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

‚ÄčThe 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