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Ship's operator claims crew thought they it would fit under the bridge

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Updated: 9/28/2013 2:45 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The operators of the ship that got stuck under a bridge thought it would fit, that's according to attorney Timothy Conner.

He is representing the United States and Patriot Contract Services, a maritime contractor in charge of the U.S. Navy ship that slammed into the Mathews Bridge.

It isn't the company's first mishap. Action News pulled a report from the Military Sea Lift Command that shows in 2004 a ship that Patriot was operating caught fire, causing heavy damage. Three crew members suffered smoke inhalation. While no one was hurt in Thursday's crash, the damage to the taxpayer-funded bridge is extensive.

Action News asked Conner if Patriot Contract Services is legally in charge of the ship. He replied "Well, we're still sorting through those issues."

Thursday, Action News was told by Jacksonville city councilman Johnny Gaffney that no one was onboard the vessel as it was being towed by tugboats. Friday, we learned that's not accurate. We now know a chief mate, or officer in charge, was on board the vessel vessel, along with several other crew members employed by Patriot.

"He would be in charge of running operations on the ship that need to be run and coordinating with the tugboats and the towing company," said Conner.

That means there was would mean someone on board, in charge, that the ship could have ordered the lowering of the ramp that severed one of the bridge's support beams. Conner said he wants to know if someone was actually supposed to lower the ramp, and, if so, why wasn't it done.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

cheriamour - 11/6/2013 12:29 PM
0 Votes
The history of repeated construction on this bridge should be reason to evaluate its saftey for travelers. FDOT should review this as a public safety priority.

nativejax - 9/28/2013 3:42 PM
1 Vote
"Think too long, you think wrong'. I can't believe it was the 'crews' job to guess at something this important. Surely pizzed a lot of Jags fans off, they have to go long way around to see the Jags lose again. Though I hope they don't. I really think the colts should be sent packing with a big fat LOSS, back to Indiana...it would be sssoooo nice.

wishmistress - 9/28/2013 2:25 PM
1 Vote
Who proofreads this stuff? Oh, that's right, I forgot. NOBODY.

Gunny48 - 9/28/2013 1:08 PM
2 Votes
"...crew thought they it would fit under the bridge" - let's hope so!!
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