Marine Casualty Report. USCGC CUYAHOGA, M/V SANTA CRUZ II (Argentinean): Collision in Chesapeake Bay on 20 October 1978 with Subsequent Sinking of USCGC CUYAHOGA with Loss of Life
COAST GUARD WASHINGTON DC
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On 20 October 1978 at approximately 2107 the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter CUYAHOGA and the Argentinean general cargo vessel SANTA CRUZ II collided in Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Potomac River. The CUYAHOGA was struck on the starboard side and listing from 40 to 50 degrees to port, CUYAHOGA was pushed by the SANTA CRUZ II for 30 to 45 seconds. The CUYAHOGA flooded rapidly and sank in approximately 2 minutes. Eleven persons perished. Eighteen CUYAHOGA crew members were rescued by the crew of the SANTA CRUZ II. This report contains the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation report and the Action taken by the Commandant to determine the proximate cause of the casualty and the recommendations to prevent recurrence. The Commandant has determined that the proximate cause of the casualty was that the commanding officer of the USCGC CUYAHOGA failed to properly identify the navigation lights displayed by the MV SANTA CRUZ II. As a result he did not comprehend that the vessels were in a meeting situation, and altered the CUYAHOGAs course to port taking his vessel into the path of the SANTA CRUZ II.
- Marine Engineering
- Safety Engineering