NTSB: Overreliance on buoys resulted in tow hitting grain terminal

The incident involving Andrew Cargill MacMillan caused $8 million in damage
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NTSB photo
Preaccident image of Andrew Cargill MacMillan

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

(WASHINGTON) — On Oct. 23, 2018, about 1426 local time, the towing vessel Andrew Cargill MacMillan was pushing 42 loaded barges southbound on the Lower Mississippi River near Tallulah, La. While rounding a bend, the tow touched bottom, resulting in the head of the tow contacting breasting dolphins and a conveyor at the Farmers Grain Terminal at mile 442.4. The conveyor was destroyed, and the dolphins and a lead barge were damaged. There were no injuries to the 10 crew on board or anyone ashore. There was no release of pollutants. Damage was estimated at $8 million for the conveyor and dolphins and about $74,000 for the barge.

Probable cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the contact of the tow of Andrew Cargill MacMillan with the Farmers Grain Terminal breasting dolphins and conveyor was the pilot’s overreliance on floating aids to navigation (ATON), which resulted in the tow being out of position and sliding too deep into the bend before the terminal to recover and successfully complete the turn.

Click here to read the complete report.

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