Crews worked several days to free a barge carrying an estimated 400 tons of stone on Monday afternoon after it broke loose from its mooring in Peconic Bay last week and ran aground on a Hampton Bays beach.
Those assisting with the recovery of the barge, called the Mohawk and owned by Costello Marine Contracting Corp. of Greenport, also said the driver of the tugboat who went out to search for the barge last Friday, two days after it broke free, died while on the water and en route to Hampton Bays. George David Costello Sr., 63, of Greenport suffered a heart attack while attempting to recover the barge for the family business, according to his wife, Iona Costello.
Steven Mezynieski, the owner of Steven M. Mezynieski Inc., an excavation company in Southampton that helped free the barge and who is a friend of the Costellos, said it was unclear why the barge broke free from its mooring in Peconic Bay. He did not know where in the bay the barge had been moored.
The barge, which was carrying boulders and rocks, eventually washed up on the beach near East Landing Road in Hampton Bays.
Mr. Mezynieski said his employees and those with Keith Grimes Inc., another excavation company with offices in Bridgehampton, assisted with the recovery of the barge. He said both companies spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday removing the boulders and transporting them on trucks before pulling the barge back to the open water with the help of a tugboat.
According to Mr. Mezynieski, the barge—which was carrying stone for a project in the area—is now back in the water.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard and Southampton Town Police Department said they had no information regarding the incident.
“We would like to give our sincerest condolences to the Costello family,” Mr. Mezynieski said.