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Accident Report Detail

​Capsizing of Towing Vessel Megan McB

Executive Summary

​On July 3, 2013, at 0558 local time, the uninspected towing vessel Megan McB lost engine throttle control while the crew was trying to maneuver the vessel into the main lock of Lock and Dam 7 on the Mississippi River near La Crescent, Minnesota. Without engine throttle control to maneuver the vessel, the strong river current swept the Megan McB into gate no. 1 of the dam, where the vessel became pinned and capsized. One crewmember died in the accident. The vessel was later refloated; its damage was estimated at $500,000.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the capsizing of towing vessel Megan McB was the replacement pilot's unfamiliarity with the vessel's electronic engine control throttles, which resulted in his inability to avoid gate no. 1 of Lock and Dam 7. Contributing to the capsizing was Brennan Marine's lack of effective procedures to ensure that the Megan McB was operated by a replacement pilot familiar with the electronic engine control throttles, which were unique to this one vessel in the company fleet.

Accident Location:   , MN   Lock and Dam 7, Mississippi River mile marker 702.5, near La Crescent, Minnesota
Accident Date: 7/3/2013
Accident ID: DCA13LM027

Date Adopted: 9/4/2014
NTSB Number: MAB1417
NTIS Number:  

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