Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation
Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…
Vessel Safety: US House Subcommittee Seeks Faster Implementation
In November the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on “Commercial and Passenger Vessel Safety: Challenges and Opportunities.” Testimony covered a range of issues, from recent tragedies such as the Conception dive-boat disaster to antiquated maritime laws.Hearing witness list:Rear Admiral Richard V. Timme, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast GuardThe Honorable Richard Balzano…
Coast Guard Suspends Search for Three Missing Mariners
The search for three missing mariners was called off on Monday after two towing vessels collided on the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, La., Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Search crews scoured more than 835 nautical miles for approximately 67 hours but were unable to find the three missing mariners, the Coast Guard said.The towing vessel Cooperative Spirit was reportedly transiting upbound on the river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allied with barges before colliding with another towing vessel RC Creppel, causing the RC Creppel to sink and barges to breakaway. Four crew members were missing intially, but one was rescued by nearby vessel.The RC Creppel was pushing two barges carrying sulfuric acid.
Search Called Off for Two Missing After Ship Collision
Responders have called off a search for two fisherman missing following a fatal ship collision near Galveston, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.One crew member has been rescued, one is deceased and two remain missing at the conclusion of a three-day search involving the Coast Guard and local responders that covered more than 49 square miles by aerial flights, shore patrols and maritime searches.“It is never an easy decision to suspend a search," said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, Sector Houston-Galveston search and rescue mission coordinator.
NTSB Issues Duck Boat Safety Recommendations
U.S. federal officials are calling for new safety rules following the fatal sinking of a Missouri amphibious passenger vessel in July 2018.Seventeen of the 31 people aboard the modified WWII DUKW amphibious passenger vessel, or "duck boat", Stretch Duck 7 died, when the vessel sank during a rapidly developing high-wind storm on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo.As part of its ongoing investigation into the July 19, 2018 accident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a marine safety recommendation report on Wednesday that calls upon the U.S.
BMT Wins Multiple Nav Simulator Orders
BMT, a leading, multidisciplinary management consultancy, has reported phenomenal growth in sales of its maritime simulator and has just signed multiple key contracts with select cruise lines including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn in North America and P&O Cruises Australia. The orders for both office and ship-based licences of BMT’s REMBRANDT maritime simulator will support cruise lines on more than 39 cruise ships.REMBRANDT is fully scalable – operating in full mission modes through to desktop and laptop configurable modes.
BMT Wins Multiple Navigation Simulator Orders
BMT has reported rapid growth in sales for its maritime simulator and has signed a number of contracts for its simulator system with cruise lines that include Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn in North America and P&O Cruises Australia.The orders for both office and ship-based licenses of the company’s REMBRANDT maritime simulator will support cruise lines on more than 39 ships.Dr. Phil Thompson, Simulation and Training Business Director at BMT, commented: “REMBRANDT delivers the highest standards of maneuvring simulation within an S-57 and S-63 ENC environment.
All but One Victim of CA Boat Blaze Recovered
Divers have recovered the bodies of all but one of the 34 people killed when the scuba tour boat they were sleeping on off Santa Cruz Island, California, erupted into flames early this week, officials said.The charred wreckage of the Conception now rests 60 feet (18 m) below the surface. Divers were still actively searching for the remains of one person, said Amber Anderson of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.None of the victims has been officially identified yet.The…
No Passengers Survive Raging CA Dive Boat Blaze
None of a dive boat's 34 passengers survived a fast-moving fire that sunk it off California's Santa Cruz Island, officials said on Tuesday, as recovery workers prepared to try to retrieve 14 bodies still believed to be on the vessel or in the ocean.Emergency workers planned to use DNA analysis to identify the badly-burned remains of the 20 people so far removed from the 75-foot (23 m) Conception ship, which was lying upside down under more than 60 feet (18 meters) of water following…
Divers Search for Bodies in CA Boat Fire
Divers searched for more bodies early on Tuesday around the wreck of a boat destroyed by a blaze off the coast of southern California, as authorities launched an investigation into one of the area's worst maritime disasters.Emergency crews found at least 25 bodies after the fire broke out before dawn on Monday, leaving nine people still missing, the Associated Press reported. The coastguard declined to confirm the figures."We are looking for bodies now," said Santa Barbara Fire Department spokeswoman Amber Anderson.Flames ripped through the scuba diving vessel Conception…
NTSB Weighs in on McCain Collision
Insufficient Training, Inadequate Bridge Operating Procedures, Lack of Operational Oversight Led to Fatal Ship Collision. The National Transportation Safety Board said Monday that the Aug. 21, 2017, collision between the USS John S McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was caused by insufficient training, inadequate bridge operating procedures and a lack of operational oversight.Ten sailors aboard the John S McCain died in the accident and 48 were injured when the ships collided in the Middle Channel passage of the Singapore Strait Traffic Separation Scheme.
Houston Ship Channel Reopens to Two-Way Traffic
The Houston Ship Channel reopened on Wednesday to two-way traffic after salvage crews removed two gasoline barges damaged in a weekend collision with a deep-draft vessel, officials said.About 11,280 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, after a 755-foot (230-metre) tanker collided over the weekend with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel.The removal of the Kirby Corp-operated barges was completed by midday on Wednesday and two-way traffic resumed, according to Bayport Channel Collision Response, a group overseeing cleanup and salvage operations.Officials decided on Wednesday to tow away a capsized barge instead of draining its tanks of fuel, speeding up the reopening by at least two days.A U.S.
Houston Port Restrictions Could Last All Week
The Houston Ship Channel could remain under one-way travel restrictions all week following a collision between a deep-draft ship and a barge that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, according to an official.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized.The U.S. Coast Guard limited travel to one-way traffic because barges blocked part of the channel.
USCG: Houston Ship Channel Moving Inbound Only
Shipping along the Houston Ship Channel was limited to one-way traffic on Monday after a barge collided with a deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway over the weekend, officials said.About 9,000 barrels of gasoline spilled into the channel near Bayport, Texas, when a 755-foot (230-m) tanker collided with a Kirby Inland Marine tugboat towing two barges containing the fuel. One barge ruptured and the other capsized. The one-way traffic limitation is due to the barges blocking part of the channel.
Maritime Fatigue: Just another band aid?
On 24 January, the IMO issued updated guidelines on fatigue. This is just another in a long series of band aids that attempt to cover over the problem without providing a solution. Fatigue is a long-standing weakness in the maritime industry. It is recognized as a major or contributing causal factor in the majority of maritime casualties. As is well-known, fatigue is caused by a lack of sleep and relaxation. These, in turn, are the result of too few people being tasked with too much work. Guidance on how to recognize and manage fatigue is meaningless.
Safety Management Systems: A Good fit for Passenger Vessels?
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…
2018 Green Apple Spill Exercise
Committed to providing tugboat and towing vessel operators with a platform to meet regularity requirements and collaborate with local resources, the annual event also reminds us that Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.On September 28 2018, American Marine Associates, LLC (AMA) coordinated and hosted the 3rd annual Green Apple Spill Response Exercise in Bayonne, NJ. The Green Apple Spill Response exercise was established specifically for the tugboat and towing vessel industry operating in New York Harbor.
NTSB Issues Report on Passenger Vessel Casualty
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…
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.
U.S. Flag Vessel Safety
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.
Lessons Learned from Maritime Accidents: NTSB’s Safer Seas Digest 2017 Released
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…
Carnival Horizon Cleared to Sail after Allision in NYC
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…
Families of 'Duck Boat' Sinking Victims Sue Tour Operator
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…