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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-15-005
Details
Synopsis: The recommendations are derived from the NTSB’s investigation of the January 23, 2010, accident in which the 810-foot-long oil tanker Eagle Otome collided with the 597-foot-long general cargo vessel Gull Arrow at the Port of Port Arthur, Texas. A 297-foot-long barge, the Kirby 30406, which was being pushed by the towboat Dixie Vengeance, subsequently collided with the Eagle Otome. The tanker was inbound in the Sabine-Neches Canal with a load of crude oil en route to an ExxonMobil facility in Beaumont, Texas. Two pilots were on board, as called for by local waterway protocol. When the Eagle Otome approached the Port of Port Arthur, it experienced several unintended heading diversions culminating in the Eagle Otome striking the Gull Arrow, which was berthed at the port unloading cargo. A short distance upriver from the collision site, the Dixie Vengeance was outbound with two barges. The towboat master saw the Eagle Otome move toward his side of the canal, and he put his engines full astern but could not avoid the subsequent collision. The Kirby 30406, which was the forward barge pushed by the Dixie Vengeance, collided with the Eagle Otome and breached the tanker’s starboard ballast tank and the no. 1 center cargo tank a few feet above the waterline. As a result of the breach, 862,344 gallons of oil were released from the cargo tank, and an estimated 462,000 gallons of that amount spilled into the water. The three vessels remained together in the center of the canal while pollution response procedures were initiated. No crewmember on board any of the three vessels was injured.
Recommendation: TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: Effectively monitor and, through your rules and regulations, oversee pilotage practices in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to promote and ensure the highest level of safety.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Marine
Location: Port Arthur, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA10FM010
Accident Reports:
Collision of Tankship Eagle Otome with Cargo Vessel Gull Arrow and Subsequent Collision with the Dixie Vengeance Tow
Report #: MAR-11-04
Accident Date: 1/23/2010
Issue Date: 6/29/2015
Date Closed: 1/27/2016
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 1/27/2016
Response: We understand that the Great Lakes Pilotage Act of 1960 requires foreign vessels and US vessels sailing on register to engage a Great Lakes registered pilot when traversing the waters of the Great Lakes, and that US federal regulations regarding Great Lakes Pilotage are located at Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations Chapter III, Parts 401-499. We note that the Coast Guard’s Great Lakes Pilotage Division (CG-WWM-2) routinely interacts with the three US Great Lakes pilots’ associations and the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee to effectively monitor and oversee pilotage practices on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. We note that you also approved an update of the working rules for the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association, which you will incorporate as a technical amendment into a future rulemaking to 46 CFR 402.320. The working rules constitute the standing operating procedures of the pilot associations and include specifics for pilot dispatch, mandatory rest periods, and assignment rotation, all of which the Coast Guard is authorized to enforce. Because the Coast Guard had the recommended authority to monitor and oversee Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway pilots before we issued Safety Recommendation M-15-5, the recommendation is classified CLOSED—RECONSIDERED.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 12/1/2015
Response: Mark E. Butt, Rear Admiral, USCG, Acting Deputy Commandant for Operations: I concur with this recommendation. The Coast Guard's Great Lakes Pilotage Program is a very specialized and unique program that regulates the processes and procedures for the United States registered pilots on the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Pilotage Division, (CG-WWM-2), routinely interacts with the three U.S. Great Lakes pilots' associations and the Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee to effectively monitor and oversee pilotage practices in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Most recently, the Coast Guard approved an update of the working rules for the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association and plans to incorporate this fact in an update to 46 C.F.R. § 402.320 as a technical amendment in a future rulemaking. These working rules are the Standing Operating Procedures of the pilot association and include specifics for pilot dispatch, mandatory rest periods, and assignment rotation. The Coast Guard has authority to enforce these working rules. Our authorized enforcement mechanisms for non-compliance with the working rules include verbal and written warnings, civil penalties, and suspension or revocation of the certificate that authorizes the association to operate a pilotage pool or an individual's US registered pilot credential. We are currently reviewing similar proposed working rules updates for the other two pilot associations. I consider the Coast Guard's action on this recommendation complete and request that it be closed.