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Port of Milwaukee ice-breaking tugboat sinks

WISN Milwaukee logo WISN Milwaukee 2/23/2021
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The Port of Milwaukee's ice-breaking tugboat has sunk.

The port's director said the Harbor Seagull sunk sometime early Monday.

A worker in the port discovered the 50-foot tugboat underwater around 5:30 a.m.

The boat was last used Saturday to clear ice from the Kinnickinnic River.

Crews will begin pulling it from the water Tuesday morning.

"The port will leverage a crane to lift the Harbor Seagull," the port director said. "We will dewater it. We will load the Harbor Seagull onto a barge transported to a port-owned dock for the anticipated repairs."

There was no word yet on why the boat sunk.

No one was on board and there were no injuries.

Port workers put booms in place underwater to absorb any oil leaking from the vessel.

The 50-foot tugboat was built in 1961.

"All of what we do commercially and in some cases, recreationally -- can't be done without a fleet of city-owner and contractor supported tugboats in the Milwaukee area," the port director said.

Port officials estimate it will cost between $30,000-40,000 to pull the boat from the water and another $200,000-$300,000 to fix it.

The port director said a new tugboat was not in the city's budget.

That would cost upwards of $1 million.

READ MORE:Port of Milwaukee ice-breaking tugboat sinks

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