[UPDATE BELOW] A tugboat sank near the new Tappan Zee Bridge early this morning, plunging three people into the Hudson River and killing one of them.
— RocklandFires (@RocklandFires) March 12, 2016
According to the Coast Guard, the 90-foot tugboat, called The Specialist, struck a barge at about 5:20 a.m. this morning. The Coast Guard's New York station sent a 45-foot rescue boat to the scene, and at about 5:30 a.m., a first responder recovered one of the three people who went under. The AP reports that this person died on the way to the hospital.
Two people were still missing at the time, and several search crews from various agencies were canvassing the area. According to ABC 7, the currents were too strong for divers to enter the water. As of 8:30 a.m., a second person had been recovered from the river, though that person's condition is not known at this time. At least one other person is still missing.
The exact details of the accident remain unclear. Several sources, including the Coast Guard, say that the tugboat struck a construction barge, but state police say the boat hit the base of a construction crane. ABC 7 reports that The Specialist was transporting another barge south down the Hudson River, but was not associated with the ongoing construction project on the new bridge.
— streebs (@streebs) March 12, 2016
Walter Garschagen, the captain of "the Hudson River's AAA on the water," told The Journal News that as of 8:45 a.m., "the current [was] still southbound heading toward the ocean," and that anyone still in the river would start drifting south with the tide, as the current this morning is "surprisingly strong."
Update: At a press conference today at 2:45, Governor Cuomo confirmed that there are still two people missing, and that the tugboat is currently 40 feet underwater. The tugboat apparently had 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel aboard, and that fuel is now leaking into the Hudson. However, Cuomo said that resources were deployed quickly, and that the state Department of Environmental Conservation is working with a private contractor right now to clean up the spill. They don't expect there to be any long-term damage from the fuel.
"Obviously this is just a tragedy, a tragic accident," Cuomo said. "There’s no point of speculating who did what...you have three people who left for work and aren’t going to come home."