Work continues on raising boat that sank in harbor

By WKTV News

(WKTV) - Heavy equipment has been brought in to raise the boat that sank in Utica's harbor early Saturday morning.

The boat, which is used to dredge the harbor and was tied down for winter, sank. Although initially officials thought about 800 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, the number is closer to 3,200 gallons. The leak on the boat is now plugged, and all fuel has been cleaned up or contained.

According to Shane Mahar, deputy communications director with the New York Canal Corporation, Tioga Construction spent most of the day Sunday breaking up the ice in the harbor and will be mobilizing equipment in the next few days.

Tioga will build a coffer dam around the boat, then pump the water around it out, which will allow officials to inspect the hull and figure out why it sank. Once the boat is fixed, the dam will be removed and the boat will be refloated.

Mahar expects the process to take several more weeks.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said he's been in constant contact with the commissioner of the Canal Corporation.

"The good thing is is that it was so close to the shore, it didn't really spill out," he said. "It actually went to the corners, where they were able to surge it out."

Palmieri said he is pleased the Canal Corporation called him immediately to let him know of the situation. The mayor said it could be a few more days before the boat is raised.

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