The collision, at about 0100 on March 10, 2019, pushed the bridge at mile marker 88.2 out of alignment. Railroad officials closed the span to train traffic for more than a day. Permanent repairs cost more than $4.8 million. One crewmember fell and suffered a minor injury in the minutes after the bridge strike.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators acknowledged the Tombigbee was in flood stage, and they also recognized that the bridge opening — located along a bend — is poorly aligned with the river current. That said, the agency cited the pilot’s decision to continue the voyage through the bridge, given his unfamiliarity with Rivers Wilson, as a leading factor in the allision.
“(The pilot’s) incomplete understanding of the current, in combination with the misalignment of the bridge with the thalweg and Rivers Wilson’s lower horsepower (than his usual) vessel ... resulted in his belief that the tow had enough speed to overcome the effect of the current,” the NTSB said in its accident report.
After the bridge strike, investigators identified numerous deficiencies with the 2,800-hp towboat built in 1958, including watertight and structural integrity issues. The vessel did not have a certificate of inspection or meet Subchapter M standards.
The Coast Guard detained Rivers Wilson for some time afterward, and the NTSB said it had not returned to service by spring 2020 when it published the accident report.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Mariner's role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed
Mariners’ role still unknown as autonomous shipping gains speed
CAPTAIN MURCHISON - Texas Game Wardens gain crime-fighting advantage in the Gulf of Mexico
It’s a cat-and-mouse game on the high seas: Unlicensed commercial fisher-men from Mexico head north into Texas waters in small, swift boats called “lanchas,” hoping to catch a haul of seafood before the authorities catch them.
Piracy edges closer to home with wave of raids in southern Gulf
In the brief cellphone video recorded by a crewmember on the offshore supply vessel (OSV) Remas, the pirates walk back and forth on the deck of the ship, clenching their guns and using them to point as they order around the crew. Their faces are draped in clothing and bandanas.
MADONNA - Madonna adds flexibility, ice-breaking capacity for Wisconsin operator
For most of this century, the Washington Island Ferry Line had a single icebreaking vessel available for winter runs across Lake Michigan’s Death’s Door Passage. The arrangement caused some sleepless nights for company President Hoyt Purinton.
NTSB: Dredge hit Texas gas pipeline, causing fire that killed four
FERRIES/EXCURSION - COVID-19 threatens once-robust passenger vessel market
The passenger boat market has been relatively strong over the past few years, driven largely by ferry operators on all three coasts replacing older vessels and adding to existing fleets. Meanwhile, the relatively robust economy stoked demand for new excursion and tourist vessels.
IMO emissions report raises new concerns about methane slip
A recent report from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) reveals that global shipping emissions increased nearly 10 percent from 2012 to 2018, with the industry facing a growing challenge concerning methane slip.
Matson continues fleet renewal with versatile Kanaloa-class ships
Matson Navigation has a proud history in the Pacific dating back more than a century. The 870-foot container/roll-on, roll-off (conro) Lurline will build on that legacy well into the future.
Bay State brothers find industry niche by making old into new
Zero non-conformities is what you want to hear when the U.S. Coast Guard inspects your tugboat. Once you’ve prepared your vessel, the inspectors come aboard to peruse your paperwork. They ask you pointed questions, to which they expect straightforward answers. Perusal completed, they then scrutinize all of the related safety systems, from bilge to antennas — even the ship’s bell.
MEGAYACHTS - Megayacht demand remains strong in North America despite virus impacts
Twelve months ago, 2020 looked to be a banner year for megayachts. Sales were on the rise, clients were interested and yards were buzzing with projects. The 2019 fall boat shows, which informally kick off the yachting industry’s year, saw record attendance both in terms of exhibitors and visitors. The Marine Industries Association of South Florida reported that the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show brought in more than $715 million in sales.
SCRUTINY OF TESLA CRASH A SIGN THAT REGULATION MAY BE COMING
The fiery crash of a Tesla near Houston with no one behind the wheel is drawing scrutiny from two federal agencies that could bring new regulation of electronic systems that take on some driving tasks.
VOTE COUNTING TO START IN AMAZON UNION ELECTION
Vote counting in the union push at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, is expected to start as early as Thursday, but hundreds of contested ballots could muddy the outcome if it’s a close race.
GROUPS: CENSUS PRIVACY TOOL COULD HURT VOTING RIGHTS GOALS
The findings reinforce concerns that differential privacy will lower the quality of the data used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts. They also suggest that the census figures won’t support efforts to protect the power of minority voters and comply with court rulings requiring districts to have equal population numbers.
Haim Sweet Haim
“It’s just me, with no bells and whistles,” explains Este Haim of the bass behind her trio’s acclaimed music
Traditional Tlingit Tastes
In Hoonah, Alaska, food is about much more than just what's on the plate.
US SENDS TEAM TO DETROIT TO INVESTIGATE TESLA-SEMI CRASH
The U.S. government’s highway safety agency is sending a team to Detroit to investigate a crash involving a Tesla that drove beneath a semitrailer.
For passengers to Alaska, the rush begins.
This Florida Drug Smuggler Escaped 7 Life Sentences—Twice
Dickie Lynn’s story shows how the drug war warped the Criminal Justice System.
PROOF KOBE DIDN'T HAVE TO DIE!
Fog-bound pilot didn’t know which way was up!
Skin in the Game
Let us introduce you to Goodfi sh, a sustainable snack company where salmon skin is the star (and super healthy!) ingredient.