tugboat was pulling a barge in the St. Clair River, near Roberts Landing, around 7 a.m. when the crash occurred.

Cpl. Don Berg of the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department called the crash a "pilot error."

"The pilot went to the washroom for a quick second, took his eyes off the controls," Berg said.

A new boat and hoist were destroyed in the crash, Local 4 reported. No injuries were reported.

The captain was arrested and a Breathalyzer was performed, but the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department confirmed that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

The Canadian company that owns the tugboat could face fines, according to authorities. No charges were expected.

The tugboat was headed for Courtwright, Ontario.

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One of the news stations ( Ch 7?) interviewed the owner who's 29 foot boat was destroyed by the barge. Although described below as damaged, they showed what looked like pieces of what was left of the boat
It wasn't a marina but hit a private dock along the river.


Evans McKeil Aground in St. Clair River
07/11 10 p.m. Update
The Evans McKeil remained aground Sunday night in the St. Clair River. The Sarnia based tug Menasha was on scene through out much of the day conducting dive operations on the stranded tug. It is unknown when the tug will be refloated. The Paul E. No. 1 left the scene of the grounding Sunday and was downbound on the Detroit River about 7 p.m.

Original Report

The McKeil tug Evans McKeil, with the barge Ocean Hauler, reported running aground near Light 37 in the St. Clair River at about 4:05 Saturday morning. Light 37 is located near Robert's Landing, Mich., north of Algonac State Park and south of Marine City, Mich. and across from Port Lambton, Ont. She was reported still aground Sunday afternoon.

The barge hit several private docks and it was also reported that a new, 29-foot pleasure craft was also damaged. Early media reports from the area indicated that the captain may have been away from the helm and thought he had the automatic pilot engaged when the grounding occurred.

Unable to free herself, the McKeil called for assistance. The tug Menasha departed Sarnia and arrived on the scene shortly after 2 p.m. The McKeil tug Paul E. No. 1 also arrived at roughly the same time. Paul E. and Menasha freed the barge Ocean Hauler from the Evans McKeil and the Paul E. then towed the Ocean Hauler to the brine dock in Courtright, returning to Robert's Landing at about 6:15 p.m.

Evans McKeil lightered fuel into the Menasha and shifted ballast in order to raise her stern in an attempt to free herself along with the aid of the Menasha, all to no avail. When the Paul E. returned to the scene, both tugs again secured tow lines to the Evans McKeil to attempt to move her. They just didn't have the power to break the suction, although she moved a small amount. The list on the Evans McKeil is about 10-15 degrees to starboard and she's about 75-100 ft. offshore.

Police were securing water and land access to keep gawkers and Boatnerds at bay. Paul E. and Menasha both left the scene around 8 p.m.
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