Baltimore Pontoon Taxi Overloaded

Published online: Mar 07, 2006 News The Associated Press
Viewed 129 time(s)

A water taxi capsized and killed five people in Baltimore Harbor in 2004 because excessive passenger weight made the boat too unstable to withstand a sudden gust of wind, the government said Tuesday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the Coast Guard underestimated the "tippiness" of the 36-foot Lady D pontoon boat because it had conducted the wrong stability test on the wrong vessel.

The Coast Guard also assumed the average weight per passenger was 140 pounds, a standard that hasn't changed since 1942, the safety board said.

"It's the issue of what this thing can carry," said NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker.

The average weight among the Lady D's 25 passengers when the accident happened was 168 pounds, making it 700 pounds overweight, investigators said.

The Coast Guard has implemented a more detailed stability test for pontoon boats like the Lady D as a result of the accident.

In October, the Coast Guard contracted for a one-year study to assess what would happen if the assumptions about people's average weight were changed.

The NTSB said it was concerned the Coast Guard wasn't moving fast enough.

You May Also Be Interested In...

April 16, 2015

Breaking News

The National Marine Manufacturers Association canceled the Progressive Chicago In-Water Boat Show, which was set to take place June 11-14, and will stop producing the annual show.
April 16, 2015

West Marine announces new "Deck Out Dad" social media contest

West Marine has launched a new social media campaign called Deck Out Dad!
April 03, 2015

66 Days At Sea

We are happy to report that after being adrift at sea and lost for 66 days, Louis Jordan has been rescued 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina.
April 01, 2015

JC Manufacturing becomes JC TriToon Marine

Formerly known as JC Manufacturing, the Indiana-based pontoon manufacturer has officially changed its name to JC TriToon Marine.
March 31, 2015

Cascade Cycleboats launches pedal-powered boat tours

A rickshaw by any other name...wouldn't be a rickshaw anymore, I guess. But Cascade Cycleboats certainly evoke those three-wheeled conveyances of years past.
March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!