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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Passenger Vessel Adventure Hornblower with San Diego Seawall

Executive Summary

​On the afternoon of March 31, 2016, the passenger vessel Adventure Hornblower was attempting to dock at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego, California, following a whale-watching excursion. As the vessel made its approach to the pier, its bow unexpectedly swung to starboard and allided with the pier’s passenger embarkation dock. The Adventure Hornblower then accelerated forward until it struck the seawall at the foot of the pier. Eight passengers sustained minor injuries in the accident. The allision caused nearly $1.06 million in damage to the vessel, pier, and seawall.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the allision of the Adventure Hornblower with the Navy Pier and the downtown San Diego seawall was a failure of the port transmission to disengage from the forward propulsion position due to the operating company’s lack of adherence to the transmission manufacturer’s recommended periodic maintenance schedule and the lack of routine maintenance and upkeep of the propulsion system’s equipment. Contributing to the accident was the lack of instrumentation to provide positive indication of thrust direction or an alarm to indicate the propulsion control system was not responding properly to the captain’s commands.

Accident Location: San Diego Bay , CA USA 32° 42.9' N, 117° 10.4' W
Accident Date: 3/31/2016
Accident ID: DCA16FM035

Date Adopted: 8/25/2017
NTSB Number: MAB1729
NTIS Number:  

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