On December 23, 2021, at 0326 local time, the towing vessel Miss Mollye D was pushing six barges eastbound on Bayou Boeuf between Morgan City and Amelia, Louisiana, when the tow left the channel and struck the Route 182 bridge, which ran parallel to the waterway.1 The operator then maneuvered the tow back into the channel, and the tow continued eastbound. Utility workers discovered damage to the bridge later that morning and notified the US Coast Guard. None of the five crewmembers aboard the Miss Mollye D were injured, and no pollution was reported. Damage to the bridge was estimated at $2 million.
We determined that the probable cause of the contact of the Miss Mollye D tow with the Route 182 bridge was a loss of control of the tow by the pilot at the helm of the towing vessel, likely due to impairment by factors such as fatigue or drug use.