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Cingluku and Jungjuk pictured before the grounding

Cingluku and Jungjuk pictured before the grounding on an unknown date. (Source: MarineTraffic.com)

Tug and Barge Grounding Near Kodiak, Alaska Causes $1.4 Million in Damages

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 0
July 9, 2024

An articulated tug and barge struck a known underwater rock near Kodiak, Alaska, last year, resulting in grounding and $1.4 million in damages, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported Tuesday.

The tugboat Cingluku and barge Jungjuk were transiting into Shakmanof Cove from Marmot Bay on May 25, 2023, with six crewmembers onboard. Operating together as an articulated tug and barge (ATB), they were primarily used to transport containerized cargo and vehicles. As they approached the entrance to the cove, the barge grounded on a submerged rock, damaging its steel hull. Fortunately, no pollution or injuries were reported, and the tugboat remained undamaged.

The incident occurred as the captain navigated the vessel using the electronic chart system (ECS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s electronic navigational chart (ENC) for Marmot Bay and Kupreanof Strait. The barge ran aground on a charted rock that was not visible on radar or through a visual lookout. Although the rock was marked on the ENC, the captain failed to notice the asterisk indicating its location.

The NTSB noted that the captain did not reference the United States Coast Pilot, which also included the rock’s location. Utilizing available resources could have assisted in identifying the hazard during route planning and review.

The crew did not use ECS functions that could have increased awareness of the rock’s location, such as grounding avoidance features. Additionally, the operating company did not ensure the crew’s understanding or use of these ECS functionalities.

“Owners and operators should ensure their crews are sufficiently trained in the use of their electronic chart system (ECS) and understand how to use the different functionalities of the ECS,” the NTSB report stated. “An ECS offers advanced features that can help users increase their vessel’s safety and crew situational awareness of potential safety hazards. In some cases, incorrect, or non-use of these features may even reduce situational awareness to certain hazards, such as submerged rocks.”

Read the report: Marine Investigation Report 24-14

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