According to Professional Mariner, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigation into a Houston Ship Channel collision that resulted in a natural disaster.
According to the report, on March 22, the 607-foot-long bulk carrier Summer Wind collided with the 670-foot-long Miss Susan tow, which was towing another vessel and two 300-foot-long tank barges loaded with fuel oil. The incident occurred in the Houston Ship Channel, near Lower Galveston Bay.
At the time of the incident, visibility was restricted due to fog. Due to the collision, about 168,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into the water. Two crewmembers suffered injuries in the crash due to vapor inhalation and damages exceeded $1.3 million.
The NTSB determined that the collision occurred when the Miss Susan captain attempted to cross the channel ahead of the other boat, “impeding the passage of the bulk carrier.” The NTSB said that another contributing factor for the collision was that safe speeds were not followed given the restricted visibility.
Additionally, the vessels failed to interact with each other through radio communication, and the Vessel Traffic Service Houston/Galveston failed to let the two ships know there was a risk for a collision. To read the NTSB report, you can click here.
A Maritime Attorney Can Help You Following a Channel Collision
It is unfortunate that there were crewmembers injured in this collision and that fuel spilled into the waterway. Keep in mind, the Jones Act and other maritime laws are designed to protect the victims of barge accidents caused by the negligence of others.
Through these laws, you can seek damages for lost wages, medical expenses and more, if you were injured in a maritime accident.
In the video above, attorney Carolyn Latti discusses how you can contact our maritime trial lawyers following an accident. Our firm represents maritime workers who have suffered due to the negligence of others from all over the United States.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys