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Coast Guard investigating after barge hits pier in ICW

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Coast Guard is investigating after a barge hit a pier in the Intracoastal Waterway near Mason Inlet.

The Coast Guard says it got a call from a crewmember aboard the tug Betty Jo at about 3:45 a.m. reporting the boat had run aground and hit a private pier as it passed through Mason Inlet.

Five boats were moored at the pier, and the Coast Guard says one boat broke free of its mooring. A Coast Guard boat from Station Wrightsville Beach arrived on scene around 5 a.m. and found the boat adrift outside the channel.

The Betty Jo completed its voyage back to port in Masonboro.

"We're investigating the cause and contributing factors of a barge and tug allision into a private pier," said Lt. Lane Munroe, the Sector North Carolina Command Center chief. "Our primary concern is the safety of the boating public. We're notifying them of any hazards they may encounter while transiting the area through marine information broadcasts and a broadcast notice to mariners."

There are no reports of pollution. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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