The Freight Boat Mishap:
A Municipal Perspective
Through the cooperative, professional and skilled work of countless Barnstable Police Officers, fire officials, representatives from several departments and numerous agencies, an extremely dangerous incident on Hyannis Harbor was resolved safely. Often unrecognized for their skilled work on matters such as these, public safety and fire professionals went “above and beyond” on January 8th…
On the morning of January 8th the Barnstable Police Department received a call from the Steamship Authority explaining that the freight vessel Katama bound for Nantucket was turning around and making its way back to Hyannis with a serious safety hazard on board: A tanker truck loaded with 12,000 gallons of explosive liquid propane had tipped nearly on its side in rough seas and was perilously leaning against a flat bed truck. On the other side of this truck was another tanker truck filled with home heating fuel…to the front two other tankers each filled with liquid propane. Recognizing that Hyannis was home to the equipment needed to right the truck, this dangerous situation was now a Hyannis issue…any error in attempting to right the propane truck could cause an explosion, fire, or a contamination of fuel into the harbor. Adding to the complexity was the fact that this was one of the coldest days we had experienced this year. The ferry arrived in Hyannis Harbor at about 11am. The Coast Guard had followed the ferry into the harbor, which was then shut down. The Hyannis Fire Department then went to work on this unusual event, exploring how to best right the tanker. The Barnstable Police Department’s Lt. Paul MacDonald, in charge of the day shift, began directing patrols to block off streets. Officials from the Town’s Health Department and other officials were immediately dispatched to the scene. A short time later it was determined to evacuate the homes in the immediate area. Lt. MacDonald, Det. Paul Everson and Officer Jonathan Pass began going door to door and evacuating homes; luckily all home owners had places they could go. The Anchor Inn on South Street was also evacuated.
The Fire Department first started by securing the tanker with wooden landscape ties in an attempt to build a “crib” around the tanker to prevent it from tipping or slipping any further. It wasn't long before some dozen different agencies were on scene involved in some aspect of this crisis: Steamship Authority, Hyannis Fire, Barnstable Police, Coast Guard, Environmental Police, State Police truck team, Baxter Crane Service, and Yarmouth fire and police, just to name a few…
Some 14 hours later the Hyannis Fire Department had righted the tanker and had it towed off the Freight Boat and the streets were reopened without incident.
The Steamship Authority and the Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office are presently conducting a joint investigation.
Sgt. Sean Sweeney, Public Information Officer, BPD
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01-20-2005, 04:06 PM #1
Well, you see we're bringing the tipped over truck to you...
Last edited by Dalmatian90; 01-20-2005 at 04:11 PM.IACOJ Canine Officer
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