On March 9, 2015, at 1230 central daylight time, the inbound bulk carrier Conti Peridot collided with the outbound tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas. The collision occurred in restricted visibility after the pilot on the Conti Peridot was unable to control the heading fluctuations that the bulk carrier was experiencing during the transit. As a result, the Conti Peridot crossed the channel into the path of the Carla Maersk. No one on board either ship was injured in the collision, but an estimated 2,100 barrels (88,200 gallons) of methyl tert-butyl ether spilled from the Carla Maersk, and the two vessels sustained about $8.2 million in total damage.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between bulk carrier Conti Peridot and tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel was the inability of the pilot on the Conti Peridot to respond appropriately to hydrodynamic forces after meeting another vessel during restricted visibility, and his lack of communication with other vessels about this handling difficulty. Contributing to the circumstances that resulted in the collision was the inadequate bridge resource management between the master and the pilot on the Conti Peridot.