Two massive barges ran aground within about 24 hours of one another off Sarasota County due to rough weather beginning Tuesday morning.
The tugboat pulling the barges managed to anchor a 140-foot-long barge, but lost control of its companion. The 180-foot-long barge drifted and made landfall on Anna Maria Island shortly after.
The 140-foot-long barge broke free and landed near Longboat Key the next morning.
Coast Guard spokesperson Michael De Nyse said the Coast Guard was on scene to evaluate any potential damage or pollution to the beach.
De Nyse said he cannot recall the last time a barge ran aground in the area.
Courtesy Michael De Nyse
He stressed mariners should check the weather before setting out on the water.
“When you’re a tugboat, I can’t imagine trying to push two barges and have a steering causality in bad weather,” he said. “That’s just a recipe for a disaster.”
No injuries were reported. De Nyse said no signs of pollution were found at either site.