Coast Guard continues investigation of Charleston Harbor vessel collision

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Coast Guard is continuing its investigation into the Charleston Harbor vessel collision between a Coast Guard 25-foot response boat and the Thriller, a commercial power catamaran.

The collision occurred Saturday at approximately 8:30 p.m. in the Charleston Harbor as the 25-foot response boat crew was returning from a vessel escort and the Thriller was in the middle of a tour with 22 passengers and two crew aboard.

A second Coast Guard 25-foot response boat that was operating nearby responded immediately and put an Emergency Medical Technician onboard the Thriller to assess injuries.

A 41-foot Coast Guard rescue boat crew from Station Charleston helped to evacuate five Thriller passengers and transported them to Charleston Harbor Marina where emergency medical personnel were on scene. The additional 17 Thriller passengers and two crew stayed aboard the vessel and transited back to shore.

Coast Guard investigative officers are conducting the investigation concurrently with the National Transportation Safety Board. The agencies each have jurisdiction in incidents where commercial vessels are involved.

The Coast Guard investigation includes crew and passenger interviews, collection of statements, damage assessment and evaluation of drug screening and urinalysis reports from Saturday night.

The NTSB investigates marine accidents on navigable waters of the United States and collisions involving U.S. public and nonpublic vessels. In addition, the NTSB investigates selected marine accidents that involve public transportation.

The Coast Guard response boat sustained approximately $1,500 in damage and Thriller has moderate above the water-line damage.

The Coast Guard will provide more information once it becomes available.

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