Marine Accident Brief

Sinking of Towing Vessel Delta Captain

Pacific Ocean, 13 nautical miles west of Point Sur, California 36°17.9' N, 122°09.6' W
April 13, 2013

NTSB Number: MAB-14-08
Adopted: April 28, 2014
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Accident Summary

On April 13, 2013, about 1455, the uninspected towing vessel Delta Captain, towing the deck barge DB 5, experienced uncontrolled flooding in its engine room and sank 13 nautical miles west of Point Sur, California. The four crewmembers abandoned the vessel within about 10 minutes after the flooding began and were later rescued by the United States Coast Guard. No one was injured in the accident, but the vessel sank in deep water and was not recovered. Its estimated value was $2.5 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of the towing vessel Delta Captain was uncontrolled flooding of the steering gear space and engine room from an undetermined source in the steering gear space.