Failed equipment, poor risk management caused barges to run aground: TSB

By The Canadian Press
May 10, 2017 - 12:30pm Updated: May 10, 2017 - 4:20pm

RICHMOND, B.C. — Investigators say the grounding of two barges near Victoria last year was caused by inadequate towing equipment and poor risk management.

The Transportation Safety Board has released a report into the grounding of the HM Tacoma and HM Blue Horizon in March 2016, saying the barges were being towed in tandem when the vessel hit stormy weather.

The report says a tow line between the barges snapped, then got caught in the tug’s propeller resulting in both the Tacoma and Blue Horizon running aground.

Investigators found the first barge was able to break away because of inadequate towing equipment, including short, degraded ropes of different diameter, length and material.

They also found the company responsible for the vessels had not assessed the risk associated with its tug and barge operations.

The report says all companies operating marine vessels should be required to have a formal safety management process, overseen by Transport Canada.

It also says the incident could be repeated if Transport Canada doesn’t provide vessel owners and operators with standards and guidance on towing equipment.

The Canadian Press

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