On June 21, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board held a Board Meeting to discuss and adopt the Marine Accident Report relating to the Collision between a barge and a DUKW boat on the Delaware River outside of Philadelphia, PA, July 7, 2010
The Board Meeting was open to the public and took place in the Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. The hearing was also telecast on the web. Archives of the meeting videos are available online at http://www.capitolconnection.net/capcon/ntsb/ntsb.htm.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the mate of the Caribbean Sea to maintain a proper lookout due to (1) his decision to operate the vessel from the lower wheelhouse, which was contrary to expectations and to prudent seamanship, and (2) distraction and inattentiveness as a result of his repeated personal use of his cell phone and the company laptop computer while he was solely responsible for navigating the vessel. Contributing to the accident was the failure of Ride The Ducks International maintenance personnel to ensure that DUKW 34's surge tank pressure cap was securely in place before allowing the vehicle to return to passenger service, and the failure of the DUKW 34 master to take actions appropriate to the risk of anchoring his vessel in an active navigation channel.
A synopsis of Findings, Probable Cause, and Recommendations has been prepared.