NTSB: Tug pilot in duck boat crash was on cell phone

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The mate piloting a tugboat in last summer's deadly collision of a tourist boat and a barge was consumed by a family emergency and on his cell phone at the time, a new government report on the crash revealed Monday.

The mate told a tugboat company lawyer he had learned that day of a life-threatening medical emergency involving his young son, the National Transportation Safety Board report said. The mate, who was not identified, made or received 21 calls on his personal cell phone from the time he took the wheel at noon until the 2:37 p.m. crash.

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