PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The New Hampshire Transportation Department said an oil tanker struck a pier at the Memorial Bridge that connects New Hampshire and Maine, and there’s no apparent damage to the bridge itself. There were no injuries.
Bill Boynton of the transportation department said the 600-foot-long oil tanker Seapride was outbound on the Piscataqua River when it struck the lift bridge about 5:15 a.m. Friday.
Boynton said the incident has not affected lift operations at the bridge. The bridge remains open to motor vehicle traffic.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the ship struck the bridge’s fender system, which is designed to protect the bridge piers.
As a result of the accident, a component of the fender system is missing and believed to be in the water under the bridge. The Coast Guard is urging mariners operating vessels drawing more than 12 feet of draft to use caution in the area.
The Seapride reported no significant damage, but Coast Guard investigators were to meet the vessel at its next stop in Portland, Maine.
Boynton said the pier that was struck was on the Maine side of the channel.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the incident. Drug and alcohol testing is being conducted on those involved, as is standard procedure.
The bridge carries U.S. Route 1 traffic between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.