National Transportation Safety Board News

21 Jan 2019

Safety Management Systems: A Good fit for Passenger Vessels?

Captain Lee Boone is the Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations & Casualty Analysis

The evidence and industry subject matter experts both say ‘yes.’In its recently released SAFER SEAS DIGEST, Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations (2017), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports investigating numerous accidents across all modes of transportation where a properly implemented safety management system (SMS) could have prevented injuries, loss of life, or material damage. That document spans analysis of casualties across the full spectrum of all manners of marine craft…

11 Dec 2018

NTSB Issues Report on Passenger Vessel Casualty

(This graphic depicts a simplified diagram of the cooling water system aboard the small passenger vessel Island Lady. The NTSB’s investigation of the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the vessel revealed that the failure of the port engine’s raw-water pump led to overheating of the engine and exhaust tubing, which led to the fire. Diagram by NTSB)

Insufficient Maintenance Program, Lack of Guidance Led to Passenger Vessel Fire. The National Transportation Safety Board determined during a public meeting held Tuesday that an insufficient preventative maintenance program and lack of guidance for responding to engine high-temperature conditions, led to the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the small passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River, near Port Ritchey, Florida.The Island Lady was a 72-foot-long passenger vessel operated by Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz…

15 Nov 2018

Passenger Vessel Fire Subject of NTSB Meeting

The National Transportation Safety Board announced Thursday its intent to hold a board meeting, Dec. 11, 2018, to determine the probable cause of the Jan. 14, 2018, fire aboard the passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River near Port Richey, Florida.One passenger died and 14 others were transported to area hospitals in the accident that left the vessel so damaged it was declared a constructive total loss.The Island Lady had 53 people aboard when at about 4 p.m. the captain received a high-temperature alarm for the port engine’s jacket-water system.

13 Nov 2018

U.S. Flag Vessel Safety

Image: NTSB

Congressional and Agency Actions to Implement Changes to U.S.-Flag Vessel Safety Requirements Three Years after the M/V El Faro IncidentOctober 1, 2018 marked three years since the tragic sinking of the M/V El Faro – ranking as one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history and resulting in the highest death toll for a U.S. commercial vessel sinking in almost 40 years. Following this incident, both the  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and U.S. Coast Guard spent considerable  effort to investigate this incident.

09 Nov 2018

Lessons Learned from Maritime Accidents: NTSB’s Safer Seas Digest 2017 Released

The El Faro 'black box' / CREDIT: NTSB

Maritime accident investigation reports for collisions, explosions, capsizings and allisions and the lessons learned within those reports are detailed in the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safer Seas Digest 2017, released online Thursday.The publication is a compendium of 41 marine accident reports for accidents involving fishing, offshore supply, cargo, passenger, tanker, towing and government vessels. Reports in the digest were adopted or issued by the NTSB during calendar year 2017.The Safer Seas Digest is a publication designed with mariners in mind…

31 Aug 2018

Carnival Horizon Cleared to Sail after Allision in NYC

© Patrick Hamilton / MarineTraffic.com

The U.S. Coast Guard has cleared the Carnival Horizon to sail after the 133,500 GT cruise ship struck a pier at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal earlier this week.The Coast Guard conducted an extensive investigation and examinations on the ship and required multiple technical surveys, including an underwater hull survey and operations testing of essential equipment, before it ultimately determined that the ship was safe depart the Port of New York and New Jersey on its scheduled eight-night Caribbean cruise.Minor structural damage to the ship’s bow was discovered…

30 Jul 2018

Families of 'Duck Boat' Sinking Victims Sue Tour Operator

The Stretch Duck 7 is removed from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., July 23, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The families of four of the 17 people killed when a World War Two-style tourist "duck boat" sank on a Missouri lake during a storm this month have sued the tour operator, saying it recklessly allowed the vessel out in dangerous weather.On Sunday, relatives of Ervin Coleman, 76, and 2-year-old Maxwell Ly, his great-nephew, both of Indianapolis, sued tour operator Ripley Entertainment Inc, which operates under the name Ride the Ducks, and vessel manufacturer Amphibious Vehicle Manufacturing LLC…

30 Jul 2018

Investigators Examine DVR Content from Fatal Duck Boat Sinking

The SD card from the digital video recorder system on board the amphibious DUKW "Stretch Boat 7" that sank July 19 near Branson, Mo. (Photo: NTSB)

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have completed their initial review of the digital video recorder system recovered from the fatal duck boat sinking near Branson, Mo.The Ride The Ducks amphibious vehicle DUKW Stretch Boat 7 had 29 passengers and two crewmembers on board for a tour on July 19 when deteriorating weather conditions caused the vessel to sink in Table Rock Lake, killing 16 passengers and one crew member.Recording media including an…

23 Jul 2018

Coast Guard Salvages Missouri Boat after Fatal Sinking

The Coast Guard oversees the removal of Stretch Duck 7 from Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, July 23, 2018. Missouri State Highway Patrol divers rigged the vessel, then a barge crane lifted it to the surface before it was towed to shore and loaded onto a flatbed trailer for transport to a secure facility. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The U.S. Coast Guard used a floating crane on Monday to raise the "duck boat" that sank beneath storm-whipped waves in a Missouri lake last week, drowning 17 people in one of the deadliest tourist accidents in the United States in years.Workers in hard hats spent an hour or so helping divers connect slings to the World War Two-style amphibious vessel some 80 feet (24 meters) below the water's surface before raising it and dragging it, dripping but apparently intact, to dry land.The…

23 Jul 2018

Coast Guard to Raise Missouri Tourist Boat after Deadly Sinking

Salvage equipment that will be used to remove Stretch Duck 7 begins to arrive at the staging area at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, July 22, 2018. The Coast Guard will oversee salvage operations, tentatively scheduled to begin July 23, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lora Ratliff)

The U.S. Coast Guard was preparing on Monday to recover the "duck boat" that sank beneath storm-whipped waves in a Missouri lake last week, drowning 17 people in one of the deadliest tourist accidents in the United States in years.After raising the World War Two-style amphibious landing craft from Table Rock Lake outside the popular vacation town of Branson, the Coast Guard said, it will hand boat over to federal investigators.Thirty-one people were aboard the Ride the Ducks boat last Thursday when a sudden…

20 Jul 2018

Update: 17 Dead after Missouri Tourist Boat Sinks in Storm

Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S. tourist incidents in recent years.The World War Two-style amphibious vehicle was filled with 31 passengers including children when a microburst storm hit Table Rock Lake outside the tourist city of Branson, Missouri, on Thursday. A video of the incident showed it battered by waves.Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. The vehicle was 80 feet (24 m) under water."It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur," Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference.

20 Jul 2018

Thirteen Dead as Missouri Storm Sinks 'Duck Boat'

At least 13 people including children drowned after a tourist "duck boat" sank during a storm on a lake in Missouri, and authorities were set to resume a search on Friday for other missing victims, Missouri Governor Michael Parson said.The sinking of vehicle, inspired by the amphibious landing craft used during D-Day in World War Two, marked one of the deadliest incidents at a U.S. tourist destination in recent history. Divers were still searching Table Rock Lake, a large reservoir outside the town of Branson, for missing passengers.Video of the incident showed the hull of the vessel submerging into choppy waters."Just a terrible, horrific tragic accident has occurred," Parson told CNN on Friday, noting that 13 people had been confirmed dead.

06 Jun 2018

Fuel Leak Caused Caribbean Fantasy Fire -NTSB

The Caribbean Fantasy’s during the final stage of abandonment, with its starboard anchor down. Gray smoke is coming out of the two funnels, and a Coast Guard helicopter is hovering over the upper deck of the ship. (Photo by U.S. Coast Guard)

Leaked fuel that contacted a hot surface in the engine room was determined to be the immediate cause of a fire that burned for three days aboard the auto and passenger vessel Caribbean Fantasy in August 2016.According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), who reported their findings Tuesday, the fire started in the main engine room of the 614-foot long, Panamanian-flagged vessel, when fuel spraying from a leaking flange contacted the hot surface of the port main…

01 Jun 2018

Staying Afloat with Strong Workboat Insurance

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

When it comes to insuring your assets, changing markets and risk variables demand better understanding of the underwriting process, as well as a long-term, stable relationship with an insurer who – like you – is in for the long run.U.S. inventor Thomas Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” Nobody knows this better than the men and women who operate diverse and industrious workboat fleets.Ferrying commuters, towing dry and liquid bulk, and assisting larger ocean…

16 Feb 2018

Annual Towing Forum Returns to SUNY Maritime

The Bouchard Tug and Barge Simulator at SUNY Maritime College offers state-of-the-art brown water training to SUNY cadets and industry professionals alike. (CREDIT: SUNY)

For nearly 20 years, leaders of the tug and barge industry in the region have converged on SUNY Maritime College in the spring to discuss current issues and initiatives facing the industry. This year will be no different; the 18th annual Towing Industry Forum will include presentations about safety management systems, wind farms and their impact on marine traffic, and a federal study regarding route planning and access to East Coast ports, among other topics. The forum, organized by the college’s Department of Professional Education and Training, will be from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

19 Jan 2018

NTSB Issues Report on 2016 Columbia River Bulker Grounding

Nenita, a 378-foot Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier laden with grain, ran aground in the Columbia River near Skamokawa, Wash., November 19, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Columbia River)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on its investigation into the November 2016 grounding of the bulk carrier Nenita in the Columbia River. The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was fully laden when it suffered an engine failure that impacted its ability to maneuver and subsequently ran aground at Three Tree Point on the Washington State side of the river. The ship’s bulbous bow and hull were damaged, but no injuries or pollution were reported. The vessel was towed to Longview, Wash.

13 Dec 2017

Overconfidence, Poor Training Sank El Faro: NTSB Report

(Photo: NTSB)

The sinking of the U.S. freighter El Faro in 2015 with the loss of 33 lives came after an overconfident captain set the ship and its poorly trained crew on a collision course with a hurricane, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its final report on Tuesday. It was the worst U.S. maritime disaster in 30 years. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the end of a day-long hearing that tracking the loss of the ill-fated ship on Oct. 1, 2015, was like watching a brewing storm.

02 Aug 2017

Freight Train Derails, Sparks Fire in Pennsylvania

A freight train on a CSX Corp line derailed in southern Pennsylvania on Wednesday, the company said, and local authorities said a freight car struck a garage which caught fire and they ordered the evacuation of nearby residents. No injuries were reported after the derailment in Hyndman, about 100 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The company said trains and shipments would be delayed between Connellsville, Pennsylvania, and Cumberland, Maryland. Harry Corley, an emergency management coordinator for Bedford County, said six cars derailed, crashing into a local garage that caught fire, and was still burning. Corley said he did not know what the train was carrying. A U.S. government agency later said the train was hauling propane tanks.

03 Jul 2017

El Faro Investigators Call for Better Weather Forecasting

The eye of Hurricane Joaquin is visible in the lower left corner of this image taken from the International Space Station October 2, 2015. (Photo: NASA)

New recommendations coming out of the investigation into the 2015 sinking of U.S. cargo ship El Faro call for efforts to improve the weather information available to mariners. All 33 crew on board died when the 790-foot El Faro sank close to the eye of Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas on October 1, 2015, two days after leaving Jacksonville, Fla. en route to Puerto Rico. Now, as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)…

30 Jun 2017

Japan Investigators Unlikely to be Granted Access to Fitzgerald Crew

The USS Fitzgerald is shown being assisted back to port after a deadly collision (CREDIT: USN / K Weierman

The United States will likely bar Japanese investigators from interviewing USS Fitzgerald crew manning the guided missile destroyer when it was struck by a cargo ship in Japanese waters killing seven American sailors, a U.S. navy official said. The Philippines-flagged container ship ACX Crystal and the U.S. warship collided at night just south of Tokyo Bay on June 17. The U.S. deaths were the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy vessel since the USS Cole was bombed by militants in Yemen's Aden harbour in 2000. No one was hurt on the cargo ship.

26 Jun 2017

US Warship Stayed on Collision Course despite Warning

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan. (U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain. Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.

20 Jun 2017

USCG Interviews Containership Crew after Warship Collision

The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Peter Burghart)

The United States Coast Guard will on Tuesday start interviewing the crew of a Philippines-flagged container ship which collided with a U.S. warship in Japanese waters killing seven American sailors. The U.S. coast guard investigation is one several into the incident on Saturday involving the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal. The cause of the collision at night and in clear weather is not known. "We are scheduled to interview the crew members," said U.S. Lieutenant Scott Carr told Reuters, referring the crew of the merchant ship.

24 May 2017

A Hybrid Drive’s Digital Landscape

Photo: handout

Hybrid drive and potential fuel savings are well known — from 10 to 30 percent, according to the sources we’ve written about over the years. Less known, is the potential need to purchase some sort of remote monitoring package to complement that diesel-electric or battery hybrid system from a system operator in order to secure the maximum safety benefits. As the count of system operators offering hybrid drives grows, so too, it seems, there’s continuous need to look at who they are and what they’re offering.

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