NTSB cites underestimation of current in Lower Miss. towboat sinking


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

(WASHINGTON) — At about 1530 local time on April 17, 2017, while attempting to maneuver a string of barges from a barge fleet on the right descending bank of the Lower Mississippi River near mile marker 940, about four miles from Columbus, Ky., the uninspected towing vessel Todd Brown collided with the lead barges moored downriver and sank. Before the sinking, all six crewmembers abandoned the vessel by climbing aboard the barges without reported injury. Approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel were released during salvage operations but later recovered. Damage to the vessel was estimated at $1.5 million.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision and sinking of the uninspected towing vessel Todd Brown was the pilot’s underestimation of the effect of the river current on the barge string being maneuvered during a de-drifting operation.

Click here to read the report.

By Professional Mariner Staff