A federal review determined that a collision of a tank ship with a cargo vessel that led to an oil spill in the Sabine-Neches canal near Port Arthur was because of pilot error, fatigue and distraction.
The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that that Jan. 23, 2010 collision of the Eagle Otome, a tank ship, with the Gull Arrow, a cargo vessel, and the later collision with the Dixie Vengeance in tow was because the Eagle Otome’s pilot didn’t correct sheering motions that happened after a turn in the waterway. The pilot’s fatigue, caused by untreated sleep apnea and work schedule, and distraction also played a part, the report said. Both pilots also didn’t effectively manage bridge resources, and lack of oversight from the Jefferson and Orange County Board of Pilot Commissioners contributed as well.
The collision caused about 462,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Sabine-Neches canal.