Marine Accident Report

Collision Between the U.S. Coast Guard Patrol
Boat CG242513 and the U.S. Small Passenger
Vessel Bayside Blaster, Biscayne Bay, Florida
January 12, 2002

NTSB Number NTSB/MAR-02/05
NTIS Number PB2002-916405
PDF Document (1MB)

Executive Summary: About 2013 on January 12, 2002, the 24-foot Coast Guard patrol boat CG242513, with two crewmembers on board, was on a routine recreational boating safety and manatee-zone patrol in Biscayne Bay, Florida, when it collided with the small passenger vessel Bayside Blaster, carrying 2 crewmembers and 53 passengers. Both Coast Guard crewmembers were ejected from their boat. The patrol boat continued running, circled to port, and struck the Bayside Blaster again. The unmanned Coast Guard patrol boat continued to circle for 10 to 15 minutes, striking a moored recreational boat two times and pilings near the shore. Police officers responding to the scene pinned the Coast Guard patrol boat to the pilings and shut off the engines. Five passengers who reported being injured were taken to the Coast Guard Station, where they were triaged. After triage, two passengers were transported to a hospital, and the others did not request further medical treatment. The two Coast Guard crewmembers were triaged by paramedics on Palm Island, taken to a nearby hospital for further examination, and released the morning of January 13. As a result of the accident, the Coast Guard patrol boat, valued at $80,000, was declared a total loss. The damage to the Bayside Blaster was estimated at $80,000, and the damage to the moored recreational boat was $24,722. Damages from the accident were estimated at $184,722.

The Safety Board's investigation of the accident identified the adequacy of the following as major safety issues:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between the Coast Guard patrol boat CG242513 and the small passenger vessel Bayside Blaster was the failure of the coxswain of the Coast Guard patrol boat to operate his vessel at a safe speed in a restricted-speed area frequented by small passenger vessels and in conditions of limited visibility due to darkness and background lighting. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the lack of adequate Coast Guard oversight of nonstandard boat operations.

As a result of the investigation, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard, to Boatrides International, Inc. (owner of the Bayside Blaster), and to the Passenger Vessel Association.