Real Life Incident: Pipeline Strike Causes Fire Aboard Dredging Vessel

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a virtual public board meeting on Dec. 7 to consider the draft final report on hazardous liquid pipeline strikes and subsequent explosions and fires aboard the dredging vessel Waymon Boyd.

On Aug. 21, 2020, the Waymon Boyd struck a submerged 16-inch hazardous liquid propane pipeline during dredging operations in Corpus Christi, Texas. A geyser of propane gas and water erupted adjacent to the vessel. Shortly thereafter, propane gas engulfed the dredge and an explosion occurred. Fire damaged the vessel and surrounding shoreline.

A total of 18 personnel employed by Orion Marine Group were working or resting on the dredge and assist boats (tender boats, anchor barges, booster barges and a supply barge) on the day of the accident. Three crew members aboard the Waymon Boyd and one on an adjacent anchor barge died in the explosion and fire.


Pre-accident photo of dredge vessel Waymon Boyd.
Image Credits: Orion Marine Group

Six crew members aboard the dredge were injured, one of whom later died from his injuries. The Waymon Boyd, valued at $9.48 million, was a total loss. The cost of pipeline damage was $2.09 million.

During the meeting, the NTSB members will vote on investigators’ findings and recommendations as well as any changes to the draft report.

In keeping with established federal and local social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while also ensuring the NTSB’s compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, the board meeting for this event will be webcast to the public, with the board members and investigative staff meeting virtually. There will be no physical gathering to facilitate the board meeting.

Press Release | NTSB

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