NTSB reports on collision with ATB that totaled an OSV

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its report on the November 14, 2019, incident in which, about about 2.15 p.m. local time, the offshore supply vessel Cheramie Bo Truc No. 22 was outbound for sea transiting Sabine Pass with a crew of five, when it collided with the inbound articulated tug and barge (ATB) Mariya Moran/Texas, with a pilot and nine crew aboard, in the vicinity of Texas Point.

About 6,641 gallons of diesel oil were released, and the waterway was closed for 12 hours. No injuries were reported.

The Cheramie Bo Truc No 22, valued at $1.2 million, was declared a total loss. The Mariya Moran and Texas sustained $654,572 in damages.

PROBABLE CAUSE

​The NTSB determines that the probable cause of the collision between the vessels was the offshore supply vessel mate’s turn across the path of the ATB during a meeting situation. Contributing to the accident was a lack of early communication from both vessels.

This is another case in which you have to read the entire report to get an insight into what happened.

Here are just a couple of excerpts:

“About 0414, Cheramie Bo Truc No 22 started a turn to starboard. The AB and engineer noticed the mate start the turn and recommended he come left to avoid the ATB. The mate did not acknowledge them.

The Mariya Moran/Texas pilot hailed the Cheramie Bo Truc No 22 on channel 13, to which the mate answered. During the radio call, believing a collision was imminent on the Cheramie Bo Truc No 22, the AB left the bridge, and the engineer ran from the port side of the bridge to starboard and braced himself.”

“The alcohol swab test, although indicative that the mate consumed alcohol sometime prior to the voyage, does not demonstrate conclusively that the mate was impaired by alcohol. The regulatory limit for commercial mariners is 0.04 g/dL. However, attempting to use the autopilot in a channel, nearly colliding with stationary jack-ups, weaving across the channel, ignoring the warnings from the on-watch AB and engineer in the wheelhouse, and suddenly turning in front of the ATB all indicate a degree of misjudgment, impairment, and/or incompetence.”

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