GALVESTON — A tugboat captain whose vessel was nearby when a cargo ship and barge collided near the Texas City Dike testified Monday that the ship “increased speed” as it entered a tricky waterway and as weather conditions worsened.  

The testimony was part of the first day of a U.S. Coast Guard hearing into the March 22 collision of the cargo ship Summer Wind and barges towed by the tugboat Miss Susan. The crash resulted in a spill of more than 168,000 gallons — or 4,000 barrels — of heavy fuel oil into Galveston Bay. The spill soiled beaches and wildlife and shut down shipping traffic for several days.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

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(1) comment

Miceal O'Laochdha

I am surprised by the lack of general public in attendance at this hearing. Especially when so very many people have opinions about who is to blame, who should pay, etc.

If you subtract all the lawyers in the audience, as well as uniformed USCG personnel (Captains and Commanders, no less), witnesses, and the news media representatives, the seats would have been pretty empty of the general citizenry..

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