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Old 07-21-2015, 10:28 AM   #1
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Bolivar, Tx. Collision/Fire

A collision and fire took place at the ICW X Houston Ship Channel this a.m. Evidently two two barge tows were involved with one of the tows loosing power at or near the intersection. Both tows were pushing red flag barges. One with about a million gallons of Naptha caught fire. No evident spill and fire has been contained and extinguished.
Traffic through the intersection will be somewhat delayed.

dan
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #2
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A collision and fire took place at the ICW X Houston Ship Channel this a.m. Evidently two two barge tows were involved with one of the tows loosing power at or near the intersection. Both tows were pushing red flag barges. One with about a million gallons of Naptha caught fire. No evident spill and fire has been contained and extinguished.
Traffic through the intersection will be somewhat delayed.

dan
It was actually at 1:20 AM yesterday, Monday morning. It did shut down the channel from mile marker #348 to the Houston Ship Channel. Took about 4 hours to extinguish the fire.

Some photos here.

Barge catches fire following Houston Ship Channel collision | abc13.com
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:27 AM   #3
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After at least two of the previous collisions in this area the NTSB has recommended the implementation of a vessel separation policy and steps to improve communication.

168,000 gallons of fuel spilled in the March 2014 collision. The 2011 collision had millions of dollars of damage. After both the NTSB has chastised the USCG for "not ensuring adequate separation between vessels in the Houston Ship Channel."

Also a collision in March 2015.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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After both the NTSB has chastised the USCG for "not ensuring adequate separation between vessels in the Houston Ship Channel.".
Obviously they have not heard of 'the texas chicken'!
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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This renews the second question I asked when I put up the El Faro thread. Living in New Orleans, I hear about merchant ships, tows, tugs "losing power" and crashing into stuff (relatively speaking) on a fairly frequent basis.

Bad fuel, maintenance, operator error? Or am I just too subjective in my interpretation?
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:18 PM   #6
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This renews the second question I asked when I put up the El Faro thread. Living in New Orleans, I hear about merchant ships, tows, tugs "losing power" and crashing into stuff (relatively speaking) on a fairly frequent basis.

Bad fuel, maintenance, operator error? Or am I just too subjective in my interpretation?
I don't think there's necessarily a consistent reason, but generally I would think just maintenance and the ways of engines. Many of the engines have a lot of years of heavy use on them.

Now, the question is are they doing enough to prevent problems. Some do, some don't. Some do excellent jobs of preventive maintenance and a good job of pulling boats out of service. However, others take short cuts and do the minimum they can get by with.
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Old 11-06-2015, 04:44 PM   #7
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Maintenance is key. I was once on a old wooden boat that grossed about 5 tons or more. The diesel was giving us problems that day. We went out, sailed a race. On returning the captain gunned the motor to bring us into the slip, planning to throw her into reverse to stop her. When he did the motor died and we gouged a 6 foot hole in the dock and the bow of the boat.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:40 PM   #8
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We sailed for many years in Galveston Bay and I have been through that intersection many times. There are four major intersections, all within a half mile of each other: Houston ship channel/Texas City channel, ICW and TC or HSC, Galveston ship channel/Houston ship channel.

Some think that the NYC harbor is the worst. But those Texas intersections scare me the worst: several barges in tow crossing the ICW, tankers on the HSC, cruise ships coming out of Galveston, tankers coming out of Texas City. All with either lots of passengers aboard of combustible compounds aboard.

And the tows don't care about small boats. I once was transiting the ICW from the east. As I approached the narrow gap at Pelican Island, a tow with 2,3 barges was bearing down on me from behind. He had seen me for many miles/minutes before. It was a race to see if I could get through the gap before he ran me down. He surely would have if I hadn't pulled into shallow water once I cleared the gap.

There are no meaningful right of way rules when the other vessel is that big.

David
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:46 PM   #9
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There are no meaningful right of way rules when the other vessel is that big.

David
That reminds me of what the teacher taught us in Driver's Training, talking about defensive driving.

You don't want to put "I had the right of way" on your tombstone.
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Old 11-25-2015, 10:41 AM   #10
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That reminds me of what the teacher taught us in Driver's Training, talking about defensive driving.

You don't want to put "I had the right of way" on your tombstone.
Ours said the same thing, in just different words. " You may be right, but you could be dead right." Those barges are kinda like the 18 wheelers. Takes forever to get them up to speed, even longer to stop, but the little "beep beeps" like to challenge the physics. I drive an SUV but I'll give them (semi's) the space if they need it.
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