Tanker Crash Into Kittery Bridge Under Investigation

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,326)

A 473 ft. tanker, Harbour Feature, struck the Route 1 bridge in Kitttery earlier today, according to a press release received from U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree.  The bridge, the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge, is located between Portsmouth and Kittery.

“The Coast Guard received the call a little bit before 2 this afternoon that the 473′ tanker Harbour Feature had struck the Rt. 1 bridge in Kittery.  When I talked to Admiral Abel this afternoon the current had the tanker pinned against the birdge and the Coast Guard was planning on waiting untl the tide changes around 5:45 this afternoon.  As of now there is no sign that the hull has been breached but further investigation is going on.  A Coast  Guard helicopter is in  route to look for signs of any leaks from the air,” Pingree said.

“According to the Admiral, the tanker was carrying tallow oil   – an animal product.  Obviously a significant spill of any substance could cause environmental problems, but at least this vessel wasn’t carrying a large amount of a petroleum product,” Pingree said in the press release.

Alcohol and drug tests were to be conducted on the crew this afternoon.

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge is scheduled to be replaced, with construction set to begin in the spring of 2015.