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Attorney wants answers from Coast Guard in Mathews Bridge collision

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Updated: 10/01/2013 12:16 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Coast Guard is now investigating who is responsible for Thursday's collision.

But maritime attorney Rod Sullivan says it's the Coast Guard who should answer some tough questions.

"They created a plan, they submitted it to the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard approved it," said Sullivan.

Sullivan said Moran Towing filed a mandatory request known as a "dead ship plan" with the Coast Guard to move the USNS First Lt. Harry L. Martin.

It was approved even though the collision proved the ship's highest point couldn't clear the bottom of the Mathews Bridge.

"I think somebody needs to ask the Coast Guard 'did you check the air draft yourself? Or do you just rely on what was contained in the document?'"

Action News asked the experienced maritime attorney what charges could be levied against the parties involved.

"I don't see any criminal or civil charges here, particularly in light of the fact that the Coast Guard approved the plan," said Sullivan. "But there is negligence."

Sullivan predicts the state will sue Moran Towing to recoup money for the bridge repair.
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