The sinking of two vessels being towed in Massachusetts bay in 2018 was likely due to a decision by a tow captain and vessel owner to attempt a transit in wind and waves “that exceeded their original plan for the voyage,” according to a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigated the incident.
Two crew members received minor injuries in the December 2 incident, which occurred while the towing vessel Big Jake was towing five barges and two workboats. A tow broke apart, causing the barge Dredge200 and the workboat R.E. Pierson 2 to sank.
The estimated value of the Dredge200 and R.E. Pierson 2 totaled $1.98 million. It could have been worse: although both sunken vessels had fuel and lube oil on board, no visible oil sheen or pollution was reported.