Investigations & Casualty Analysis

07/13/2018: Public hearing being held July 16 in Houston, Texas, for Bouchard No. 255 tank barge incident

The Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a formal public hearing beginning July 16, 2018, at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston to consider evidence related to an incident that occurred aboard the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge.

An explosion, fire, and subsequent loss of life occurred aboard the Bouchard Barge No. 255 tank barge off the coast of Texas October 20, 2017.
The hearing is scheduled to convene at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston July 16, 2018, at 8 a.m. and will continue to July 27, 2018. The address is 13411 Hillard Street, Houston, Texas, 77034. Coast Guard spokespersons will be available for media interviews at 7:30 a.m. July 16 before the hearing begins. The hearing will also be streamed live each day at

The hearing will focus on the condition of the barge prior to and at the time of the casualty, Bouchard Transportation organizational structure and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge and the towing vessel Buster Bouchard, and the Coast Guard inspections program. Media will be allowed to attend this public hearing.

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

Additional information about the hearing, to include the schedule, fact sheets and biographies, as well as any future news releases and documentation can be found here.

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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