NTSB Report Highlights Importance of Navigation Training After Kodiak Tugboat Collision

Cingluku and Jungjuk pictured before the grounding
Last year, a tugboat and barge collided with an underwater rock near Kodiak, Alaska, causing $1.4 million in damage. The incident highlighted the importance of utilizing electronic chart systems and ensuring crew training to enhance vessel safety. The NTSB report emphasized the need for proper use of ECS features to prevent accidents.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that a tugboat carrying a barge collided with a known underwater rock near Kodiak, Alaska, causing $1.4 million in damage. The incident occurred on May 25, 2023, as the tug Cingluk and barge Look up were in transit from Marmot Bay to Shakmanof Cove with six crew members on board. The barge ran aground on a submerged rock at the entrance to the bay, damaging its steel hull, but fortunately, no pollution or injuries were reported, and the tug was undamaged.

The captain was navigating using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Electronic Chart System (ECS) and Electronic Navigation Chart (ENC) for Marmot Bay and Kupreanof Strait, but the vessel struck a charted rock that was not visible on radar or through a visual lookout. The captain did not notice the position of the rock, marked on the ENC with an asterisk, and did not refer to the United States Coast Pilot for its location. The NTSB highlighted the importance of utilizing available resources during route planning and verification to identify hazards like the submerged rock.

The NTSB emphasized the need for owners and operators to ensure their crews are adequately trained in using the ECS and understanding its features, such as runaway avoidance features. The report stated that an ECS provides advanced features that can enhance vessel safety and alert the crew to potential hazards. Failure to use these features or improper use could impair the perception of hazards, such as submerged rocks. It is crucial for crews to utilize all available resources to ensure safe navigation and prevent future incidents like the collision near Kodiak, Alaska.

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