Tugboat accidents don’t seem like they would be all that common or deadly, but one Wisconsin man wasn’t so lucky last week.
On Wednesday, a tugboat capsized at Lock and Dam No. 7 on the Mississippi River. A search for survivors began immediately, but only two of the three men on the boat survived.
The search, which lasted from shortly after the boat capsized at 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. later that day, enlisted the help of local police, the coast guard and a camera-equipped robot. The rescuers were able to save Cody Blank, 24, and Daniel Garmo, 61. The two were taken to a hospital and released later that day. As for 22-year-old Tyler Trussoni, divers found his body on the middle level of the three-level boat wearing a life jacket. They attempted to resuscitate him, but to no avail.
So, what caused the boat to capsize? The boat was swept over the rolling gates after apparently losing power. The boat’s owner – Brennan Marine – supported the theory by saying that mechanical problems mixed with a strong current likely led to the accident. The coast guard are performing their own investigation, however, and it should become apparent in the coming days as to whether or not the boat capsized due to mechanical problems.
That being said, it’s likely that the above scenario was the culprit behind Wednesday’s accident. Lock and Dam No. 7 has a history of boat accidents as other vessels have lost power and then gone over the rolling gates. In May of this year, a houseboat holding 11 people were caught in a similar situation. Thankfully, nobody died in that incident. Unfortunately, a similar incident in 2007 did not turn out so well as a family of four drowned after going over the gates.[h/t: News 8000 WKBT]