Why Study Accident Reports?

Because it is a lot cheaper than having one yourself???

In all seriousness, much can be said for reading about what has happened to others on the water. For me personally, I begin to visualize the chain of events that led up to the accident, the decision making involved (whether good or bad), and can see where, had one of these events been removed from the chain, the accident may have been avoided.

Remember, the common sense decision process as well as situational awareness begins long before you step aboard your boat.



~Loss of the Morning Dew with All Hands~

During the early morning hours of December 29, 1997, the 34-foot recreational sailing vessel Morning Dew struck the rock jetty on the north side of the shipping channel into the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. The owner/operator of the vessel and his three passengers, all members of the same family, died as a result of the accident.


~The Sinking of DUKW-34~

On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, the empty 250-foot-long sludge barge The Resource, being towed alongside the 78.9-foot-long tugboat Caribbean Sea, collided with the anchored 33-foot-long amphibious passenger vehicle DUKW 34 in the Delaware River at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DUKW 34 carried 35 passengers and 2 crewmembers. On board the Caribbean Sea were five crewmembers. As a result of the collision, DUKW 34 sank in about 55 feet of water. Two passengers were fatally injured, and 26 passengers suffered minor injuries. No one on the Caribbean Sea was injured. Damage to DUKW 34 totaled $130,470. Damage to the barge was minimal; no repairs were made.


~Capsize and Loss of the Taki-Tooo~

On June 14, 2003, the small passenger vessel Taki-Tooo, a U.S. charter fishing vessel with 2 crewmen and 17 passengers on board, was enroute from the marina to the ocean for a day of fishing. A small craft advisory was in effect. The U.S. Coast Guard had activated the rough bar warning signs based on their assessments of existing hazardous conditions. At the inlet, the Taki-Tooo operator waited in the channel for an opening in the ocean swells so that he could cross the bar. After the Taki-Tooo exited the inlet and turned northward around the north jetty, a wave struck and capsized the vessel. As a result of this accident, 11 people died; 8 people sustained minor injuries. The vessel, which had a replacement value of $180,000, was declared a total loss.


~The Capsize and Sinking of the Ethan Allen~

On the afternoon of October 2, 2005, the New York State-certificated public vessel Ethan Allen, with a New York State-licensed operator and 47 passengers on board, departed the marina at Lake George, New York, for a cruise of the lake. The vessel proceeded northbound along the western side of the lake at an estimated speed of 8 mph. As it neared Cramer Point, the operator began a turn to the right. At the same time, the Ethan Allen encountered a wave or waves generated by one or more vessels on its starboard side. Within a few seconds, the Ethan Allen rolled to port and overturned. It began to sink about 15 minutes later. Operators of recreational vessels nearby observed the accident, proceeded immediately to the site, and began rescuing survivors. Twenty passengers died, three received serious injuries, and six received minor injuries in the accident. The operator and 18 passengers survived without injury. The resulting damage to the vessel and its components was estimated at $21,000.


~Collision on the St. Croix River~

About 0125 on July 3, 1999, a 27-foot Advantage recreational motorboat (Advantage) with three men on board and a 22-foot Bayliner recreational motorboat (Bayliner) with two men on board collided on the St. Croix River near Bayport, Minnesota. No one witnessed the accident; however, the damage path across the top of the Bayliner indicated that the Advantage struck the starboard side of the Bayliner, forward of the windshield, and passed over the motorboat. All five occupants of the two motorboats died as a result of the collision. The three occupants of the Advantage died from drowning. The two occupants of the Bayliner died from blunt force trauma.


~Collision of the Bayside Blaster~

About 2013 on January 12, 2002, the 24-foot Coast Guard patrol boat CG242513, with two crewmembers on board, was on a routine recreational boating safety and manatee-zone patrol in Biscayne Bay, Florida, when it collided with the small passenger vessel Bayside Blaster, carrying 2 crewmembers and 53 passengers. Both Coast Guard crewmembers were ejected from their boat. The patrol boat continued running, circled to port, and struck the Bayside Blaster again. The unmanned Coast Guard patrol boat continued to circle for 10 to 15 minutes, striking a moored recreational boat two times and pilings near the shore. Five passengers who reported being injured were taken to the Coast Guard Station, where they were triaged. The two Coast Guard crewmembers were triaged by paramedics on Palm Island, taken to a nearby hospital for further examination.


~The Little Man II Allison~

About 1915 eastern daylight time on Sunday, April 12, 2009, an unnamed 22.5-foot recreational boat carrying 14 persons allided with the Little Man II, a 25.9-foot push boat (a type of towboat) moored near Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County, Florida. An hour earlier, the recreational boat had departed a marina/restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida, and was northbound in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to a marina in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, a distance of about 30 miles (figure 1). Five persons on the boat died at the accident scene. The remaining nine persons were injured, seven seriously.


~Collision of the Thriller~

About 2028 the evening of Saturday, December 5, 2009, a 25-foot USCG response boat collided with the 55-foot-long small passenger vessel Thriller 09 in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The Coast Guard boat with 3 crew, was returning from escort duty while the Thriller was engaged in a nighttime sightseeing tour with 2 crew and 22 passengers on board. Six persons on the Thriller received medical treatment for injuries.


~The Sinking of the Sydney Mae II~

On the evening of September 19, 2005 the Sydney Mae II, with the captain and 4 passengers, on board, were returning to the Umpqua River bar in Oregon after a day’s fishing. The bar crossing had been closed to recreational and uninspected vessels by the Coast Guard earlier at 1630. At about 2030, the captain’s decision to approach the Umpqua River bar too closely during hazardous conditions resulted in the Sydney Mae II being struck at the stern by (2) 10 to 12 foot waves swamping and sinking the vessel. As a result of the sinking 3 passengers died and the vessel was declared a total loss.


~The Sinking of the Panther~

On December 30, 2002, the passenger vessel Panther, a 31-foot open boat operated by Everglades National Park Boat Tours, was on its third tour of the day in Everglades National Park, Florida, with 33 passengers on board (including 5 children) plus the captain. Midway through the tour, shortly after 1430, the vessel sank in Indian Key Pass. Three nearby vessels responded to the accident and rescued passengers and crew from the water. No fatalities resulted from the accident, but one passenger suffered a serious injury.


~The Capsizing of the Lady D~

On March 6, 2004, the small passenger vessel Lady D, a water taxi with 2 crewmembers and 23 passengers on board, was enroute from Fort McHenry to Fells Point, Maryland, when it encountered a rapidly developing storm with high winds. The vessel began to roll in the waves and eventually continued over onto its starboard side and capsized. Responders were able to rescue or recover all but 3 occupants of the Lady D and transport them to area hospitals within an hour of the accident. As a result of this accident, 5 passengers died; 4 passengers suffered serious injuries; and 12 people sustained minor injuries.


~The Sinking of the Lady Mary~

On March 18, 2009, the small fishing vessel Lady Mary departed her home port of Cape May, NJ for scallop fishing. Between 0510 and 0540 on the morning of March 24, 2009, the Lady Mary sank in 210 feet of water off the coast of New Jersey 65 miles southeast of Cape May. At the time of the sinking, the Lady Mary was engaged in dredging for scallops with 11,000 pounds already in her fish hold. As a result of this loss (6) crewmembers died and (1) crewmember survived. (2) Crewmembers bodies have yet to be recovered.


~The San Diego Sea Ray Collision~

On December 20, 2009, about 1744 Pacific Standard Time, the 33-foot-long Coast Guard vessel CG 33118, with five crewmembers on board, collided with a 24-foot-long Sea Ray recreational vessel with state registration number CF 2607 PZ, carrying 13 people, on San Diego Bay, California. As a result of the collision, an 8-year-old boy on board the Sea Ray was fatally injured and four other people on board sustained serious injuries. No CG 33118 crewmembers were injured in the accident.


~Capsize and Sinking of the Miss Penelope~

About 1355 on January 28 1998, The vessel Miss Penelope with 4 crew on board, capsized and sank in heavy weather 74 NM south of Montauk, NY. The master departed Newport, RI into a known weather forecast predicting 30 – 40 knot winds and 10 to 15 foot seas 2 days earlier. 3 Crewmembers were rescued and 1 crewmember died as a result of the accident.


~The Sinking of the Lucky Diamond~

About 2200 on May 10, 2012 the fishing vessel "Lucky Diamond" caught fire from an unknown origin; burning for several hours before sinking in the Gulf of Mexico. The master of the vessel suffered burns of the face and eyes and the remaining 3 Crewmembers were lost and presumed dead.


~The Loss of the Miss Majestic~

On May 1, 1999, the amphibious passenger vehicle Miss Majestic, with an operator and 20 passengers on board, sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas. About 7 minutes after entering the water, the vehicle listed to port and rapidly sank by the stern in 60 feet of water. Seven passengers escaped, but the remaining 13 passengers, including 3 children, lost their lives.


~The Sinking of the Katmai~

About midnight October 21–22, 2008, during a severe storm fishing vessel Katmai sank in the Bering Sea. The probable cause of the sinking was the loss of the vessel's watertight integrity because watertight doors and hatches were left open by the crew during severe weather allowing water to enter the vessel resulting in progressive flooding and sinking.

Of the 11 crewmembers on board, 4 were rescued, the bodies of 5 were recovered, and 2 remain missing and are presumed dead. Among other contributing factors to the accident was the master's decision to continue fishing operations during the approach of severe weather rather than seeking shelter.


~The Sinking of the Bounty~

On October 29, 2012, the tall ship Bounty sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, while attempting to transit through the forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy. Three of the 16 people on board were seriously injured, one crewmember died, and the captain was never found. The vessel's estimated value was $4 million.


~Miracle on the Hudson~

On January 15, 2009, about 1527 eastern standard time, US Airways flight 1549, an Airbus A320-214, N106US, experienced an almost complete loss of thrust in both engines after encountering a flock of birds and was subsequently ditched on the Hudson River about 8.5 miles from LaGuardia Airport (LGA), in New York City. The flight was enroute to Charlotte, North Carolina, and had departed LGA about 2 minutes before the bird encounter event occurred. The 150 passengers, including a lap-held child, and 5 crewmembers evacuated the airplane via the forward and overwing exits. One flight attendant and four passengers were seriously injured, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 121 on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions (VFR) prevailed at the time of the accident.

While this is a departure from our normal MARINE accident investigations. This is a great read and includes transcripts of the radio communications and the voice cockpit recorder. Less than 6 minutes from the time of take-off until the plane ditched. This had to be the longest or perhaps the shortest 6 minutes of these passengers’ lives!


~USS Greenville Collision~

At approximately 1343 local time on February 9, 2001 the USS Greenville collided with the Japanese training vessel Ehime Maru 9 miles south of Oahu, HI. The collision occurred while the USS Greenville was conducting an Emergency Main Ballast Tank Blow training evolution. The total cost of this accident was $80+ million dollars in damages and costs, 10 injured, and 9 dead.


~Megan McB Capsizing~

On July 3, 2013, at 0558 local time, the uninspected towing vessel Megan McB lost engine throttle control while the crew was trying to maneuver the vessel into the main lock of Lock and Dam 7 on the Mississippi River near La Crescent, Minnesota. Without engine throttle control to maneuver the vessel, the strong river current swept the Megan McB into gate no. 1 of the dam, where the vessel became pinned and capsized. One crewmember died in the accident.


~Grounding of the Exxon Valdez~

On 24 March 1989, the U.S. Tankship Exxon Valdez grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound near Valdez Alaska. At the time of the grounding, the vessel was loaded with about 1,263,000 barrels of crude oil and was under the navigational control of the 3rd Mate. 258,000 barrels of oil spilled into the waterway resulting in a total cost of $1.88 Billion Dollars.


~Sinking of the El Faro~

On 01 October 2015, about 0715 EDT, the USCG received distress alerts from the 737’ cargo ship "El Faro." The ship was 36 NM northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, and close to the eye of Hurricane Joaquin. The ship was enroute from Jacksonville, FL, to San Juan, PR. The El Faro’s master reported that the ship was experiencing some flooding, the crew had controlled the ingress of water but the ship was listing 15 degrees and had lost propulsion. The Coast Guard deployed helicopters and search vessels, but was hampered by hurricane force conditions. Twenty-eight US crewmembers and five Polish workers were on board.

Note:
On November 1st 2015, the Associated Press reported that the wreckage of the El Faro was believed to have been found in the vicinity of the ship's last known position (36 NM NE of Crooked and Acklins Islands in the Bahamas) at a depth of 15,000 feet. The wreckage appears to be in an upright position and in one piece.


~Abandonment of the Trinity II~

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, at about 1225 CDT, the 78.5 foot long lift-boat Trinity II, while elevated and working about 15 miles offshore in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico, sustained damage to its stern jacking leg from severe weather associated with Hurricane Nate. Four US crewmembers and six non-US contractors were on board the vessel.

When the stern jacking leg failed, it caused the vessel to list, the master placed a Mayday call over the radio and ordered everyone on board to abandon ship. All 10 persons, wearing lifejackets, entered the water where they clung to one of the vessel’s 12 person life-floats. Three days passed until search and rescuers finally located the survivors.


~Capsize and Sinking of the Glomar Java Sea~

At about 2355 October 25 1983, the 400 foot long Glomar Java Sea capsized and sank during Typhoon Lexs in the South China Sea about 65 NM SSE of Hainan Island, China. Of the 81 persons aboard 35 bodies have been located and the remaining 46 persons are missing and presumed dead. The Glomar Java Sea is resting on the bottom in 315 feet of water in an inverted position.


~Fire Aboard the Sea Witch and the Esso Brussels~

On 02 June 1973, the SS C.V. Sea Witch lost steering control in New York Harbor. The ship ran out of the channel striking and penetrating the hull of the anchored SS Esso Brussels which was loaded with crude oil. 31,000 Barrels of oil from three ruptured cargo tanks ignited engulfing both vessels in fire. Damage to both ships and loss of cargo was estimated at $23,000,000. A total of 15 crewmembers perished and 1 crewmember remains missing and is presumed dead.


~Explosion Aboard the Norway~

At 0637 on May 25, 2003, the Bahamas-registered passenger vessel S/S Norway, with 911 crewmembers and 2,135 passengers on board, suffered a boiler rupture in the aft boiler room. The accident occurred about an hour after the vessel had moored in Miami, Florida, at the end of a 7-day Caribbean cruise. As a result of the accident, 8 crewmembers sustained fatal injuries, 10 suffered serious injuries, and 7 received minor injuries.


~Collision of the Andrew J. Barberi~

About 1520 on October 15, 2003, the Staten Island Ferry "Andrew J. Barberi," allided with a maintenance pier at the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Fifteen crewmembers and an estimated 1,500 passengers were on board. Hundreds of emergency personnel and dozens of emergency vehicles, including several vessels, responded to the accident, dispatched by the New York City Police Department, the New York City Fire Department (including emergency medical services), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Damages totaled more than $8 million, with repair costs of $6.9 million for the Andrew J. Barberi and $1.4 million for the pier. Seventy passengers were injured and 11 died.


~Explosion and Fire Surrounding the Athena~

On October 12, 2006, the towing vessel Miss Megan, crewed by a licensed master and a deckhand, was pushing barge Athena 106 and barge IBR 234 with six workers on board in the West Cote Blanche Bay oil field in Louisiana. While enroute to a pile-driving location, the aft spud (a 5-ton steel shaft used as a mooring device) on the Athena 106 released from its fully raised position. The spud dropped into the water and struck a submerged, buried high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The resulting gas release ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges.


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