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Accident Report Detail

Collision of the S/T Texaco Iowa and the M/T Burmah Spar

Executive Summary


At 0420, on October 3, 1978, the S/T Texaco Iowa collided with the M/T Burmah Spar while both tank vessels were inbound and manuevering in the exchange area off Pilottown, Louisiana. The total damage to the vessels was estimated at $680,000. No persons were injured in this accident.

Probable Cause


The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the bar pilot and the master to navigate the Texaco Iowa at a safe distance from the Burmah Spar while manuevering to change pilots. Contributing to the accident was the Texaco Iowa bar pilot's misjudgement of the vessels' relative speeds and his failure to observe the Inland Rules of the Road, the delayed reaction of the master of the Texaco Iowa in directing evasive manuevers, and the failure of the pilots to establish bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone communications before the collision.​

Accident Location: Pilottown , LA   Mississippi River
Accident Date: 10/3/1978
Accident ID: DCA79AM001

Date Adopted: 2/14/1980
NTSB Number: MAR-80-03
NTIS Number:  

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