NTSB cites bridge monitoring, fatigue in Houston allision


The following is text of a news release from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — At 0250 local time on June 13, 2018, the inbound bulk carrier Yochow collided with the articulated tug-barge (ATB) OSG Independence/OSG 243, which was moored at the TPC Group Inc. facility on the Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas. OSG 243’s tanks were empty and awaiting a cargo of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE). As a result of the collision, two of the barge’s tanks and Yochow’s bulbous bow were holed, and the facility suffered extensive structural damage. There were no injuries among the crew of 18 on the Yochow or the eight aboard the tug OSG Independence, nor was any pollution reported. Damage to the facility ($20 million), the barge ($1 million), and the bulk carrier ($338,000) amounted to an estimated $21,338,000.

Probable cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision of the bulk carrier Yochow with the tank barge of the articulated tug-barge OSG Independence/OSG 243 was the mate’s failure to effectively monitor the helmsman, contrary to the principles of good bridge resource management. Contributing to the accident was the lack of company and shipboard oversight to ensure crewmembers adhered to work/rest guidelines, resulting in fatigue of the helmsman.

Click here to read the report.

By Professional Mariner Staff