NTSB: Operators disregarded forecast before dual Mass. sinkings

Seas exceeded limits that had been established for the voyage, the agency says
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NTSB photo
The workboat R.E. Pierson 2 before the accident.

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

(WASHINGTON) — On Dec. 2, 2018, about 0930 local time, the towing vessel Big Jake was underway in Massachusetts Bay towing five barges and two workboats when the tow broke apart. As a result of the breakaway, the barge Dredge200 and the workboat R.E. Pierson 2 both sank. Two crewmembers sustained minor injuries. Although both sunken vessels had fuel and lube oil on board, no visible oil sheen or pollution was reported. Estimated value of Dredge200 and R.E. Pierson 2 totaled $1.98 million.

Probable cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the capsizing and sinking of Dredge200 and R.E. Pierson 2 was the decision by the tow captain and owner to attempt a transit in forecasted wind and waves that exceeded their original plan for the voyage.

Click here to read the complete report.

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