Ship Owners Blame Tugboat in New Hampshire-Maine Bridge Crash

June 12, 2013

The owners of the oil tanker that damaged a bridge connecting New Hampshire and Maine say in court documents that any negligence should be directed toward the agency that hired the tugboat captain.

The owners say they were required by state law to allow the Pease Development Authority’s tugboat captain to take charge of the vessel to “direct all of her movements” within Portsmouth Harbor. They say any negligence that caused the ship to break from the pier lies with the authority.

The Portsmouth Herald reports the documents were filed in federal court in New Hampshire. Maine and New Hampshire sued the owners for $2.4 million, saying the crew was negligent in allowing the ship to drift and crash into the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge on April 1.

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