Two dead and one missing and presumed dead after their tugboat struck a construction barge and sank in the Hudson River. The tugboat, Specialist, struck the barge moored near the Tappan Zee Bridge as it passed under the center of the bridge around 5:18 a.m. Saturday.

Search Teams

There are currently more than a dozen fire and law enforcement agencies as well as helicopters and marine units searching for the missing crewmembers. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

“At this point, we are still in a search and rescue mode,” Robert P. Astorino, the Westchester County executive, said at a news conference. “We are not presuming anything.”

The Coast Guard was notified at 5:20 a.m. that the steel-hulled tugboat sunk. Ten minutes later, a man was pulled from the water and was later pronounced dead. Officials have not identified any of the crewmembers because their families are still being notified.

“We hope and pray that the missing workers are found soon and our thoughts go out to the worker who has passed,” Matthew Shaffer, Maritime attorney and Partner of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP said. “Having represented many workers and families involved in vessel sinking tragedies, we know the anguish and struggle the workers and loved ones will face in the upcoming days.”

The Specialist was one of three tugboats that departed Albany Friday pushing a large tower crane aboard a barge headed for Jersey City. The crews on the other two tugboats tried to help the Specialist crewmembers, but were unable to reach them, Astorino said.

About Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers is a Maritime law firm that has represented workers since 1964. Their attorneys have represented workers and families affected by major maritime disasters including the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and the sinking of El Faro.