Late-night crash between powerboat and tugboat leaves one person with traumatic injuries

A late-night collision between a 30-foot powerboat and a tugboat at the Port of Long Beach resulted in one victim being rushed to a local hospital with traumatic injuries, according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

The crash happened around 11:30 p.m Wednesday near Pier T, according to authorities. That’s when the fire department’s marine safety division responded to a mayday call sent out from the radio of a tugboat that had been hit by a powerboat traveling toward Long Beach inside the harbor at a speed of approximately 30 knots, according to Marine Safety Chief Gonzalo Medina.

There were three people on the powerboat, which lost an outboard engine during the collision and begin circling as a result, authorities reported.

Rescue crews “were fortunately nearby and were able to get to them quickly,” Medina said. The powerboat operator was transported to a local hospital while the passengers sustained only minor injuries, according to Medina.

It’s not unusual for boats to be traveling in the channel late at night, Medina said.

“There’s a lot of commercial vessels out there. It’s a busy port and there’s a lot of private vessels as well,” he said.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation.

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Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.