PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Authorities say two people are safe after escaping from a tugboat that sank in the Piscataqua River.

The two were able to get onto a barge that is working on the new Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery, Maine.

Steve Achilles, assistant fire chief in Portsmouth, said the tugboat went down between two barges Wednesday afternoon.

The 58-foot tugboat is known as the Benjamin Bailey and is owned by Ken Anderson Riverside & Pickering Marine Contractors in Eliot, Maine. It was contracted by the company in charge of the bridge work.

A video provided to the Portsmouth Herald shows a plume of black smoke coming from the tugboat before it strikes the barge and begins to sink.

It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the tugboat’s problems. Salavage efforts began around 3 p.m.


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