Video: Slumbering skipper damages homes in Gig Harbour

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A barge has collided with several homes in the fashionable seaside town of Gig Harbour in Washington State.

Bystanders were shocked to see a barge collide with docks and homes in the town of Gig Harbour in Washington’s Puget Sound on Monday, reports local media. Security cameras caught the moment when an unmanned gravel barge, towed by the tug, Island Chief, slammed into the shore.

USCG officials say the skipper of the tug fell asleep at the helm. The tug itself did not run aground, but the tow did, damaging a dock and shoreside property. The tug’s owners, Island Tug and Barge Company, said the four-man crew was able to pull the barge off the beach and prevent further damage.

The company said it is working with the homeowner to repair the damage as quickly as possible. No casualties or pollution have been reported. Initial estimates of the damage suggest a figure in excess of $250,000.

“Incidents such as this are very concerning,” said Cmdr. Nathan Menefee of the USCG, Chief of Prevention at Sector Puget Sound. “Fortunately, nobody was injured, and the towing vessel did not release fuel or oil into the water. Sector Puget Sound will investigate the incident to determine the cause and whether additional actions are necessary to prevent a similar incident in the future.” 

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