Investigations & Casualty Analysis

5/9/2018: Date set for formal public hearing for Bouchard No. 255 Tank Barge

The Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, will conduct a formal public hearing to consider evidence related to the explosion, fire, and subsequent loss of life that occurred onboard the Bouchard No. 255 Tank Barge off the coast of Texas Oct. 20, 2017.

The hearing will convene at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, Monday, July 16, 2018 at 8 a.m., and will continue through Friday, July 27, 2018. The Coast Guard will release a detailed schedule at the beginning of July.

The hearing will focus on the condition of the barge prior to and at the time of the casualty, Bouchard Transportation’s organizational structure and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the Bouchard No. 255 Tank Barge and towing vessel Buster Bouchard, and the Coast Guard inspections program.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own investigation, will fully participate in the formal public hearing.

The Coast Guard has established an e-mail address for the public and interested parties to provide information, ask questions and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing. This e-mail will be checked regularly and all correspondence will be acknowledged. The e-mail is:

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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