Houston Pilots: Ultra-low sulfur fuel likely caused 2015 collision, chemical spill


(HOUSTON) — The Houston Pilots Association contends that a 2015 collision involving the bulk carrier Conti Peridot and tanker Carla Maersk, which resulted in a chemical spill, was most likely caused by a switch to ultra-low sulfur fuel aboard the bulker, the Houston Chronicle reported. The pilots' conclusion that the fuel caused Conti Peridot to unexpectedly lose power seconds before the accident in the Houston Ship Channel stands in contrast to an investigation summary released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which described pilot decision-making as the "probable cause" of the accident. George C. "Chris" Reeser, Conti Peridot's pilot, and the Houston Pilots' current and past presiding officers all say they believe that the root cause of the crash was likely the combination of the ultra-low sulfur fuel and the ship's poor handling characteristics.

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By Professional Mariner Staff