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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Sinking of Deck Barge Margaret

Executive Summary

​The deck barge Margaret, which was anchored at a fleeting area at mile marker 159.5 near Convent, Louisiana, began taking on water at an increasing rate during the night shift of August 30–31, 2015. A production manager, who was making inspection rounds every 2 hours, tried to increase the barge’s dewatering capacity to stem the flooding, but by 0330, the Margaret listed heavily to port and sank moments later. No injuries were reported. A light sheen of suspected diesel oil was noted at the incident location. The barge owner estimated the loss at $2 million.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of deck barge Margaret was flooding of the port stern void due to the barge’s overall lack of maintenance and watertight integrity. Contributing to the sinking was the barge company’s lack of formal reporting procedures for its production managers conducting inspection rounds of the barges.

Accident Location: Convent , LA USA 30°01.9’N, 90° 50.1’W
Accident Date: 8/31/2015
Accident ID: DCA15LM032

Date Adopted: 8/17/2016
NTSB Number: MAB1615
NTIS Number:  

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