Tugboat Pilot Says He Could Have Avoided Crash
by Matthew D. Shaffer on May 14, 2012
A tugboat pilot convicted in the July 2010 crash of a barge and tour boat that left two Hungarian tourists dead said in a deposition that the collision could have been avoided if he had been at his post.
Matt Devlin, who is serving a one-year sentence for the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter, was on a cellphone for a family emergency when the collision occurred. He said in a taped deposition that he would have needed about 200 feet to stop the barge given the conditions at the time of the crash on the Delaware River.
The deposition was part of a civil trial that ended in a $17 million settlement between the tour company and the tug operator.
The maritime attorneys of Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris represent workers injured in maritime accidents.