COLLISION OF ARGENTINE FREIGHTER M/V SANTA CRUZ II AND U.S. COAST GUARD CUTTER CUYAHOGA IN CHESAPEAKE BAY AT THE MOUTH OF THE POTOMAC RIVER, MARYLAND, OCTOBER 20, 1978--MARINE ACCIDENT REPORT

At 2107 e.d.t. on October 20, 1978, the Argentine freighter M/V SANTA CRUZ II and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter CUYAHOGA collided in the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Potomac River, Maryland. As a result of the collision, the CUYAHOGA sank. Eleven Coast Guardsmen were killed; 18 Coast Guardsmen were rescued by the SANTA CRUZ II which experienced minor damage. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the left turn executed by the CUYAHOGA, while in proximity to the SANTA CRUZ II, contrary to the Rules of the Road as the vessels were meeting head and head, the failure of the Commanding Officer of the CUYAHOGA to determine the relative motion, course, speed, or closest point of approach of the SANTA CRUZ II, and the failure of the CUYAHOGA to initiate bridge-to-bridge communications by radiotelephone to exchange navigational information. Contributing to the loss of life was the lack of emergency lighting aboard the CUYAHOGA.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Accident Investigation, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20594
  • Publication Date: 1979-2-26

Media Info

  • Pagination: 79 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00190072
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Transportation Safety Board
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB-MAR-79-3
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 25 1979 12:00AM