NTSB cites lack of steering gear upgrade in Louisiana bulker accident


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

Executive summary

​At 2215 local time on Aug. 12, 2014, the outbound bulk carrier Flag Gangos collided with the berthed oil tanker Pamisos on the Mississippi River at Gretna, La. Flag Gangos subsequently allided with a pier at the facility where Pamisos was berthed, and the pier struck and damaged a fuel barge, WEB235, berthed behind Pamisos. No one was injured, but about 1,200 gallons of oil that was being transferred at the time spilled from the transfer lines, and some of the oil entered the river. Damage amounts were reported as $16 million for the terminal, more than $500,000 each for Flag Gangos and Pamisos, and about $418,000 for the fuel barge.

Probable cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the delay by Flag Gangos’ operating company in completing a mandatory upgrade to the vessel’s steering system, and failure to routinely test the steering system’s hydraulic fluid for debris as required by the manufacturer. Contributing was the failure of the steering system manufacturer to schedule and complete the mandatory upgrade.

Click here to view the complete report.

By Professional Mariner Staff