NTSB: Lock Accident Caused by Extreme Flow Conditions
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident involving the towing vessel Mary Lucy Lane which was pushing a tow of 12 barges. It was locking southbound at the Markland Locks & Dam on the Ohio River when it struck the lock’s wall, then its guard wall, causing barges to break loose and collide with the moored US Army Corps of Engineers workboat Gibson.
The incident occurred on December 18, 2018. The Mary Lucy Lane's eight crew were not injured, but damage to the Mary Lucy Lane, the barges, and the dam was estimated at $321,943. The Corps of Engineers estimated the cost to replace the Gibson at $1.8 million.
The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was a strong outdraft above the dam caused by the extreme high flow conditions, which overwhelmed the pilot’s ability to control the Mary Lucy Lane tow before locking.
The report is available here.