NTSB determines uncorrected sheering motion
causes Eagle Otome collision with two other vessels
The National Transportation Safety Board determined Tuesday that the failure of Eagle Otome's first pilot to correct sheering motions that began as a result of the late initiation of a turn at a mild bend in the waterway was the probable cause of the January 23,2010, collision of the tankship Eagle Otome with cargo vessel Gulf Arrow and the subsequent collision with Dixie Vengeance tow. Contributing to the collisions, which caused an estimated 462,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Sabine-Neches canal, was the first pilot's fatigue, caused by his untreated obstructive sleep apnea and his work schedule, which did not permit time for adequate sleep; and his distraction from conducting a radio call, which the second pilot should have handled in accordance with guidelines; and the lack of effective bridge resource management by both pilots. Also contributing to the accident was lack of oversight by the Jefferson and Orange County Board of Pilot Commissioners.