NTSB report reveals fault, named agencies react


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PADUCAH, Ky. - The much anticipated National Transportation Safety Board determination may have defined what when wrong on the night of January 26, 2012, but it didn't settle everything.

As a result of the investigation, NTSB staff found 14 factors that led to the accident at the Eggners Ferry Bridge and proposed five safety regulations as a result.

In response to the findings, a Foss Maritime spokesperson released this statement:

Foss Maritime Company appreciates the efforts of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and welcomes their investigation results and recommendations to improve the safety of the marine transportation system and our operations.  Prior to the release of the NTSB report, Foss Maritime completed a thorough investigation into the cause of the Allision and had shared those results with the NTSB and USCG.  We are committed to a Zero Incident culture and recognize that learning from incidents like this one is a critical part of achieving our goals.”

Chuck Wolfe from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released this response:

"The report by the NTSB today affirmed what the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has contended all along: Critical errors of judgment and a breakdown of the chain of command on the bridge of the Delta Mariner, coupled with a lack of oversight by the owner of the vessel, Foss Maritime, were primarily the cause of the vessel’s allision with the Eggners Ferry Bridge on the night of Jan. 26, 2012. As for non-operating navigational lights on the Eggners Ferry Bridge, a Transportation Cabinet crew was in the process of repairing the bridge’s lights at the time of the allision. And in keeping with Coast Guard protocol for just such occasions, cabinet personnel notified the Coast Guard, which in turn issued multiple broadcast warnings to mariners – including the crew of the Delta Mariner – that some lights on the Eggners Ferry Bridge were not operating."

There is a pending lawsuit to decide who should foot the bill for the $7 million mistake. The Transportation Cabinet paid for the repairs, but is asking Foss Maritime to pay it back.