What was NYC 13 doing in the 1960’s? Getting into collisions!

I am still mystified that I can’t find many old photos of my boat. I guess I need to hire someone to start scrounging through the museums here in New York City. As she spent all her years pushing railroad equipment back and forth in New York City, you would think she would have had her picture taken. Anyone have any good leads on where to begin? I hear there is a special library in a room at Grand Central Terminal that is filled with New York Central Railroad history….

So while sniffing around the internet, looking for old tugboat photos, I found this very interesting bit of history on the web about NYC No. 13 here on the US Coast Guard website:

On February 22nd, 1967, the 82 foot US Coast Guard cutter Point Highland towed the disabled tug Hay-De and a barge following a collision with M/V Hellenic Halcyon. Hay-De was the earlier name for New York Central No. 13 when she was owned by the Kosnac Floating Derrick Corporation. The collision occured 10 miles north of Smith Point. At the time, the cutter Point Highland was based out of Crisfield, Maryland. Crisfield is in an area I know well as it’s very near the Wicomico River and Deal Island, MD where the lightship Frying Pan sank and spent many years underwater.

Wow – this collision info leads to lots of questions – Who ran into whom? How did it happen? Why and how was the Hay-De disabled?

A google map search turns up many “Smith Points” in Chesapeake Bay. There is one right on the Virginia and Maryland boarder, across the Chesapeake Bay from Crisfield, MD which seems like a likely candidate.

View Larger Map

The Hellenic Halcyon was a C2-S-B1 cargo ship launched on December 14th, 1943 at the Moore Dry Dock Company in Oakland, CA. Her original name was SS Golden Gate and she was sold in 1946 and then renamed Copiapo. She was again renamed Hellenic Halcyon in 1966 and scrapped in 1973. She was 400 feet long (measured between perpendiculars) and could carry 9,150 tons (DWT). 81 ships of this exact type were built by Moore at this location and others were built at Federal Shipbuilding in Kearny, NJ and at Consolidated Steel in Wilmington, CA. At 400 feet long, she certainly would win a battle with a 90 foot tugboat.

Here is a picture of what a C2-S-B1 cargo ship looks like:

C2-S-B1 Cargo

I started looking for details on the collision as things like this will result in a legal filing of some sort!

Googling the ship names, I found a workplace safety lawsuit from 1957 from a longshoreman who fell when decending the last rungs of a ladder into a cargo hold aboard the SS Golden Gate while it was docked in Seattle, WA. There was wheat dust and kernels on the deck of the hold causing the deck to become slippery. Stevedore Shaun Maloney, fell and injured his right wrist and he was awarded $22,300 in damages as the ship owed him a “reasonably safe place to do his work”. Ruling here.

There is another later slip and fall case by another longshoreman against the vessel SS Copiapo when he fell in 1963 on some newspapers covering an oil spill thereby injuring his shoulder. Details here.

But I can’t find any more mention of this collision on the web. Perhaps it was settled by insurance and never went to court. But I certainly would want to learn more! Does anyone reading this have access to Lexis/Nexis for a deeper search?

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