NTSB cites captain's 'failure to plan' in Virginia bridge allision

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

(WASHINGTON) — At 0720 on April 26, 2015, the barge Gayle Force struck the unmanned Norfolk Southern Railway Bridge No. 7 on the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Va., while being towed by the tugboat Simone. The allision caused $1.8 million in damage to the bridge and stopped rail traffic for nearly 36 hours. Damage to the barge was negligible. No one was injured, and there was no pollution associated with the accident.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the barge Gayle Force with the Norfolk Southern Bridge No. 7 was the Simone captain’s failure to plan for the bridge transit and effectively use the assist tugboat.

Click here to view the complete report.

By Professional Mariner Staff