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The Tug Accident - January 19, 1958
The Jim Steers, Steers Sand & Gravel Company, New York

Albert Henry Reichert (1916 - 1958) and Albert Edward Reichert (1936 - 1958)

During a storm on January 19, 1958, "The tug...manned by Capt. Albert Reichert, 42; his son, Albert, Jr., 22, deckhand; and Herbert Johnson, 54" sunk in the Long Island Sound near the Stepping Stone Lighthouse near Great Neck (Discover Missing Tug Sunken in L.I. Sound, Source Unknown). According to reports, "at the time of her disappearance, the Jim Steers was heading east on the Sound for Northport, L.I., her home port, in company with her sister tug, the George Steers. Only minutes before the Jim Steers vanished, the two tugs had been in touch by radio telephone, and nothing was amiss. Those aboard the George Steers were not alarmed when they lost sight of their companion tug, and did not realize the boat was missing for hours after they arrived at Northport. The following day, Capt. Anthony Hines, master of the tug Chaplain, reported to the Coast Guard that a steel oil barge he was towing struck "something" near Stepping Stone Light House close to the time the Jim Steers was last heard from. The Chaplain was towing the oil barge Hygrade No. 18. The barge captain, Trond Osthus of 861 56th st., Brooklyn, said he was in his cabin when he heard a "bump," then felt and heard an object rolling beneath the hull. Oathus ran from the cabin of his 235-foot craft and saw "a dark object and some bubbles about 50 feet astern," he later testified at a Coast Guard hearing (Heard on Air, Source Unknown)."

Once the tug boat was located, "submerged in 70 feet of water near Stepping Stone Light, southwest of Kings Point, L.I.," the search began for the bodies of the crew.

Timeline

  • January 19, 1958: The tug sunk at Hell Gate in the East River.
  • February 28, 1958: The tug was located in the L.I. Sound.
  • March 1, 1958: The body of Albert Reichert, Jr. was recovered aboard the sunken tug once it was raised from the bottom of the Sound.
  • April 22, 1958: Herbert G. Johnson was recovered.
  • May 7, 1958: Capt. Albert Reichert was recovered.

News Coverage

Jan 21, 1958 Search of Sound Fails to Find Tug
Jan 23, 1958 Objects from Tug Washed up In L.I.
Jan 25, 1958 Divers in L.I. Sound Fail to Locate Tug
Feb 18, 1958 Coast Guard Will Hold Brief Hearing on Lost Tug
Feb 27, 1958 Discover Missing Tug Sunken in L.I. Sound
Feb 28, 1958 Sunk Tug Found in L.I. Sound
Abt. Feb 28, 1958 Two Local Men Missing in Tug May Be Found
Abt. Feb 28, 1958 Divers Set To Search Sunken Tug
Abt. Feb 28, 1958 Body May Be Steers Crewman
Feb 28, 1958 Missing Tugboat Believed Found
Abt. Mar 1, 1958 Sunken Tug Is Raised, One Body Recovered
Mar 2, 1958 Sunken Tugboat is Raised in Sound
Mar 3, 1958 Recovered Tug in Yard
Mar 11, 1958 FBI is Called In - Aid Asked in Finding Cause of Tugboat Sinking
Apr 23, 1958 Tugboat Victim Found
May 9, 1958 Lost Tug's Captain Identified
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