Collision sinks restored schooner

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MAY 17 — Coast Guard and Maryland Natural Resource Police officials were investigating the cause of an accident this week in which a tugboat collided with a wooden schooner, temporarily closing the Chesapeake and Delaware (C&D) Canal.

The 45-foot, 1911-built schooner Heron sank Monday in the canal after it collided with a 71-foot tug boat, named Schuylkill, at about 3:40 a.m., the Coast Guard says in a news release. The canal was reopened Tuesday after a commercial salvage company raised the stricken sailboat, pumped out the water and loaded it on a crane barge.

The three crew aboard Heron — all from Port Monmouth, N.J. — were rescued and taken to an area hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries, the Coast Guard says. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the canal to marine traffic until the schooner was raised and the waterway obstruction removed.

The C&DCanal connects the Delaware River with the Chesapeake Bay. It carries 40 percent of the shipping traffic heading to and from Baltimore, a news report says.

Jason Fell