Captain being investigated over fatal tugboat sinking on Hudson River

Police are looking into possible impropriety by the captain of a tugboat involved in the fatal Hudson River sinking of another tugboat in March, according to a New York area local newspaper.

The tugboat Specialist went down quickly with the loss of three lives after colliding with a stationary barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Specialist was one of three tugs manoeuvring a different crane-carrying barge to work on a construction project at the bridge when the incident happened.

Now reports in the Journal News of the Lower Hudson Valley say the police are looking into claims that the Specialist’s captain was helming one of the two other tugs, the Realist, while that tug’s captain was below decks with an unauthorized female passenger.

Initial reports of the incident made no mention of a passenger on Realist.

A lawyer for the Realist’s owner denied there was any impropriety but could not comment further because of pending legal actions from the victims’ families.

Three Specialist crewmen – ship’s mate Paul Amon, who was on watch at the time of the crash, Timothy Conklin and Harry Hernandez – died in the sinking.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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