NTSB: Poor maintenance led to towboat capsize

Written by Nick Blenkey
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NTSB seal

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued the report of its investigation of the October 9, 2018 capsizing of a 39 year old towboat at mile 142 on the Lower Mississippi River near Reserve, La.

The report notes that, at 1630 local time, the 1979-built fleet towboat Miss Roslyn, owned by Marquette Transportation Company Gulf-Inland, LLC, was traveling downbound when it began to flood and list to starboard. The three crew members abandoned the towboat onto a moored fleet barge and a Good Samaritan vessel.

The Miss Roslyn capsized and sank on its starboard side. No injuries were reported. There was a visible oil sheen; containment booms and absorbent pads were placed around the vessel. Damages from flooding were estimated at $1,130,000.

The NTSB report notes:

“The severe wastage found throughout the vessel in the post-accident survey indicates that the Miss Roslyn was poorly maintained. The company did not have an effective maintenance program on board the vessel, so holes in and fractures to the hull and deck went undetected and ultimately led to flooding while the vessel was conducting normal operations. An effective maintenance program would have prevented the holes from forming and made identification of hull fractures easier to see and flag for repair, or helped to determine when the vessel had outlived its useful service life.”

PROBABLE CAUSE

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the capsizing of the Miss Roslyn was the company’s lack of effective hull inspection and maintenance program, which resulted in flooding into a steering void through multiple wastage holes in the hull.

Download the NTSB report HERE

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