NTSB cites bridge tender's delay in Louisiana barge allision

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The following is a marine accident brief from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — On June 9, 2017, the towing vessel Marguerite L. Terral was pushing a flotilla of six cargo barges downbound on the Atchafalaya River in Krotz Springs, La., 35 miles west of Baton Rouge. At 1428 local time, the starboard lead barge in the tow, RM 3367, and the barge immediately aft, RM 3304B, contacted a pier of the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge at mile marker 41.5. The allision resulted in damage to both barges and the bridge, totaling more than $4 million in repairs. There were no reports of pollution or injuries associated with this accident.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the Marguerite L. Terral tow with the Krotz Springs Railroad Bridge was the bridge tender’s delay in providing a timely opening of the draw span, as requested, due to distraction by his other duties. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to properly compensate for the current during the approach to the bridge.

Click here to read the full report.

By Professional Mariner Staff