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Accident Report Detail

Allision of Bahamas-Registered Tankship M/V Kition with Interstate Highway 10 Bridge Pier

Executive Summary

About 0730 on February 10, 2007, the Bahamas-registered tankship M/V Kition, carrying a load of carbon black (a petroleum product), moved away from its berth at the Apex Oil terminal on the right descending (west) bank of the Mississippi River just upriver of the Interstate Highway 10 bridge at Baton Rouge. A Louisiana state pilot was navigating. The pilot used three tugs, one pulling on the bow and two pushing on the stern, to turn the vessel from the dock for a planned trip downriver.

When the nearly 800-foot-long vessel was approximately parallel to the bridge, the second officer on the bow warned that the bow appeared about to hit the bridge pier. The master and pilot both ordered the engine to full astern, but about 3 minutes later, the Kition’s underwater hull (bulbous bow) struck the fender system around the pier. The fender system began to collapse, and the tug at the bow let go of its line and backed clear. Moments later, the bulwark on the starboard bow of the Kition struck the bridge pier, knocking out a 2- to 3-foot section of concrete. The accident caused an estimated $8 million in damage to the bridge. The Kition sustained hull damage estimated at $726,500. No one was injured and there was no pollution.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Kition’s allision with the Interstate Highway 10 bridge at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the pilot’s attempt to execute the high-risk maneuver of turning at the dock immediately above the bridge rather than moving the vessel downriver through the bridge before turning or taking it well upriver, then turning.

Accident Location: Baton Rouge , LA   Mississippi River
Accident Date: 2/10/2007
Accident ID: DCA07FM013

Date Adopted: 8/12/2008
NTSB Number: MAR-08-03
NTIS Number: PB2008-916403

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