Tuesday, December 8, 2009

USCG Crashes Into Charleston Tour Boat

A US Coast Guard "small boat" crashed into Charleston's Thriller tour boat just after the completion of the annual Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday.

From and Charleston Post and Courier:

A 25-foot Coast Guard boat and a commercial catamaran collided in Charleston Harbor on Saturday night.

Three people (maybe more) from the catamaran Thriller were reported injured, according to the Coast Guard.

The extent of their injuries was not known.

A 41-foot Coast Guard utility boat crew from Station Charleston evacuated the 24 passengers aboard Thriller and transported them to Charleston Harbor Marina to await emergency medical personnel.

"The Coast Guard's primary concern right now is the condition of the passengers who were injured in the incident," Capt. Michael F. McAllister, commander, Coast Guard Sector Charleston, said in a news release.

The Coast Guard vessel sustained no damage, and Thriller sustained moderate above-the-water-line damage, according to the Coast Guard. Conditions at the time of the incident were clear, with winds at 10 mph to 15 mph. The collision is under investigation.

More Post and Courier Coverage Here.

This is not the first time the Coast Guard Small Boat has collided with a "Thriller" type boat. Back in 2002 a USCG boat running at high speed hit the Bayside Blaster and two crew members where thrown overboard. The Bayside Blaster is a sistership to Thriller.

From the Sun Times:

U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat CG242513, which was on a routine patrol of Biscayne Bay, Florida, and the small passenger vessel Bayside Blaster, which was on a sightseeing tour of the area. The accident resulted in no deaths or serious injuries. However, both Coast Guard crew members and 2 of the Bayside Blaster’s passengers were taken to a hospital for examination. Damages to the patrol boat (which was a total loss), the Bayside Blaster, and a moored recreational boat totaled $184,722.

The full NTSB report is here.


The Coast Guard News corrects a couple of press releases released by Coast Guard Sector Charleston. Mainly changing the number of injured passengers to 5, and correcting the statement that the USCG small boat was not damaged and adding that most of the passengers stayed aboard to return to Ripley Light Marina.

Cedar Posts has talked with two USCG members while not wanting to pass judgement, admit it doesn't look good for the crew of the small boat.

Now there are a lot of people at the P&C web site faulting me for coming down hard on the Coasties as if there is "no way" these highly trained professional would run over another boat.

So I submit the following:

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