Marine Accident Brief: Collision between Panamanian Container Ship Ever Grade and U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender Cowslip, Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon, May 14, 1997

About 2125 on May 14, 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender Cowslip collided with the Panamanian container ship Ever Grade in the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon. The weather was calm with visibility severely reduced by fog to about 200 yards. One crew member of the Cowslip was injured. Property damage was estimated at $1.2 million. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between the Ever Grade and the Cowslip was the failure of the pilot of the Ever Grade to gauge the turn at Tansy Point properly due to imprecise radar estimations of his vessel's position and late application of rudder, which combined to cause the ship to swing excessively wide in the turn and to strike the Cowslip. Contributing to the accident was the joint decision of the pilot of the Ever Grade and the commanding officer of the Cowslip to attempt a meeting at a sharp bend in the channel during a period of severely reduced visibility. The vice chairman of the NTSB Robert T. Francis II, filed an additional statement with his concurrence, stating that the probable cause statement does not go far enough in recognizing the importance of bridge resource management techniques and effective ship-to-ship communications in enhancing maritime safety. Breakdowns in communication on and between the vessels should have been noted as a contributing factor in the collision.


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  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 8p

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01003090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/MAB-99-01
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 17 2005 10:28PM