Tug captain’s license revoked following barge sinking

The sinking of a fertilizer barge on Virginia’s James River in January 2009 has led to the tugboat operator having his maritime license revoked by the U.S. Coast Guard, according to federal documents.

The tug captain had his merchant mariner’s license taken away by administrative law judge Michael J. Devine at a June 9 hearing in Norfolk. The tug Jacqueline A had been pushing the barge SL 119 when it began taking on water.

According to Coast Guard documents filed after the hearing, the captain was found guilty of negligence for beaching the listing barge and then pulling it back into the river, failing to report the barge’s sinking within five days as required and not informing officials prior to the sinking that the barge was unseaworthy. •

Rafael Alvarez

By Professional Mariner Staff