Collision of Tankship Eagle Otome with Cargo Vessel Gull Arrow and subsequent collision with the Dixie Vengeance towboat in the Sabine-Neches Canal in Port Arthur, Texas, January 23, 2010
This two-dimensional animation depicts the sequence of events in which the tank ship Eagle Otome collided with the docked cargo vessel Gull Arrow and subsequently collided with the Dixie Vengeance Tow. The accident occurred at approximately 09:35 Central Standard Time on January 23, 2010 in the Sabine-Neches Canal, Port of Port Arthur, Port Arthur, Texas.
The animation displays performance data, information from the Voyage Data Recorder of the Eagle Otome and the local time of day. Selected comments from the Bridge Voice Recorder of the Eagle Otome are displayed as text at the time they occurred. Weather and visibility conditions at the time of the accident are not shown. This animation contains audio narration and an audio recording taken from a warning signal.
The display on the left hand side of the screen depicts an overall view of the Port of Port Arthur with the docked Gull Arrow, the Eagle Otome and Dixie Vengeance and their track paths. The right hand side of the screen is split; the top portion includes a legend of the accident vessels that transitions to the time and selected transcripts from the Bridge Voice Recorder; the bottom portion includes a close-up view of the Eagle Otome.
The animation begins with a still image and explanation of the orientation of the Eagle Otome positioned near Missouri Bend and the Dixie Vengeance north of the School House. The animation starts at time 09:23:00 and runs four times faster than actual speed until 09:33:20, when the animation begins real time play up to the transition to a security video of the accident at 09:35:00. The video portion includes labels indicating the Gull Arrow, an empty barge and tug docked in front of the Gull Arrow, and the Dixie Vengeance in the background. The animation ends with a photograph with an overall view of the accident.
Voice Over Narration:
- At 9:23 with the first pilot at the conn, the Eagle Otome was approaching Navigation Beacons 51 and 52 at a turn in the river known locally as Missouri Bend.
- The Dixie Vengeance was east of the Port of Port Arthur approaching the School House.
- As the animation begins, the first pilot on the Eagle Otome responded to the tow over the radio confirming his location near Missouri Bend.
- A one whistle or port to port meeting arrangement was agreed to by both vessels.
- The radio conversation lasted about 45 seconds followed shortly by a hard to starboard rudder order by the first pilot to commence the right hand turn at Missouri Bend.
- Over the next few minutes, the first pilot ordered various rudder and engine commands in an effort to steady the vessel in the channel as the tanker exited the turn.
- As the Eagle Otome closed with a starboard bank of the waterway, the pilot ordered a sequence of increasing starboard rudder commands and an increase in engine speed to preempt the anticipated sheer to port.
- At this position, the first pilot asked the second pilot “is she gonna come back?”
- The second pilot responded “might”.
- As the Eagle Otome approached the bridge the first pilot had hard starboard on the rudder for almost 90 seconds with a half ahead bell in order to break the sheer to port.
- Once through the bridge, and although on the left side of the channel, the first pilot ordered several mid-ship and port rudder commands in an attempt to counteract the sheer to starboard.
- The first pilot asked the master to have someone standby the anchor.
- The master asked the first pilot “want full ahead sir?”
- The second pilot stated “Rapido”
- The first pilot ordered full ahead and the master offered “I can give more if you want.”
- 20 seconds later, the first pilot ordered the engine to half ahead.
- The first pilot called on the second pilot to “talk to this next tow.”
- The second pilot asked the first pilot “what do you want me to tell them, just one whistle or look out here we come?”
- The first pilot responded “one, yeah, look out, the one there is Vengeance.”
- At this time, the first pilot ordered full ahead with the rudder still hard to starboard.
- Twelve seconds later the first pilot instructed the master to let go the starboard anchor.
- Twenty seconds later, the first pilot ordered the engine full astern.
- The towboat master radioed the Eagle Otome “Dixie Vengeance, inbound ship looking okay?”
- The tow boat master put his engines full reverse after seeing the Eagle Otome’s anchor drop.
- [SFX] danger signal
- The first pilot sounded the danger signal as the Eagle Otome crossed the channel toward the Gull Arrow.
- The down bound Dixie Vengeance can now be seen approaching the Eagle Otome.
- [SFX] danger signal fades out
- At 9:35 the port bow of the tanker struck the starboard quarter of the docked Gull Arrow.
- Momentum carried the tanker further up the freighters outboard side before separating and moving back into and up the channel, where the Eagle Otome and the lead barge of the Dixie Vengeance tow collided.
Excerpts from the Bridge Voice Recorder:
09:23:54 Pilot-1 hard to starboard
09:24:11 Pilot-1 starboard twenty
09:24:17 Pilot-1 slow ahead
09:24:40 Pilot-1 starboard ten
09:24:55 Pilot-1 starboard twenty
09:25:04 Pilot-1 midship
09:25:08 Pilot-1 hard to port
09:25:23 Pilot-1 half ahead
09:26:31 Pilot-1 slow ahead
09:26:34 Pilot-1 port twenty
09:27:07 Pilot-1 starboard ten
09:27:18 Pilot-1 starboard twenty
09:27:27 Pilot-1 hard starboard.
09:27:50 Pilot-1 half ahead
09:28:13 Pilot-1 is she gonna come back @?
09:28:19 Pilot-2 might.
09:28:43 Pilot-1 full ahead.
09:28:57 Pilot-1 half ahead.
09:29:06 Pilot-1 midship.
09:29:18 Pilot-1 port twenty.
09:29:49 Pilot-1 midship.
09:30:05 Pilot-1 hard to port.
09:30:13 Pilot-1 slow ahead.
09:31:08 Pilot-1 have somebody stand by forward in case we need him to use the anchor.
09:31:26 Pilot-1 half ahead.
09:31:36 Capt want full ahead sir?
09:31:44 Pilot-2 rapido.
09:31:46 Pilot-1 full ahead.
09:31:49 Capt I can give more if you want.
09:32:0 Pilot-1 half ahead.
09:32:33 Pilot-1 midship.
09:32:43 Pilot-1 hard to starboard.
09:33:14 Pilot-1 @ will you talk to this next tow?
09:33:25 Pilot-2 what do you want me to tell them? just one whistle or lookout here we come?
09:33:28 Pilot-1 one. yeah look out the one there is Vengeance.
09:33:35 Pilot-1 full ahead.
09:33:47 Pilot-1 captain let's let go that starboard anchor.
09:34:07 Pilot-1 full astern captain.
09:34:08 Capt full astern
09:34:16 Vengeance Dixie Vengeance inbound ship lookin' okay?
09:34:23 sound of twelve prolonged horn blasts