SINKING OF THE M/V CHESTER A. POLING NEAR CAPE ANN, MASSACHUSETTS, JANUARY 10, 1977. MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT

About 1040 e.s.t. on January 10, 1977, the M/V Chester A. Poling, a 281-foot coastal tankship broke in two about 6 nmi ESE of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, while en route from Everett, Massachusetts, to Newington, New Hampshire, during a severe winter storm. The vessel was partially ballasted and carried no cargo; only minor pollution resulted. Of the seven persons aboard, six persons were resecued and one person is missing and presumed dead. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the brittle fracture of a bottom longitudinal stiffener, which led to buckling of the adjacent bottom plating panels and subsequent failure of the complete bottom and sides. The bottom longitudinal stiffener failed because of the high stresses created by the improper distribution of ballast water and the heavy seas. Contributing to the accident were the lack of a loading manual to indicate proper ballasting procedures, the speed of the vessel, and the inaccuracy of the National Weather Service's weather forecasts. Contributing to the loss of life were the lost seaman's failure to wear a personal flotation device, and the improper handling of the Coast Guard helicopter's rescue basket by the Poling's crew, which resulted from the crew's lack of training and their inability to hear Coast Guard instructions over the noise created by the helicopter, high winds, and breaking seas.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1978-9-14

Media Info

  • Pagination: 28 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00183718
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Safety Board
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-MAR-78-7
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1978 12:00AM