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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-08-007
Details
Synopsis: About 0130 on Monday, May, 2007, the 300-foot passenger vessel Empress of the North, operated by Majestic America Line, grounded on a charted rock at the intersection of Lynn Canal and Icy Strait in southeastern Alaska, about 20 miles southwest of Juneau. The vessel was negotiatibg a turn west out of Lynn Canal into Icy Strait on its way to Glacier Bay, the next stop on a 7-day cruise, carrying 206 passengers and 75 crewmwmbers. The junior third mate, a newly licensed officer, was on his first navigation watch when the vessel struck the rock, known as Rocky Island, which was illuminated by a flashing green navigation light. The junior third mate, a newly licensed officer, was on his first navigation watch when the vessel struck the rock, know as Rocky Island, which was illuminated by a flashing green navigation light. The U.S. Coast Guard and several good Samaritan vessels assisted in evacuating the paasengers and nonessential crewmembers and safety transporting them back to Juneau. No injuries or pollution resulted from the accident. The vessel sustained $4.8 million in damage.
Recommendation: The Safety Board believes that other passenger vessel operators might benefit from learning about the circumstances of the Empress of the North accident, and makes the following safety recommendation to the Passenger Vessel Association: Through your website, publication and conferences, inform your members about the circumstances of this accident, including the need for masters to verify that officers of the navigation watch are familiar with a vessel's route, handling characteristics, and bridge equipment.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Chatham Straits, AK, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA07MM015
Accident Reports:
Grounding of U.S. Passenger Vessel Empress of the North
Report #: MAR-08-02
Accident Date: 5/14/2007
Issue Date: 2/3/2009
Date Closed: 8/19/2009
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Passenger Vessel Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Safety Management Systems

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Passenger Vessel Association
Date: 8/19/2009
Response: The NTSB is pleased to note that the June 2009 edition of PVA’s Foghorn magazine contains an in-depth article on the circumstances and lessons learned from this accident. The NTSB is particularly pleased that the article provides an overview of the pilotage requirements for vessels under 1,600 gross tons operating on inland routes. From staff discussion with Captain Gedney, the NTSB further notes that, in addition to publishing the article, the PVA has posted the article on its website and has discussed the circumstances of the accident at various meetings and with its general membership. These actions on the part of the PVA satisfy Safety Recommendation M-08-7; accordingly, the recommendation is classified Closed Acceptable Action.

From: Passenger Vessel Association
To: NTSB
Date: 6/11/2009
Response: PVA published the requested article in its newsletter Foghorn, and has posted the article on its website and discussed the circumstances of the accident to its membership. Discussed how PVA addressed the recommendation with CAPT Beth Gedney this date.