Is It Safe For Tugboats and Pleasure Boats to Share the Water?

Whenever vessels share the water, it can produce dangerous results if one or both do not take the proper precautions, including:

  • Never operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Completing any required training to operate a boat;
  • Properly maintaining the vessel;
  • Taking a boating safety course;
  • Posting a lookout to watch for danger coming from any direction;
  • Maintaining a safe speed;
  • Learning the actions to take when encountering another boat on the water, including how to overtake, meet head on and cross the bow of another vessel;
  • Following the Rules of the Road which outlines the rules for operating a vessel on the water:
  • Knowing the sounding signals to use when passing or giving way to another boat.

Boat operators who do not take these precautions are a danger to themselves and their fellow boaters. For more information about boating safety and what can occur from failure to follow the basic precautions, call or tweet us.

Two Boaters Rescued After Tugboat Accident 

After their 18-foot pleasure boat collided with a tugboat and capsized, two people had to be rescued, according to Professional Mariner. The accident happened in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Port O’Connor, Texas on December 1, 2013 at about 5:50 p.m.

Prior to the wreck, the tugboat was pushing three barges from Houston to Corpus Christi through an area designated for barge traffic. One of the barges was loaded with aromatic condensate, while the other two were empty. Authorities were still trying to determine whether it was the barges or tugboat that hit the pleasure boat at the time of this report.

Either way, the collision caused the 18-foot boat to capsize, throwing the two recreational boaters into the water. They were rescued shortly after the accident by another recreational boat that was nearby.

“We are thankful for the quick response of the good Samaritan to pull the individuals from the water and saving two lives,” Cmdr. Daniel Deptula of Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi said in a statement.

No injuries were reported in the crash. Following the completion of the Coast Guard investigation officer’s inquiry, the tugboat was allowed to continue on to Corpus Christi. The pleasure boat had to be towed to shore after the wreck. 

Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: When vessels encounter each other on the water, the boat designated as the “give-way” vessel is required to yield to the other boat.

Latti & Anderson LLP Nationwide Maritime Attorneys