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Accident Report Detail

​Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Cooperative Venture Tow with St. Paul Union Pacific Rail Bridge

Executive Summary

​About 0230 local time on October 26, 2017, the towing vessel Cooperative Venture, with a crew of 10, was pushing 12 barges downbound on the Mississippi River near St. Paul, Minnesota. As the vessel approached the St. Paul Union Pacific Rail Bridge at mile 835.7, the lead barge on the port side struck a fixed pier of the swing bridge.1 There were no reported injuries or pollution. Damages to the bridge and barge were estimated at $800,000 and $153,000, respectively.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the towing vessel Cooperative Venture with the St. Paul Union Pacific Rail Bridge was the operating company’s assignment of an inexperienced pilot who incorrectly positioned the tow prior to maneuvering through a turn with a following current when approaching the bridge span.

Accident Location: St. Paul , MN USA Upper Mississippi River at mile 835.7, 44°55.13’ N, 93°03.02’ W
Accident Date: 10/26/2017
Accident ID: DCA18FM003

Date Adopted: 10/18/2018
NTSB Number: MAB1823
NTIS Number:  

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