The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a report of its investigation of the sinking of the offshore supply vessel Ricky B in the Gulf of Mexico last year. According to the NTSB marine accident brief, the probable cause of the May 30, 2013, casualty was the crew’s failure to adequately assess the severity of the flooding through the starboard shaft seal gland and take prudent action to mitigate the situation.
The 110’x24′, 900-hp Ricky B sank in the Gulf of Mexico about 24 nautical miles south of Marsh Island, La., while being towed. The three crewmembers had abandoned the Ricky B earlier and boarded a good samaritan vessel, from which they were subsequently transferred to a nearby manned oil platform. No one was injured. The Ricky B was later refloated. Its damage was estimated to be $520,000. The steel OSV, built in 1981, is owned by D&B Boat Rentals, New Iberia, La., and operated by J&J Boats.