Thursday, June 26, 2014

Allision (Allided)

The title of the NTSB report on the Marseilles Dam accident is "Allision of the Dale A. Heller Tow with Marseilles Dam" (new URL). I looked up Allision in my regular dictionary and did not find it. So I got the bigger dictionary off the shelf. Still no joy. I know the NTSB avoids using terms like "accident" or "crash". I've seen "incident" as one of their favorite euphemisms. So I was wondering if "allision" is a new euphemism or if it really means "running barges into a dam". A web search quickly determined that it is a maritime law term that means a moving vessel violently running into a stationary vessel or an object. It is distinguished from "collision", which means two vessels running into each other. So a ship does not collide with a bridge, it allides with it. Furthermore, an allision is a violent contact. For example, a ship scraping a bridge pier fender as it passes under the bridge is not an allision.

Jeremy Lee Ellis commented on a post via Dennis DeBruler

Speaking of allisions, I came across a video of a ship entering the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks on an angle and smashing one of the mules.

Some of the allisions that I have documented.

1 comment:

  1. I found a definition in the Oxford English Dictionary, Allision: The action of dashing against or striking with violence upon.