Coast Guard: Alaskan Tug Boat Captain Ran Aground Due to Video Games

May 12, 2011 -

A safety-escort tug that ran aground two years ago on Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef went off course because of a captain who was playing video games, according to a report from the U.S. Coast Guard. The tugboat ran aground at the very same site where the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred. The tugboat Pathfinder was part of a navigation safety system established in the aftermath of the 1989 oil spill and was designed to guide oil tankers through the sound after they fill up with crude at the trans-Alaska pipeline's maritime terminal in Valdez.

But the tug boat operated by the Crowley Marine Services ended up striking the same submerged reef that ripped open the hull of the Exxon Valdez supertanker, causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. waters.

The Coast Guard report, which is dated May 5 and has not been released publically, was issued to various parties investigating the 2009 tugboat accident, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Walter Shinn. A final report releases later in the week. The report comes out of the Coast Guard's Alaska office in Juneau.

The Pathfinder spilled 6,410 gallons of diesel fuel after it struck Bligh Reef on the evening of December 23, 2009. The vessel was headed back to Valdez after scouting for floating ice in the area traveled by oil tankers.

According to the Coast Guard report, Captain Eugene Monsen did several things wrong that caused the accident. First, he changed the Pathfinder's course despite losing track of the vessel's precise location, then increased speed and failed to properly communicate with other officers. The Coast Guard puts the blame for his inattentive behavior on playing "hearts" and other games on his computer and had his back turned to the bridge.

"The fact that he went to the computer to play video games after a course change further aggravates the situation and amplifies the lack of attention on the bridge between the master and second mate," the report read.

The Coast Guard report also noted that the captain and his second mate were in direct violation of company operating and safety policies. Despite slightly exonerating the ship company, the report also recommended that the company update its policies, specifically calling for new provisions to address crew members' use of cell phones and recreational electronic devices that provide access to music, phone calls and video games.

"Games, music, phone calls to far-away family are a strong temptation and could easily distract a ship's officer from maintaining a proper lookout," the report read.

Crowley Maritime Corp. spokesman Mark Miller said that the Pathfinder's captain and second mate were fired after it was determined that they violated safety policies. The incident was an exception rather than the norm, the company claims.

"Crowley has a proven record of safe and reliable operations in Alaska. It deeply regrets the Pathfinder grounding incident," Miller said.

Source: MSNBC


 
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Goth_SkunkClearly, up to that point, she was. By my interpretation.07/01/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenGreat but that's clearly not what she's saying.07/01/2015 - 3:22pm
Goth_Skunkat all? Nonsense, and for more despicable than whatever was poorly written in the first place.07/01/2015 - 3:21pm
Goth_SkunkI find the mere suggestion that someone shouldn't write something they feel is relevant to their body of work disgusting. If they did a poor job of that writing, it's fine to say something critical then, but to suggest it should never have been written07/01/2015 - 3:20pm
Andrew EisenIf you read the article up to that point, it's clear what she's saying is most people suck at writing rape scenes so most people probably shouldn't.07/01/2015 - 3:20pm
Matthew Wilsonto a lesser exant twilight.07/01/2015 - 3:20pm
Matthew Wilsonevery time discussions like this are had, I feel like im entering a ivory tower. the reason I say that is becouse it does not match with with what seems to be really popular by females. some examples are 50 shades, girl with the dragon tattoo, aand07/01/2015 - 3:20pm
Andrew EisenYes, and that doesn't say rape scenes are bad and people shouldn't write them.07/01/2015 - 3:18pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think I am. Once again, here is the quote from the article, verbatim: "In short, anyone can write a rape scene—but should they? Chances are, the answer is no."07/01/2015 - 3:16pm
Andrew EisenYou're misinterpreting the argument it's putting forward.07/01/2015 - 3:13pm
Goth_SkunkThere's no point in reading the article further. Unless it's a poorly written article, it will focus on trying to justify the argument it put forward. As I believe there is no justification, there is no reason for me to continue reading.07/01/2015 - 3:05pm
Andrew EisenEspecially if you refuse to listen to what they have to say. As an example, had you read the article (and you're under no obligation to do so, mind), you'd learn that she isn't saying a scene is bad simply because it depicts or describes rape.07/01/2015 - 3:02pm
Goth_SkunkI never said their position was less valid than mine. I'm just saying they will never convince me away from my stance, so there's no point in trying.07/01/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://blog.twitch.tv/2015/06/html5-chat-is-live/ now only if we could get videos as html 5 instead of crappy flash.07/01/2015 - 2:55pm
james_fudgeSee what i'm saying?07/01/2015 - 2:48pm
james_fudgeI also am not a PoC and don't understand how a word with hundreds of years of history behind it affects them.07/01/2015 - 2:48pm
james_fudgeWe should also stop pretending that we understand someone else's perspective. I am not a woman nor a rape survivor and I have no idea how this stuff affects them.07/01/2015 - 2:48pm
james_fudgeThe trick is - can people talk about these things without losing their cool?07/01/2015 - 2:46pm
james_fudgetheir position is just as valid as yours07/01/2015 - 2:46pm
Goth_SkunkAs far as I'm concerned, there is no justification for such a stance.07/01/2015 - 2:45pm
 

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