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The M/V Delta Mariner, a cargo vessel carrying rocket components from the manufacturer in Decatur, Alabama, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, allided with Eggner’s Ferry Bridge on the Tennessee River on the night of January 26, 2012, near Aurora, Kentucky. As the vessel approached the bridge, the bridge team maneuvered the Delta Mariner away from the main navigation span and toward a span providing insufficient clearance for the vessel.1 The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched an investigation to determine why the allision occurred and to identify measures to prevent the occurrence of a similar accident. The NTSB identified several safety issues during the investigation: • Performance of the Delta Mariner bridge team and the contract pilot2 hired to assist them, including passage planning, their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, and their use of navigation equipment. • Effectiveness of the vessel’s safety management system and safety oversight by Foss Maritime Company, the owner of the vessel. • Maintenance of navigation lighting on Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, overall responsibility for inspection and repair of Kentucky bridge navigation lighting, and the role of the US Coast Guard related to navigation lighting on bridges over inland waterways and broadcast warnings to mariners about potential navigation hazards.
TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: Review the process and means of delivering broadcast notices to mariners and identify and implement methods for providing timely and easily accessible navigation information to mariners.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Acceptable Response
Aurora, KY, United States
Allision of the Cargo Vessel
M/V Delta Mariner
with Eggner’s Ferry Bridge
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
USCG (Open - Acceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
We understand that you are partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and US Army Corps of Engineers to investigate alternative methods for delivering timely and relevant navigation safety information that can be readily accessed on board vessels using existing communications equipment. Pending implementation of improved methods for providing timely and easily accessible navigation information to mariners, Safety Recommendation M-13-8 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Charles W. Ray, Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Commandant for Operations: The Coast Guard is expanding our capabilities to disseminate Marine Safety Information (MSI) beyond the legacy Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) and Local Notice to Mariners (LNM) systems by leveraging the capabilities of our Nationwide Automatic Identification System (NAIS). The Coast Guard, in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), intends to transmit weather and hydrographic data via NAIS using AIS-Application Specific Messages (ASM). These messages can be displayed aboard properly equipped vessels. The Coast Guard also plans to expand the capability to send additional AIS-ASM types that will mirror and augment the existing BNM system. The Coast Guard, partnering with NOAA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will continue to investigate other enhanced MSI delivery methods and products with the primary goal of enhancing mariners’ situational awareness.
This letter concerns 40 open safety recommendations that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued to the US Coast Guard between 2002 and 2015. For several years, the NTSB received an annual update on all open safety recommendations issued to the Coast Guard; however, for 25 of the 40 recommendations listed, we have received no update in over 2 years regarding the status of action either taken or planned to address these important safety issues. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. Please respond to this letter electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding your progress in addressing these safety recommendations, and do not submit both an electronic and a hard copy of the same response. To assist with your response, enclosure (1) is a list of the 40 recommendations highlighting the recommendation number, current status, source of the recommendation, and date of the last Coast Guard update; enclosure (2) is a print-out from our database with the complete correspondence history of each open recommendation.
Because you will investigate alternative methods for delivering timely and relevant navigation safety information that can be readily accessed onboard vessels using existing communications equipment, Safety Recommendation M-13-8 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE, pending implementation of improved methods for providing timely and easily accessible navigation information to mariners.
-From Peter V. Neffenger, Vice Admiral, Deputy Commandant for Operations: I concur with this recommendation. The Coast Guard will investigate alternative methods for delivering timely and relevant navigation safety information that can be readily accessed on board vessels using their existing communications equipment. I will keep the Board informed of our progress on this recommendation.
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