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NTSB: River conditions 'overwhelmed' pilot in Nashville allision

May 18, 2018 10:10 AM

Steve Plummer's three-barge tow hit the CSX Railroad bridge in swift currents

Barges from the tow are shown pinned against the upstream side of the CSX Railroad Bridge in Nashville, Tenn., after the strike.

Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Barges from the tow are shown pinned against the upstream side of the CSX Railroad Bridge in Nashville, Tenn., after the strike.

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

(WASHINGTON) — ‚ÄčOn March 11, 2017, at 1120 local time, the towing vessel Steve Plummer was pushing three loaded barges on the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tenn. As the tow passed beneath the CSX Railroad Bridge at mile 190.4, the second and third barges allided with the bridge’s upstream guard pier 1. No injuries or pollution resulted from the accident; however, the two barges sustained damage and the guard pier was destroyed in the allision.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Steve Plummer tow’s allision with the CSX Railroad Bridge was the pilot’s decision to tow three loaded barges during rising river conditions with swift currents, which overwhelmed his ability to maneuver the tow through the bridge.

Click here to read the complete report.

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