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THIS RECOMMENDATION ADDRESSES THE ADEQUACY OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS DESIGN. THE RECOMMENDATION IS DERIVED FROM THE SAFETY BOARD'S INVESTIGATION OF THE FIRE ON BOARD THE LIBERIAN PASSENGER SHIP ECSTASY NEAR MIAMI, FLORIDA, ON 7/20/98, AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE EVIDENCE WE FOUND AND THE ANALYSIS WE PERFORMED. AS A RESULT OF THIS INVESTIGATION, THE SAFETY BOARD HAS ISSUED TWELVE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS, ONE OF WHICH IS ADDRESSED TO ABB, INC. INFORMATION SUPPORTING THIS RECOMMENDATION IS DISCUSSED BELOW. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE A RESPONSE FROM YOU WITHIN 90 DAYS ADDRESSING THE ACTIONS YOU HAVE TAKEN OR INTEND TO TAKE TO IMPLEMENT OUR RECOMMENDATION.
THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT ABB, INC.: ADVISE YOUR CUSTOMERS OWNING SHIPS WITH THE SAME PROPULSION SYSTEM DESIGN ARRANGEMENTS AS THE ECSTASY OF THE POTENTIAL FOR SYSTEM FAILURE FROM THE LOSS OF AUXILIARY VOLTAGE TO THE HIGH-SPEED BREAKERS AND RECOMMEND DESIGN CHANGES TO THE PROPULSION SYSTEM THAT WOULD MINIMIZE THESE EFFECTS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Closed - Acceptable Action
Harbor, United States
Fire On Board Liberian Passenger Ship
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
ABB, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Safety Recommendation History
The Safety Board notes that ABB contacted Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and Star Cruises (owners of vessels with the same propulsion system design arrangements as the Ecstasy) by email, providing copies of ABB's advisory, a copy of the Safety Board's recommendation letter, and ABB's vessel-specific, propulsion-design analysis prompted by the recommendation. Mr. Madara reported that these four ship owners and Carnival Cruise Line are the only vessel owners operating a propulsion converter and control system similar to that on the Ecstasy. Because Carnival Cruise Line had participated in the shipboard fire investigation, understood the substance of the issue, and was taking action to correct the problem, ABB did not send Carnival a separate advisory. As these actions fully address the recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-01-11 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."
Letter Mail Controlled 1/23/2004 10:05:36 AM MC# 2040039 This letter is the follow-up response to my letter dated December 19, 2003. I am pleased to report that in response to (and as recommended by) the referenced Safety Recommendation, ABB did contact the following ship owners: Crystal Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Star Cruises. The first three were contacted by e-mail January 14, 2002. Star Cruises was contacted by e-mail April 3, 2002. Copies of ABB's advisory to each of the owners, including the Board's Safety Recommendation and ABB's vessel-specific propulsion design analysis prompted by the Board's Safety Recommendation, are attached for the Board's information. These ship owners are the only owners operating the propulsion converter and control system similar to that on the MIS Ecstasy, the vessel which was the subject of the referenced Safety Recommendation, in addition to Carnival Cruises, the owner of the M/S Ecstasy. ABB did not send a separate advisory to Carnival Cruises since that vessel owner was deeply involved in the shipboard fire investigation and knew the substance of the issue addressed by the referenced Safety Recommendation.
Letter Mail Controlled 1/6/2004 3:41:57 PM MC# 2040007 This is to aclulowledge receipt of your letter dated December 17,2003 to Mr. Dinesh C. Paliwal, President, ABB Inc. in which the Office requests information regarding ABB's response to the referenced safety recommendation. Mr. Paliwal has asked me to investigate with our Turbocharger & Marine business and technical management officers precisely what actions were taken in response to the initial safety recommendation letter and to furnish that information directly to the Office. While I do not have specific replies from that particular business operation now, I did want to assure the Office that ABB regards marine safety as ofthe highest priority importance in the design 2nd aperational fmctionahty of ABB's shipboard equipment. Due to the Christmas and New Year Holidays, I anticipate that I will not have a substantive response until January, 2004, however, I shall contact the office with the details as early in January as possible. If there are any questions or a need to discuss this further at this time, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
On September 26, 2001, the Safety Board requested information on action taken to implement Safety Recommendation M-021-11. The Safety Board has not received a response from ABB, Inc. regarding actions being taken in response to this safety recommendation. The Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure the public the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. That is why we monitor the progress of our recommendations. We would appreciate being informed of the specific actions taken in response to this recommendation. A copy of the letter issuing this recommendations and the September 26, 2001, follow-up request are enclosed. Please address your response to Ms. Ellen Engelman-Conners, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, and refer to the recommendation by number. A copy of the recommendation letter and the Board’s letter of September 26, 2001, are enclosed for your reference.
The Safety Board requested a response from ABB, Inc., within 90 days, addressing the actions taken or planned to implement the recommendations. To date, the Board has not received your response. Please address your response to Ms. Marion C. Blakey, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, and refer to the recommendation by number. A copy of the recommendation letter is enclosed for your reference.
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