The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

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Boat crashes into barge Wednesday night injuring captain

Barge at SERVS dock was hit just before 7 p.m. according to Coast Guard


Steve Revis photo

The USCG is still investigating the events that lead to the privately owned boat crashing into an oil response barge.

A Valdez man is seeing red after the boat he was captaining crashed into a barge at the SERVS dock.

"The Coast Guard responded to a 37-foot recreational vessel that collided with a response barge moored up alongside the Ship Escort Response Vessel System (SERVS) dock Wednesday, August 24, 2016," a US Coast Guard press release said.

"At approximately 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, the unnamed recreational vessel with two people on board collided with the response barge 500-2 which was docked just outside the Valdez Small Boat Harbor. No serious injuries were reported, though one individual from the unnamed vessel was taken to the hospital."

Andrew Christoffersen, age 29 of Valdez, was responsible for the boat while out on the water according to sources close to the investigation who declined to be identified.

"The unnamed recreational vessel sustained heavy damage as a result of the impact, with minor damage in the form of scraped paint being sustained by the 500-2," the Coast Guard said. "No pollution was reported."

In a prepared statement, the Coast Guard said the accident could have resulted in a much bigger tragedy.

Steve Revis photo

This boat's captain was treated for injuries at PVMC after it collided with a barge outside the small boat harbor last week.

"This incident was unfortunate but could have been much worse," said Lt. Shawn Merrick, Senior Investigating Officer for Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez. "The Coast Guard is very appreciative of the collaborative efforts of the Valdez Police Department in response to this potentially deadly marine casualty."

The Coast Guard said the barge is under contract with SERVS.

"The barge 500-2 is part of the Ship Escort Response Vessel System based out of Valdez," the Coast Guard said. "The barge was moored alongside the SERVS dock during the incident. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation."

No arrests or citations had been issued as of Monday.

Sources close to the investigation have said it is likely that some charges may be forthcoming.


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