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Gangway Failure Leads to Marine Pilot's Death

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Accommodation ladder (file image / mavericklee)

By MarEx 2018-06-20 16:09:08

Captain Robert Louis Adams, 65, a senior pilot with the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots Association, lost his life while boarding a vessel on Saturday.

According to local media, a gangway (not a pilot ladder) collapsed as Adams and another individual were coming aboard a vessel on the La Quinta Channel. The gangway failure cause both men to fall 20 feet into the water. It took good samaritan responders 45 minutes to reach Adams, and he was unconscious when he was brought ashore.  

The Coast Guard is reportedly investigating whether the gangway was properly fastened prior to the accident. In addition, local officials expressed concern at the relatively long response time. “I understand accidents happen, but there was a lot of things that didn’t go right getting him out of the water,” port commissioner Wes Hoskins told the local Caller Times. 

Adams had been a full pilot with the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots Association since 1991. According to his obituary, Adams loved life on the water, both on-duty and off. He could often be found boating and fishing along the Gulf Coast, and he was a founding member of the Aransas Pass Yacht Club. He is survived by his wife, Karen Elaine Womack Adams, his two children and his four grandchildren.