There was evidence the operators of the integrated tug and barge failed to maintain a proper lookout to avoid a collision, as required by Inland Navigation Rule 5. There was also evidence the operators failed to make proper use of the radar equipment to obtain early warning of risk of collision.
It could not be verified whether the Linda E crew maintained a lookout or used installed radar to avoid collision. However, the investigation did determine practices that indicated the crew may not have been standing a proper lookout prior to the collision.
Final recommendations included:
- Promote the use of radars with anti-collision alarm features.
- Reiterate the inherent risks associated with operating a boat that has no watertight subdivision, including the difficulty of egress from a fast-sinking vessel.
- Re-emphasize to all Great Lakes fishing vessel operators the importance of properly displaying a fishing day shape.
MSO Milwaukee published the contents of the supplemental report as a safety advisory to all commercial vessels operating in Lake Michigan. A copy of the report was also provided to the state of Wisconsin and local agencies responsible for investigating boating accidents.
For more information:
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