Metro

Coast Guard investigating sinking of boat in Boston Harbor

A sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston being worked on to refloat by the use of a crane and divers on Thursday.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

A sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston being worked on to refloat by the use of a crane and divers on Thursday.

A 65-foot boat loaded with diesel fuel sunk in Boston Harbor behind seafood company James Hook & Co. early Tuesday morning, and a salvage team attempted to lift it from the water Thursday, a Coast Guard official said.

The “King Triton” work boat sunk Tuesday around 4:30 a.m., said Petty Officer Andrew Barresi. No one was aboard the vessel when it sank.

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The “King Triton” was carrying up to 250 gallons of diesel fuel, but it appears the tanks did not rupture and no oil was spilled into the harbor, Barresi said.

“Based on the fact that we didn’t see any sheening, which would definitely happen at 250 gallons, we think that the fuel is still in the tanks,” he said.

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The owner of the boat contracted a commercial salvage company to lift and refloat the vessel, Barresi said. A boom was placed around the boat Tuesday to contain any potential oil spilled while the salvage team works to remove it from the water.

“They also put out sausage boom, which is a white boom that floats within a yellow containment boom to pick up any pollution,” he said.

The salvage company had a crane in place by early Thursday morning and made progress lifting the boat by Thursday afternoon, Barresi said.

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“It’s a pretty large barging crane, so it takes some time to get that in, but they contained it,” he said. “They have some pumps that they’ll use to get the water out of the boat once it’s lifted.”

The size of the vessel could make removing it from the harbor challenging, but Barresi said the salvage company has the equipment necessary to handle the task.

The boat was expected to be recovered by Thursday night or Friday morning, he said.

“Each vessel is unique, and you’re going to encounter different challenges depending on the size of the vessel and where it is,” he said.

The cause of the sinking is under investigation by the Coast Guard.

A diver's hand moved sorbent boom as he dives below at a sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

A diver's hand moved sorbent boom as he dives below at a sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston.

A crowd stopped to view a sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston.

David L Ryan/Globe Staff

A crowd stopped to view a sunken boat in the Fort Point Channel Boston.

Alyssa Meyers can be reached at alyssa.meyers@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.
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