Why did tug run aground? Coast Guard wants to know

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Coast Guard is investigating why a tugboat went off course and ran aground on Cape George Beach early Thursday morning.

The tugboat Shannon, which ran aground at about 12:30 a.m., was refloated at about 7 a.m., the state Department of Ecology said.

It was moored behind the Port Townsend Paper Corp. mill.

“There was no damage to the boat, and no pollutants were released,” said Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley, a Coast Guard spokesman.

“We are still investigating why it went off course, and this could take several days before we have an answer.”

The tug, which is owned and operated by Maritime Works Corp. of Seattle, was heading from Port Angeles to Seattle when it ran aground south of its scheduled route, according to the Coast Guard.

The 68-foot, 141-ton Shannon was towing a barge of paper products that did not run aground.

Terry Lyle, who lives on the bluff above Cape George Beach, heard what he thought was a truck in front of his house but later determined it was a boat on the beach, according to his wife, Polly Lyle.

“We called the Coast Guard, who acted like they didn’t know about it yet,” Polly Lyle said.

“We watched the crew shine a flashlight onto the water and run the engine, trying to get out, for about an hour.

“The crew finally turned out their deck lights,” she said. “We watched for a while longer and went to bed.”

The tug was gone when they awoke, she said.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2013 6:22PM
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