The National Transportation Safety Board today released the following update of its on-going investigation into the March 6, 2004 "Lady D" water taxi accident in Baltimore, Maryland. The initial on-scene phase of the investigation was completed on Sunday, March 14.
Before the on-scene investigative team left Baltimore, two members of the Safety Board's Office of Research and Engineering joined the team to assist with pinpointing the location of the capsizing.
Investigators collected news footage and photographs taken shortly after the accident in an attempt to find visual reference points that can be used to calculate exactly where the vessel capsized. The accident reconstruction team returned to the scene on March 18, and working with witness statements and photographic evidence, continued their efforts to establish the track line of the Lady D before and after capsizing.
Investigators have performed a damage survey of the Lady D and found the steering system and engine controls to be in operational condition with the exception of the outboard motor, which had been submerged in water after the accident. The entire cabin of the vessel was detached from the vessel after the accident and only a small section has been recovered. The aluminum canopy of the vessel was located but has not yet been recovered. At this time investigators are evaluating the need to recover the canopy.
As a standard part of the investigation the Safety Board has sent blood samples from the captain and the mate on the Lady D to the Civil Aeromedical Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for toxicological testing. Results of the toxicology tests for both the captain and the mate were negative for drugs and alcohol.