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Another Tugboat Sinks Offshore From Long Island; 4 Rescued

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A tugboat sank along the Long Island shoreline for the second time in three days Wednesday.

The Coast Guard learned around 3 p.m. that the tugboat “Sea Lion” was taking on water.

“There was a mayday issued. And once you hear the mayday issued that means the boat is going under,” said Bjoern Kils, who was doing commercial work nearby when he heard the call on the radio.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, Kils and his team pulled two of the tugboat crew members from the frigid waters off Atlantic Beach. The Coast Guard rescued the other two crew members.

Kils said his crew rushed to the mariners’ aid after hearing he coast guard calling out the distressed boat’s coordinates. About an hour later, the boat was gone, Sanchez reported.

“As we pulled up to the boat the tugboat was maybe two feet of the boat left.  Just the bow sticking out and the guy was laying on top as the boat went under him,” said Kils.

The mariners were medically evacuated and transferred to an EMS team standing by at the Atlantic Beach bridge, the Coast Guard said.

One of the mariners was reported as having serious injuries, according to the Coast Guard.

The towing vessel was crossing the New York Harbor at the time of the incident. No oil leaks or environmental damage was reported.

The incident happened just two days after another tugboat sank after losing control of a barge it was towing off Atlantic Beach.

The tugboat, “Pushy,” and the 125-foot deck barge it was towing separated “following an interaction with a large swell” around 7:35 p.m. Monday, the Coast Guard said.

The tugboat sank and the barge, which was carrying construction equipment, ended up on the beach at Silver Point County Park, the Coast Guard said.

A mariner aboard Pushy at the time of the incident was rescued by a New York police helicopter.

The incident Wednesday was not related to the earlier barge incident, the Coast Guard said.

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