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New evidence suggests captain lied about factors in tugboat crash

New details in a recent tugboat crash case suggest that the accident may have been caused by a more complex series of poor judgements than originally thought. When the tugboat "Specialist" sank three months ago after striking a barge, it was in the middle of a multiple boat haul. The captain of the "Realist," another tug boat, had requested that the Specialist's captain transfer vessels, leaving an unqualified crew member onboard to perform captain's duties. The Specialist struck a barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge and sank on March 12, claiming the lives of all three crew members on board.

When questioned by authorities, the captain of the Realist, who had requested for the Specialist's captain to come relieve him of duties, claimed that only he, the other captain and a third crew member were on board the Realist when the Specialist sank. Recently, however, some inconsistencies in his official testimony and comments he posted to his Facebook page prompted authorities to reinvestigate his involvement in the matter. According to reports released June 30, the captain of the realist may have insisted on bringing his girlfriend, an unauthorized passenger, along for the haul.

There has been great speculation as to what role the captain's girlfriend may have played in the accident. The captain's failing to identify her as having been on board at the time of the crash has certainly raised suspicions among authorities and the community alike. Regardless of the girlfriend's role, the absence of a licensed captain to helm the Specialist left an unqualified crew member performing captain's duties after a lengthy shift of skipper's duties. It is suspected that fatigue from working excessive hours may have played a role in the accident.

Distracted or impaired driving of any vehicle is always a recipe for danger, exposing not only the driver but many others to potential harm. Individuals who have sustained injuries in a vehicle crash may benefit greatly from the representation of an experienced legal professional who can advise them in how to pursue compensation and protect their rights.

Source: The Journal News, "Tugboat captain misled cops about girlfriend on board, sources say," Jonathan Bandler, June 30, 2016

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