Marine Accident Brief: Collision of Liberian Containership Columbus Canada and U.S. Fishing Vessel Black Sheep, Gulf of Mexico near Galveston, Texas, December 21, 1998

On December 21, 1998, the Liberian containership Columbus Canada and the U.S. commercial fishing vessel Black Sheep collided in the Inner Bar Channel of the Gulf of Mexico. At the time of the collision, channel visibility was reduced nearly to zero due to fog. The pilot of the Columbus Canada acquired a radar contact at a range of 4 1/2 miles, while The Black Sheep master acquired the Columbus Canada on radar about 11/2 mile ahead. Each vessel reported that they had made radio calls but received no response. Neither vessel's crew visually sighted the other vessel until moments before the collision. Also, neither vessel reduced speed before the collision. At impact, the Black Sheep's hull was breached and immediately began to flood. Immediately after impact, the pilot on the Columbus Canada stopped the main engine and steered to the left to remain in the channel. The Black Sheep continued to flood and sank. The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that the probable cause of the collision between the Columbus Canada and the Black Sheep was the decision by the master of the Black Sheep to turn directly into the path of the on-coming ship.


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  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 4p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01003102
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/MAB-01-04
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 2005 11:49PM