April 3, 2014 | Vol. 40, No. 14

Iceberg damages boats in South Harbor

A stray iceberg damaged several vessels in the South Harbor early Tuesday morning.

Assistant Harbor Master Ed Tagaban received the call around 1:30 a.m.

Tagaban estimated the iceberg’s surface to be around 40 to 50 feet in diameter and said, when he arrived, it had damaged the swim step on F/V Copasetic and was underneath two other vessels. The iceberg also punctured a hole through the stern of a vessel called the Sea Pride.

“It rolled under the boats and lifted them up a little bit on the sterns,” Tagaban said. “The tide was running really hard. There was nothing we could have possibly done with a skiff but with luck the American Patriot, a tender that was coming home, offered assistance.”

Tagaban and others were able to secure line around the iceberg before pulling it out.

“It’s like being a cowboy,” Tagaban said. “You just make a big lasso.”

The American Patriot operator, Bill Terry, pulled the iceberg away from the float and followed it as the tide took it out of the harbor.

“Without his help we wouldn’t have been able to get that out,” Tagaban said. “Time was of the essence. It was at peak tide. I’m sure it would have grounded right where it was trapping those boast in and rolling them and causing considerable damage to the boats and the float as the tide went out.”

Tagaban estimated it took about an hour and a half for harbor staff and other responders to tow the iceberg away from the float.

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