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Accident Report Detail

Marine Accident Brief: Collision and Sinking of Towing Vessel Todd Brown

Executive Summary

​At about 1530 local time on April 17, 2017, while attempting to maneuver a string of barges from a barge fleet on the right descending bank of the Lower Mississippi River near mile marker (mm) 940, about 4 miles from Columbus, Kentucky, the uninspected towing vessel Todd Brown collided with the lead barges moored downriver and sank.[1] Before the sinking, all six crewmembers abandoned the vessel by climbing aboard the barges without reported injury. Approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel were released during salvage operations but later recovered. Damage to the vessel was estimated at $1.5 million.

1. Unless otherwise noted, all miles in this report are statute miles.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision and sinking of the uninspected towing vessel Todd Brown was the pilot’s underestimation of the effect of the river current on the barge string being maneuvered during a de-drifting operation.

Accident Location: Columbus , KY USA Lower Mississippi River, mile marker 940, 36°48.6’ N, 89°08.6’ W
Accident Date: 4/17/2017
Accident ID: DCA17FM010

Date Adopted: 5/10/2018
NTSB Number: MAB1811
NTIS Number:  

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