Tugboat pilot Matt Devlin typically worked a two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off cycle along with his crewmates, but agreed to board The Resource in Philadelphia a week early last summer as a fill-in.
The Resource pushed a 250-foot-long city barge up and down a short stretch of the Delaware River each day, picking up sludge and depositing it at a treatment plant downriver.
Tug captains describe the job as 90 percent boredom and 10 percent terror. The latter because of the obstacles that pop up in busy harbors like Philadelphia, where commercial vessels share the water with meandering sailboats, speedy personal watercraft and frequent tour boats.
"Each time on that water is a new experience," Ride the Ducks captain Gary Fox told investigators after his amphibious tour boat was struck last summer by The Resource, with Devlin at the helm. The July 7 crash killed two Hungarian students on the duck boat.
Click here for a report on transcripts released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board that reveal the confluence of events that led up to the 2:37 p.m. crash on the scorching hot summer day.