This is what I was able to write in my newsletter the other day about this accident:
“On the last day of October this year a crane barge, the DB-1 sank in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico. When I started searching for a bit more information about the accident I came up with stuff about the loss of the DB29, a derrick barge owned by McDermott back in August 1991. The barge had been laying pipe for an offshore oilfield in the South China Sea and at the time of the sinking was on passage being towed by the tug Typhoon. What little information is available is provided by the Bradford Telegraph and Argus which reported on the coroner’s court convened to determine the cause of death of one of the divers who had been in sat during the passage. He and three other divers were lost as well as a further 22 crew members. The evidence provided to the court included some from a man who had travelled from New Zealand. The witness seemed to be suggesting that the barge had been overloaded, and that it was being towed, having no propulsion of its own, to a place of safety where it could wait out the typhoon. But it seems that under deck spaces began to fill up with water, and the deck cargo began to move about. Frustratingly for marine people with an interest, these witnesses are essentially amateurs whose view of the misfortune is conditioned by their lack of technical knowledge. Probably the management of this object would have just seen the loss as bad luck, but as usual it is more likely to have been the result of lack of knowledge of the marine environment.”
I was wondering if anyone on this forum could shed more light on this accident which has not had much media space as far as I can tell, possible because most of the crew were Malayan and the thing was registered in Panama.