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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Fire aboard Towing Vessel Jaxon Aaron

Executive Summary

​About 1140 local time on August 13, 2016, a fire erupted in the engine room on board the uninspected towing vessel Jaxon Aaron while it was pushing a flotilla of 16 barges upbound on the Lower Mississippi River near mile marker (mm) 770, approximately 24 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee. The fire spread from the engine room into the accommodation area and wheelhouse, causing an estimated $10.2 million in damage to the interior spaces. All nine crewmembers evacuated the vessel safely to the barge flotilla. No pollution was reported.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the fire aboard the towing vessel Jaxon Aaron was the failure of the power assembly components on the port main diesel engine’s no. 15 cylinder. Contributing to the extent of the fire damage was the substantial use of combustible materials in the interior spaces and the chief engineer’s unfamiliarity with the firefighting equipment.

Accident Location: Memphis , TN USA Lower Mississippi River, mile marker (mm) 770, 35˚31.352’ N, 089˚56.654’ W
Accident Date: 8/13/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM050

Date Adopted: 6/7/2017
NTSB Number: MAB1719
NTIS Number:  

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