Tugboat Recovered From Potomac River Near Big Slackwater Construction Site

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Date: March 15, 2012
Contact: Peggie Gaul, 301-491-1743

DOWNSVILLE, MD - A tugboat that was being used as part of the Big Slackwater reconstruction and stabilization project near Hagerstown, Maryland sank overnight.The boat was recovered from the Potomac River around 1:00 p.m. today.The tugboat, which was tied to the work dock, sank for unknown reasons.It was recovered by the contractor,Cianbro, Inc.,using the on-site crane.Officials from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical and Maryland Natural Resource Police monitored the recovery effort.

The tugboat which sank in approximately 20 feet of water was carrying 200 gallons of diesel fuel.Two containment booms were placed around the perimeter of the tug to control any spillage and the contractor surveyed the water between the accident scene and Dam Number 4.Fortunately, none of the diesel fuel was spilled and a potential environmental hazard was averted.

The reconstruction of the towpath at Big Slackwater has been underway since late summer 2010.This project will restore a section of the C&O Canal towpath that was destroyed by flooding in 1996.The project is being funded through the National Park Service and the Maryland Department of Transportation's Transportation Enhancement Program and will be completed in 2012.


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