This excellent report reinforces my rule of simply staying away from tugs and large commercial vessels in general. While the recreational "skipper" was clueless (and he had radar!), the report paints a picture of a industry (in that area anyway) with many more cavalier practices than I would have anticipated.
As just one example:
"Over the past 10 years the TSB has issued safety communications concerning the substandard display of navigation lights, especially aboard working barges. Of specific concern have been lights that were incorrectly configured, had insufficient range, or were not functioning. Any of these deficiencies can seriously compromise the ability of mariners to see another vessel and take timely collision-avoidance action."
I always find these reports interesting and informative. Anyone know how to find them in the U.S.? I looked at the USCG site and didn't see anything. Maybe the USTB?
Edit: Seems California and several other states don't allow the USCG to publish specifics of recreational boating accidents. Only raw data. Too bad!