NTSB: Downstreaming 'ill-advised' before fatal capsizing


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

(WASHINGTON) — About 0752 local time on April 19, 2016, the uninspected towing vessel Ricky J Leboeuf capsized and later sank while attempting to remove a barge from a fleeting area in the San Jacinto River near Channelview, Texas. Four of the five crewmembers survived, but one deckhand died. The vessel sustained an estimated $900,000 in damage, rendering it a constructive total loss. About 10,400 gallons of diesel oil, lubricating oil and other contaminants were released into the river when the vessel sank.

Probable cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the capsizing and sinking of the towing vessel Ricky J Leboeuf was the relief captain’s ill-advised decision to perform a downstreaming maneuver in high water conditions without implementing the operating company’s risk mitigation strategies or other safeguards.

Click here to read the complete report.

By Professional Mariner Staff