Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
18 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings The Allision Arriving on scene, the local Coast Guard investigation team members saw flashing lights from emergency response vehicles and floodlights illuminating an eerie scene on the waterway. An oceangoing ship, the M/V Delta Mariner, struck the U.S. Highway 68 bridge over the Tennessee River, which connected the communities of Cadiz and Aurora, Kentucky. One of the bridge's 300-foot spans fell onto the bow of the ship, leaving portions of the twisted girders trailing off the ship's bow, effectively trapping the ship and anchoring it to the river bottom. Fortunately there were no deaths, injuries, or pollution associated with this incident. While local Coast Guard investigators and response personnel worked at the scene, NTSB leaders followed established protocol and selected personnel to participate in the joint investigation. Using an already-estab- lished memorandum of understanding, it was determined that the Coast Guard would be the lead in this joint USCG/NTSB investigation. In this case, the National Transportation Safety Board investigator in charge had been working on another case in New Orleans, so he was dispatched to the accident site to prepare for this new investigation. NTSB team members were also dispatched, including one who worked in roadway accidents as well as one who was a technical expert to assist with elec- tronic evidence collection and analysis. Fort unately for t he invest igators, t he ship was an oceangoing vessel that was required to have a simplifed voyage data recorder (S-VDR) and an electronic chart It was early morning. Phones and other high-tech portable communication devices began emitting rings and vibra- tions, notifying marine casualty investigators of an inci- dent on one of America's waterways. U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators were independently briefed on the marine casualty, an incident where a ship struck a bridge span, affecting two segments of the nation's transportation infrastructure by closing down a river and a highway. Local USCG investiga- tors immediately grabbed their "go" bags and headed to the scene, arriving shortly after the allision. Marine Incident Investigation NTSB and Coast Guard collaboration. by MR. Keith FaWCett U.S. Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise MR. niChoLas PaRhaM National Transportation Safety Board Investigations National Center of Expertise The bow of the M/ V Delta Mariner with the twisted span of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge anchoring the ship to the bottom. The ship was specifcally designed to be able to pass under bridges on the inland waterways. Photo courtesy of the NTSB.