According to a report from gCaptain, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has made an initial assessment on the “probable cause” of the tragic and deadly 2020 maritime accident explosion and fire of the Waymon Boyd dredging vessel. The federal safety regulators are pointing the finger at the responsible company’s “inadequate planning and risk management processes. ”Here, our Texas offshore accident lawyers provide an overview of the investigation and the safety recommendations from the NTSB.
A Tragic Maritime Accident Killed Several Off the Coast of Texas in the Summer of 2020
In 2020, the Waymon Boyd dredging vessel departed from a port in Corpus Christi, Texas. The vessel was owned and operated by Orion Maritime Group. A total of 18 were on board the vessel when it left the port in Texas. On August 21st, 2020, the Waymon Boyd struck a submerged pipeline. The pipeline contained hazardous material. A catastrophic explosion occurred, resulting in four fatalities and more than $11 million in direct property damage. The explosion was preventable.
NTSB: Poor Planning and Poor Risk Management Caused the Accident
After a more than year-long initial investigation, the NTSB has released a preliminary version of its final safety report. The federal agency finds that poor planning and poor risk management practices on the part of the Orion Maritime Group are the “probable” reason why the deadly maritime accident occurred. According to the NTSB, the Orion Maritime Group failed to properly identify the precise location of the submerged pipeline—and thereby put its crew at serious risk.
NTSB Makes Ten Safety Specific Recommendations
Beyond identifying the probable cause of the terrible maritime accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also made ten specific safety recommendations to help prevent additional, similar incidents from occurring in the future. Here are some of the notable safety recommendations as laid out by the federal agency:
- Better Procedures to Identify Pipelines: The NTSB wants multiple stakeholders to work together to help ensure that the precise locations of pipelines are better identified.
- Enhanced Safety Training for Coastal Operators: The NTSB also recommends that companies operating in offshore environments near pipelines have better personnel training practices in place focused on the specific risks associated with these pipelines.
- Orion Marine Group Should Reform Policies: The NTSB made several specific recommendations to the Orion Marine Group, including advising the maritime company to develop effective, written safety policies for all future dredging projects. Most notably, the NTSB recommends that the Orion Marine Group pre-identify the location of pipelines.
Contact Our Texas Maritime Accident Lawyers for Immediate Help With Your Case
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas maritime accident attorneys are aggressive, justice-driven advocates for injured victims and their loved ones. If you or your loved one was harmed in an offshore accident, we can help. Call us now or connect with us through our website for your no cost, no obligation case evaluation. Our firm handles maritime accident cases throughout the Gulf Coast.