- Associated Press - Friday, April 7, 2017

SEATTLE (AP) - A tugboat grounded off a Seattle beach Friday was being towed to a Seattle dock after crews patched the hull and refloated the vessel.

No oil was spilled during the incident, state Department of Ecology spokesman Larry Altose said. “It came out to a really good conclusion.”

The unmanned tugboat, the Gene Dunlap, was being towed by another boat when it began taking on water just before 8 a.m., according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The tug was then intentionally pushed into shallow waters off Seattle’s Golden Gardens Park so it wouldn’t sink.

The tug was carrying fuel on board so there was concern about a potential spill, Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read said. The 115-foot (35-meter) tugboat has a capacity of 35,000 gallons, though Read didn’t know how much was on board.

Altose said the tug was under tow from Seattle to Everett Friday morning when the crew noticed a problem. The tug experienced a mechanical problem with a seal between the propeller shaft and hull that was leaking or at risk of leaking.

Ecology, Coast guard and Seattle police and fire crews responded.

Crews pumped water out of the tug to keep it from sinking and made repairs to prevent a potential oil spill.

The tug was headed to a dry dock in Seattle.


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