Judge awards Kirby Inland Marine $17.4m in collision and response damages and clears BW gas carrier of any culpability.
A US judge has ruled that a collision between the 82,400-cbm, K Line VLGC Genesis River, and the Kirby Inland Marine-owned tug, Voyager, in the Houston Ship Canal in 2019, was the sole fault of the K Line vessel.
The accident resulted in a major pollution incident after the two barges the tug was towing spilled their cargo of 400,000 gallons of reformate, a gasoline-blending stock, into Galveston Bay.
A statement from the Texas court dealing with the case said: “Had the Genesis River travelled at a safe speed, she could have at least partially abated the hydrodynamic forces she encountered, widened her margin of error, and gained more time to take evasive action…”.
The court also cleared the BW Group VLGC, BW Oak, of any involvement in the incident and concluded that neither the Voyager or BW Oak had violated any inland navigation rules.