Coast Guard holds formal hearing on Eggners Ferry Bridge accident

8th Coast Guard District NewsPADUCAH, Ky. — The Coast Guard, working with the National Transportation and Safety Board, will hold a formal hearing in Paducah City Hall, Monday, to receive testimony regarding the allision between the cargo ship Delta Mariner and the Eggners Ferry Bridge on the Tennessee River occurring late January.

The NTSB is assisting in the investigation in accordance with the Coast Guard/NTSB Memorandum of Understanding. The Coast Guard’s Investigations National Center of Expertise is also providing investigative assistance.

The hearing will be open to the public but seating is limited and may result in a media pool.

The purpose of the Coast Guard marine casualty investigation and formal board hearing is to examine the causes of a marine casualty, make recommendations to help avoid a similar incident, improve overall maritime transportation safety, and promote safety of life and property at sea. The investigation and formal board are not intended to fix civil or criminal responsibility.

Facts and testimony collected at the formal hearing, along with the lead investigator’s conclusions and safety recommendations, will be forwarded for review to the Coast Guard Eighth District in New Orleans and the Office of Investigative and Casualty Analysis located at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington D.C. The final report of investigation will be made available to the public once reviewed and approved. No analysis or conclusions will be presented during the hearing.

Facts known to date: On Jan. 26, 2012, the Delta Mariner was transiting downbound at mile marker 41.7 on the Tennessee River when the vessel struck the auxiliary (recreational channel) span of the Eggners Ferry Bridge. The Eggners Ferry Bridge second span from the east collapsed, no automobiles were reported on that span when it fell. There were no deaths or injuries associated with the incident. The crew of the Delta Mariner were all tested for drug and alcohol use with negative results.

The allision damaged the upper portion of the bow and forward most section of the navigation bridge aboard the vessel. A portion of the downed span initially remained on the bow of the Delta Mariner.

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