NTSB says actions of bulker pilot and tug captain probably caused collision on Mississippi

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that a multiple-vessel collision on the Lower Mississippi River in Louisiana almost a year ago, was probably caused by the actions of the pilot on a bulk carrier and the captain of a tug.

All told, $60m-worth of damage resulted from the incident which involved bulker Aris T, towing vessel Pedernales, a tank barge and two left bankside structures at Norco in St Charles Parish.

The events happened on the evening of January 31, 2016, and also included damage to another shore side structure, another towing vessel and two other tank barges.

NTSB says the pilot of the Aris T failed to take early and effective action in response to a traffic situation upriver, and the captain of tug Loretta G Cenac was distracted from safety-critical functions because he was using his cellphone.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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