UPDATED: Barge breaks free, strikes old Bonner Bridge; tug flips in attempt to secure it

A tug boat struck the old Bonner Bridge on Sunday, Nov. 17. Submitted photo

A barge broke free at Oregon Inlet this afternoon and struck the old Bonner Bridge. Meanwhile, a tug boat attempting to secure the barge rolled in the rough currents.

Facebook photos show the tug boat on its side and up against the southern end of the old bridge, which is being converted into a fishing pier.

A tug boat against the Bonner Bridge. Photo by Will Harrison

Another tug was able to come alongside and rescue the seven crewmembers aboard the swamped tug. No one was hurt. The company that owns the tug is working on a plan for removing the vessel.

In October 1990, a major section of the Bonner Bridge collapsed after being struck by a dredging vessel, knocking out power and telephone lines and isolating Hatteras Island from the rest of the Outer Banks.

The repaired Bonner Bridge closed this past February at the opening of the new Marc Basnight Bridge spanning Oregon Inlet. Demolition has been underway since.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com