Towing safety report shows second-lowest crew fatality rate

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — For almost 30 years, the Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership’s National Quality Steering Committee has been tracking overall trends in towing industry safety and environmental protection, which it conveys in an annual report. This year’s report, compiled by the Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, included the following notable findings:

• The 2022 crewmember fatality rate per 100,000 full-time employees (FTE) was the second-lowest ever recorded by the partnership.
• Four towing vessel crewmembers died in incidents related to towing vessel operations in 2022. Two of the fatalities were attributable to a fall into water, one was the result of being struck by a line, and one was due to being struck by a suspended load during crane operations.
• For the second year running, the partnership recorded the lowest tank barge oil spill volume since 2010 and the second-lowest ever: 3,109 gallons. The tank barge spill rate for 2022 was 0.05 gallons of oil, or less than one cup per million gallons transported.

The report also presents towing vessel casualties and towing vessel crewmember injuries by number and severity.

– American Waterways Operators

Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership graphic (blue dots represent the five-year moving average)


By Professional Mariner Staff