Tug capsizing last year in Vancouver highlights industry risks: TSB

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor was hauling a loaded gravel barge when it capsized

The Transportation Safety Board says the capsizing of a tug at the mouth of the Fraser River in Vancouver shows the risks the industry faces because of a lack of awareness of the factors that led to the accident last year.

The 19-metre-long George H. Ledcor was hauling a loaded gravel barge on the north arm of the river not far from the city’s airport when it capsized shortly after 10 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2018.

The safety board says it has identified safety risks for the towing industry including informal work practices, insufficient training and a lack of knowledge about the effects of girding, which happens when a vessel is pulled broadside by a tow line force.

The board says the girding and capsizing of the vessel happened quickly after there was an attempt to change the direction of a barge carrying more than 4,600 tonnes of gravel that was also being pushed by an assist tug.

It says as the barge started to overtake the George H. Ledcor, the tow line exerted a broadside force on the tug and attempts to abort the tow were unsuccessful as it “rapidly” capsized.

The four crew members on board were rescued from the vessel’s overturned hull, although the TSB says one deckhand suffered a serious injury to his hand as he attempted to climb onto the barge from the tug.

“The investigation highlighted a number of risk factors, notably: if tug masters are not provided initial and recurrent training and if the towing industry continues to rely primarily on tug masters to manage girding hazards through shiphandling skills and informal practices, there is a continued risk that capsizings due to girding will occur,” the board says in a news release Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Lift arrives to pull sunken tug boat from Fraser River

It says between 2005 and 2018, the TSB received reports of 26 girding situations, resulting in 21 capsizings.

The TSB says the George H. Ledcor was equipped with three abort mechanisms, which are normally used in emergencies and quickly release the winch brake to take tension out of a tow line.

It says the location, orientation and colour of the buttons to activate the abort mechanisms were different and the labels on them were obscured by other controls and switches.

Since the capsizing, the board says Ledcor Resources and Transportation Inc. has taken a number of steps to reduce the likelihood of similar accidents.

It has added procedures to its safety management system on how to recognize and avoid girding situations. Ledcor also introduced a voyage simulator and classroom training for its masters and mates and installed more standard abort mechanisms in common locations on its vessels.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Control of Parliament could rest on a handful of ridings – including Agassiz and Harrison’s

UFV political science professor says Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon result could play key role

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Three-hour parking coming to Agassiz’s Pioneer Avenue

The three-hour parking spots will be along Pioneer Park in the downtown area

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

VIDEO: Mansbridge documentary to feature Hope, B.C.

New CBC film focuses on how Canadians are feeling prior to federal election

VIDEO: Agassiz lights candles in memory of missing, murdered Indigenous women

The Sisters in Spirit vigil took place at the Agassiz United Church

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read