Second body pulled from Hudson River after tugboat crash

By Danielle Haynes and Shawn Price  |  Updated March 14, 2016 at 1:57 AM
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NEW YORK, March 13 (UPI) -- Searchers pulled the body of a tugboat crew member from the Hudson River on Sunday one day after the vessel slammed into a construction barge beneath the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

The death toll from the crash is two, and one person remains missing.

Timothy Conklin, 29, of Westbury, N.Y., was pulled from the river around 11:18 a.m. The crew member found dead Saturday was identified as Paul Amon, 52, of Bayville, N.J. Fifty-six-year-old Harry Hernandez, of Staten Island, N.Y., remains missing.

Conklin's body was discovered on board the tugboat under about 40 feet of water.

"He was located in a passageway just inside one of the starboard entryways," said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Mark Magrino.

The search for Hernandez was called on Sunday evening due to rough waters and a lack of progress.

New York city and state divers have had to contend with visibility of only about 6 inches and strong currents, keeping them from being able to get down to the sunken ship only during slack tides.

The incident happened just before dawn at 5:18 a.m. Saturday. The tugboat, dubbed the Specialist, was one of three guiding a ship carrying a piece of construction equipment to a site in Jersey City when it struck the barge and sank. Those aboard the other two tugboats attempted to save the three-person Specialist crew. They were not able to reach them before the Specialist sank.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino on Saturday said investigators were trying to determine what caused the collision. He said it was possible construction lights at the site of the new Tappan Zee Bridge played a role in the accident.

The tugboat had about 5,000 gallons of fuel aboard and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state's Department of Environmental Conservation was working to contain the spill.

Eric DuVall contributed to this report.

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