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Accident Report Detail

Capsizing and Sinking of Towing Vessel Natalie Jean

Executive Summary

About 0938 local time on March 12, 2018, the towboat Natalie Jean was pushing an empty fuel tank barge upriver on the Lower Mississippi River near New Orleans, Louisiana, when the towboat became caught on the port anchor chain of the anchored bulk carrier Atlantic Fairy. The towboat capsized and quickly sank; the barge broke free and collided with the bulk carrier. Two of the three crewmembers on board the towboat died in the accident. Damage estimates exceeded $500,000.

Probable Cause

The NTSB determines that the probable cause of the capsizing and sinking of the Natalie Jean was the company’s decision to place an inadequately vetted pilot on board the vessel who did not have previous experience operating the Natalie Jean.

Accident Location: New Orleans , LA   Mississippi River
Accident Date: 3/12/2018
Accident ID: DCA18FM017

Date Adopted: 6/4/2019
NTSB Number: MAB-19-13
NTIS Number:  

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