Jun 29, 2016 7:55 PM

Tanker hits unmanned sailboats near Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH- An investigation is under way around the circumstances surrounding a collision between an oil tanker and three unmanned sailboats near the mouth of the Piscataqua River Wednesday afternoon.

No injuries or pollution have been reported after the a 477-foot tanker Chem Venus.

At approximately 4 p.m. Coast Guard watchstanders were notified of the collision involving the tanker and the sailboats. All three sailboats, which were unoccupied at anchorage, were damaged but remained afloat.

The Coast Guard launched two 47-foot Motor Lifeboats from Station Portsmouth Harbor and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod to check for spills.

The Coast Guard is taking initial response actions to determine if there is any damage to the Chem Venus, and working to contact the owners of the sailboats.

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