Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mel Oliver Tug pilot testifies in Miss. River crash hearing

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An improperly licensed and overworked towboat pilot said Tuesday that radar and steering lever problems led him to veer his tug into the path of a tanker along the Mississippi River, leading to a crash and oil spill that shut the major waterway for days. During a Coast Guard fact-gathering hearing into the July 23 collision, John Paul Bavaret II said his towboat, the Mel Oliver, got in the way of a southbound Liberian tanker ship because he became distracted by a malfunctioning radar.

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