November 2021 Casualties newsletter

Second ship identified in Calif. pipeline strike

U.S. Coast Guard officials investigating damage to a California oil pipeline have identified a second ship that might have been involved.

Authorities boarded the 1,150-foot containership Beijing on Nov. 18 when it arrived in the Port of Long Beach. The service said Beijing was involved in a Jan. 25, 2021 anchor-dragging incident near the pipeline, which spilled oil earlier this fall.

The Coast Guard has deemed vessel operator V. Ships Greece Ltd. and Capetanissa Maritime Corp. of Liberia as “parties of interest” to the ongoing pipeline casualty investigation.

For more information on the Coast Guard action, click here.


NTSB: Swing span over-rotated into channel before barge impact 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigation of the Nov. 22, 2020, accident involving barges towed by the vessels Trent Joseph and George C. and the Barataria Bridge near Barataria, La. 

Trent Joseph and George C. were towing two barges southbound in the Barataria Waterway. While passing through the open Barataria Bridge, the second barge contacted the bridge’s swing span.  

Investigators determined the probable cause of the contact of the Trent Joseph tow with the Barataria Bridge was a corner of the bridge’s swing span protruding outside of its protective fendering into the navigable channel.  

 For more details on the incident click here.


Casualty flashback: November 1913  

The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 brought blizzard conditions and hurricane-force winds across the Upper Midwest between Nov. 7 and Nov. 10. The storm was especially devastating to the shipping industry.  

At least 10 ships sank, most in Lake Huron, with a total loss of almost up to 235 sailors. That figure included 25 sailors aboard the freighter S.S. John A. McGean.    

The 452-foot ship sailed into the storm on Nov. 7, and was last seen near Port Hope, Mich., in Lake Huron. The vessel was never seen again, until 1985 when its wreckage was found near the shore on Bayfield, Ontario.  

Reports suggest a large wave swamped the ship, causing it to sink during the storm. The remains of only one crewmember were found later that month.  

Other lost ships during the storm included the Isaac M. Scott, Charles S. Price, Argus and Hydrus, among others.

By Professional Mariner Staff