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Accident Report Detail

​Marine Accident Brief: Allision of Tanker Aframax River with Mooring Dolphins, and Subsequent Fire in Waterway

Executive Summary

On September 6, 2016, about 0005 local time, the tanker Aframax River allided with two mooring dolphins in the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) near Deer Park, Texas. The allision punctured the ship’s hull plating, and about 88,000 gallons of low-sulfur marine gas oil spilled into the water. The oil ignited and burned for about 45 minutes. The two onboard pilots sustained minor burns, and the property damage exceeded $1.5 million.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Aframax River’s allision with mooring dolphins and the subsequent fire in the waterway was a momentary abnormality of the tanker’s main engine governor actuator system in responding to command inputs from the bridge.

Accident Location: Deer Park , TX USA 29° 44.90 N, 95° 05.97 W
Accident Date: 9/6/2016
Accident ID: ​DCA16FM055

Date Adopted: 2/22/2018
NTSB Number: MAB1806
NTIS Number:  

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