NTSB: Broadcasting only boat size led to fatal towboat crash

Posted at 7:20 PM, Sep 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 20:20:36-04

The National Transportation Safety Board says a fatal head-on crash between two towboats pushing barges in Destrehan was caused by inadequate communication and failure to broadcast their total sizes.

The RC Creppel overturned and sank after the collision with the Cooperative Spirit in the early hours, around 5:30 A.M., on Jan. 26, 2020.

Its pilot, captain and one of two crewmen were never found.

A report released in August says automatic identification systems for both boats were broadcasting only the length of the boats, rather than boat and tow together.

The larger tow was a quarter-mile long - seven times the length of the boat that was pushing it.

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