NTSB Contact of Tanker Dank Silver with Sunshine Bridge

Executive Summary

​On June 16, 2019, about 1322 local time, the bulk liquid cargo vessel Dank Silver was transiting downbound on the Mississippi River, near Donaldsonville, Louisiana, when it struck the fender of the western pier to the main (channel) span of the Sunshine Bridge. No pollution or injuries to the 19 crewmembers on board the Dank Silver were reported. Damage to the vessel was about $1.05 million, and damage to the bridge was estimated at $3.5 million.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the tank vessel Dank Silver’s contact with the Sunshine Bridge was the pilot’s decision to turn the vessel off the dock instead of going upriver to gain sufficient steerageway to maneuver downriver through the bridge.

Full report: https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/accidentreports/pages/MAB2023.aspx


I thought this was interesting as we had just discussed strength of ship’s bitts and chocks

Looking at the overview map on page 2 of the report, I thought, “Hell, did the Americans not only invert the red-green harbor lights, but even the meaning of left-right?”
I looked up “left descending bank”… no, as in Europe, the left bank is left-hand, looking downriver.
Only NTSB’s artist, when naming the banks, looked upriver (or ‘up-map’).

As for the content, the current was far too strong for the planned manoeuvre.

Urs, the NTSB map in the report is incorrectly labeled. The right and left descending bank are exactly what they describe, the right and left bank as you are descending the river. NTSB map is labeled backwards. Dummies.

1 Like

Yes, indeed!
Some times, my writing, after shortening it, gets so tortuous that common humans cannot follow it. While writing, I ‘think’ English, but I am not of some English mother tongues.

Thank you, for this involuntary reminder.

1 Like

Did NTSB sneak in a ninja edit? I see that the Eastern bank is labeled as “left” in that figure.

As a bit of trivia, as best I can make out the Americans didn’t actually switch their colors (well, it was red and black back then); rather various European countries swapped their systems around a few times. Given the effort involved, the US wasn’t too keen on changing things up to match the latest fashions.

1 Like

Yes, they corrected the map !
Hence, they are following our forum’s advice…