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NTSB: Inadequate manning, fatigue led to fatal NY tugboat sinking

May 24, 2017 04:38 PM

Specialist struck a Hudson River construction barge and sank, resulting in three deaths

The tug Specialist is shown moments after striking barge N181.

Courtesy NTSB

The tug Specialist is shown moments after striking barge N181.

The following is a marine accident brief from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB):

(WASHINGTON) — About 0500 on Saturday, March 12, 2016, the uninspected towing vessel Specialist, transiting southbound on the Hudson River while towing a tower crane barge with two other tugboats, struck a construction barge that was spudded down alongside a concrete pier at the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction site. Specialist subsequently sank, resulting in three crew fatalities. Specialist was raised to the surface on March 24, 2016, and declared a constructive total loss.

Probable cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision and sinking of Specialist was inadequate manning, resulting in fatigued crewmembers navigating three tugboats with obstructed visibility due to the size of the crane on the barge they were towing and the location of the tugboats alongside the barge.

Click here to read the complete report.

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