The following is a marine accident brief from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):
(WASHINGTON) — On Jan. 21, 2016, the towing vessel Amy Frances was pushing a flotilla of six barges downbound on the Lower Mississippi River near Natchez, Miss. At 1247, the port lead barge in the tow, MM-46, allided with the center pier of the Natchez–Vidalia Highway 84 Bridge. The allision breached a forward cargo tank on the barge, resulting in the release of 24,654 gallons of catalytic cracked clarified oil into the river. The estimated damage exceeded $542,000. There were no injuries in the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the Amy Frances tow with the Natchez–Vidalia Highway 84 Bridge was the pilot’s failure to properly compensate for the current in the vicinity of the bridge while proceeding downbound under high-water conditions, and the captain’s failure to recognize the pilot’s inexperience with these conditions and assist the pilot with the maneuver.
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