A $12 Million Ship Collision Was Caused By a Texting Employee Investigators found that the watch officer made a personal phone call and sent text messages prior to the collision.
Texting isn't just a bad idea when driving a car. A ship officer is in deep water after causing a major collision last July.
The operator, who has yet to be named, was supposed to be keeping watch when bulk carrier Bunun Queen and supply vessel, Thunder, crashed into each other off the coast of Louisiana. According to a newly released report from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Thunder employee was found to be the culprit after investigators discovered they were texting on the job.
The collision caused flooding and resulted in $12 million in damages to both vessels. There were no reported injuries.
The report notes the incident occurred during "good visibility, daylight and fair-weather conditions" and that the Thunder watch officer made a personal phone call and sent multiple text messages using voice dictation before the crash, and therefore distracted.
The investigation also found that watch officers aboard the Bunun Queen were not keeping a proper watch, either.
"Using cell phones and other personal electronic devices has been demonstrated to be visually, manually, and cognitively distracted," the National Transportation Safety Board report states. "Nonoperational use of cell phones should never interfere with the primary task of a watchstander or a bridge team member to maintain a proper lookout."
It has yet to be reported whether the watch officers responsible for the collision are still on the job.