October 1, 2022 06:23

NTSB finds human error in fatal collision between towing vessels on Mississippi

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US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says there was insufficient communication between Cooperative Spirit and RC Creppel that resulted in fatal sinking near Destrehan, Louisiana.

The US NTSB has concluded its investigation into the fatal collision between two towing vessels on the Mississippi River on January 26th, 2020.

Towing vessels Cooperative Spirit and the RC Creppel collided near Destrehan, Louisiana, resulting in the capsize and sinking of the RC Creppel, with four crew members aboard. One crew was rescued, the other three were never found.

In summing up its investigation, the NTSB said a lack of communication between the two vessels and not broadcasting accurate Automatic Identification System information regarding tow size was to blame for the accident.

“When meeting or overtaking a vessel in a bend, especially where high-water conditions can increase the risk of a collision, early and effective communication is critical to ensuring a successful meeting,” the report said.

“The use of very high frequency radio can help to dispel assumptions and provide bridge teams and towing vessel operators with the information needed to better assess each vessel’s intentions.”

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