NEW ORLEANS—A fatal head-on accident between ships pushed by two towboats in Louisiana was caused by insufficient communication and a failure to transmit their aggregate sizes, the National Transportation Safety Board says.
RC Krepel overturned and sank after a collision with Cooperative Spirit on January 26, 2020 at 5:30 am. Its pilot, captain and one of the two crew were never found. A second crewmember was rescued.
The report, released in August, stated that the first of two barges pushed by RC Krepel struck some of the 40 barges pushed by Cooperative Spirit as they tried to cross each other in a bend of the Mississippi River near Destrahan. Was doing.
Destrahan is about 15 miles west of New Orleans, but about 20 miles along the winding river. RC Creppel was going down and cooperative spirit was going up.
The agency said that neither boat’s pilot had entered the boat’s overall dimensions and tow into the boat’s automatic detection system, even though earlier NTSB reports suggested it was important to do so.
Each was broadcasting only the size of Tobot: 69 feet long for RC Krepel, 200 feet for Co-Operative Spirit.
The large boat barges, however, extend further to 1,400 feet and 210 feet, the report said. This made the total length about a third of a mile.
The report said boats approaching each other would have had a better picture if either of them had included their tow size in the transmission.
The report said RC Krepel’s pilot gave the Cooperative Spirit’s pilot the full dimensions—514 feet by 42 feet—during a radio call to work on the plans. But, it said, the pilot of the larger boat did not provide such information and the pilot of RC Krepel did not ask.
Another call may have clarified what each pilot planned to do, but no subsequent calls were made, the report said.
“The absence of a radio call or ‘danger’ signal indicates that neither pilot was aware of the impending collision,” the report said.
It said the cooperative spirit pilot believed that the pilot of the small boat was “in a better place to observe and assess their meeting, and that he had plenty of room to walk.”
But, it said, “Looking at each other about 50 seconds before the accident, either the pilot had the least amount of time to react or respond to the other ship’s movements to avoid a collision.”
Both RC Creppel’s barge and the Cooperative Spirit’s seven broke loose. Then the Glory First, a fully loaded cargo ship, collided with the rest of the tow. They also got free at 33 bar.
The small boat’s first barge was empty but the second leaked sulfuric acid vapor. About 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the sinking boat leaked into the river.
The NTSB said the estimated damage to the three ships and 11 ships was approximately $3.8 million.
The agency noted that in 2016 it was recommended that the Coast Guard, U.S. Waterway Operators, and the Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services work together to change regulations, procedures, and equipment standards to ensure that automated information The system also transmits tow size and configuration. as the length of the boat.
It’s still not necessary.
“We generally expect the tasks we recommend to be completed within 5 years; however, these safety recommendations are about 5 years old, and we have not received any information from the Coast Guard about them in more than 4 years. Update has not been received,” the NTSB wrote to the Coast Guard on August 20.
According to NTSB webpages, the Tugboat, Tobot and Barge industry group described what it had done a year ago and the Radio Commission responded on September 7, but the Coast Guard has not updated the board since 2017.
The Coast Guard has been preparing a response, including its actions since 2017, Coast Guard spokesman Kurt Fredrickson said in an email Tuesday.
The NTSB emphasizes that it does not blame or blame for maritime accidents. Rather, it says, it seeks facts without fixing liabilities or rights.
by Janet McConaughey
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times