• NTSB report details what caused tow boat to sink in Mississippi River, killing 2 people

    By: Jeremy Pierre

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A report detailed new information about a tow boat that sank in the Mississippi River in 2017, killing a man and his step-son. 

    More than a year after the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board report explains what went wrong prior to the deaths of Keith Pigram and his step-son Anquavius Jamison. 

    ORIGINAL STORY: Man identified after tugboat sinks in Mississippi River

    Most notably, how the Ricky Robinson tow boat they worked on had issues that went ignored by the company that owns it. 

    According to the NTSB report, a contributing factor to the boat sinking was Wepfer Marine’s inadequate oversight to ensure crews kept hatches closed.

    But the report also points out that it was the responsibility of the deckhands and pilot to make sure the boat was safe enough to operate.


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    The boat began taking on water, most likely due to water entering the voids through the open or unsecured hatch covers. 

    As the vessel heeled to a larger angle, water would have also down-flooded through the open port engine room door – rapidly flooding the engine room.

    According to the report, the captain of the boat sent two distress calls prior to it sinking. 

    The NTSB findings discovered several previous cases of water intrusion into the voids on the Ricky Robinson that included repairs.

    The report explains that Wepfer Marine ignored “water tight” issues.

    Lawyers representing Jamison’s family were not available to speak to FOX13 regarding the case. However, they said they will speak on NTSB’s findings soon.

    “Anyone who worked on that boat or who served on that ship was in danger,” said Attorney Aaron Neglia.

    Neglia is representing Jamison’s family.

    “They said the boat shouldn’t have never been put on the river because they had to constantly pump with a manual pump water out of these hatches,” Neglia said.

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