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Accident Report Detail

Collision and Subsequent Sinking of Towing Vessel Specialist

Executive Summary

About 0500 on Saturday, March 12, 2016, the uninspected towing vessel Specialist, transiting southbound on the Hudson River while towing a tower crane barge with two other tugboats, struck a construction barge that was spudded down alongside a concrete pier at the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction site.1 The Specialist subsequently sank, resulting in three crew fatalities. The Specialist was raised to the surface on March 24, 2016, and declared a constructive total loss.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision and sinking of the Specialist was inadequate manning, resulting in fatigued crewmembers navigating three tugboats with obstructed visibility due to the size of the crane on the barge they were towing and the location of the tugboats alongside the barge.

Accident Location: Tarrytown , NY   Hudson River
Accident Date: 3/12/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM033

Date Adopted: 5/11/2017
NTSB Number: MAB-17-14
NTIS Number:  

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