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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-79-115
Details
Synopsis: ON AUGUST 27, 1978, THE AMERICAN CONTAINERSHIP SS SEA LAND VENTURE COLLIDED WITH THE DANISH TANKER M/T NELLY MAERSK WHILE OVERTAKING AT THE BEND INTO INNER BAR CHANNEL, GALVESTON, TEXAS. THE NELLY MAERSK, FULLY LOADED WITH MEDIUM CRUDE OIL AND MAKING ABOUT 7 KNS, HAD MADE THE TURN AND WAS STEADYING ON THE UPBOUND CHANNEL HEADING AS THE SEA-LAND VENTURE WAS CLOSING TO PORT. THE BOW OF THE SEA-LAND VENTURE WAS CRUSHED AS IT RAKED THE PORTSIDE AND AFTER DECKHOUSE OF THE NELLY MAERSK. THE NELLY MAERSK WAS PIVOTED INTO THE LEFT BANK AND GROUNDED, AND THE SEA-LAND VENTURE VEERED TO STAR BOARD INTO AN ANCHORAGE TO THE RIGHT OF THE CHANNEL. THERE WERE NO DEATHS OR INJURIES RESULTING FROM THE ACCIDENT. DAMAGE TO THE VESSELS WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1.4 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE GALVESTON-TEXAS CITY PILOTS ASSOCIATION, THE HOUSTON PILOTS ASSOCIATION AND THE AMERICAN PILOTS ASSOCIATION: REQUIRE MEMBER PILOTS TO CONFER WITH SHIPS' MASTERS ON ANY MANEUVERING AGREEMENTS MADE OVER THE RADIOTELEPHONE WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE EXECUTION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
Mode: Marine
Location: Bays and Sounds, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA78AM033
Accident Reports: Collision of American Containership SS Sea-Land Venture and Danish Tanker M/T Nelly Maersk
Report #: MAR-79-16
Accident Date: 8/27/1978
Issue Date: 11/9/1979
Date Closed: 2/21/1984
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Pilots Association (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Galveston-Texas City Pilots Association (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Houston Pilots Association (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Pilots Association
Date: 1/6/1984
Response:

From: American Pilots Association
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/1983
Response: AMERICAN PILOTS ASSOCIATION LETTER: APA CONCURS WITH THE CONCEPT OF MASTER-PILOT EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION TO AID IN THE PREVENTION OF THE SO CALLED "ONE MAN ERROR", HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF THE MANY VARIABLES THAT OCCUR DURING TRANSIT, A PREDETERMINED PASSAGE PLAN IS AN ILLUSION FOR ACCIDENT PREVENTION. EXTREMIS CONDITIONS DEVELOP SUDDENLY WHERE PROMPT REACTION IS MOST EFFECTIVE IN AVOIDANCE OR MINIMIZING DAMAGES THUS NEGATING ALL WELL-INTENDED PRE-PLANNING. THE APA HOLDS BOTH MEMBERSHIP IN AND SITS ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME PILOTS ASSOCIATION (IMPA). IMPA HAS CONSULTATIVE STATUS AT IMO AND DELIBERATIONS ARE ON-GOING IN AN ATTEMPT TO FIND A SOLUTION TO THE EVER-PRESENT PROBLEM OF LANGUAGE BARRIERS THAT SEEMINGLY INCREASE WITH MULTI-NATIONAL CREWING OF VESSELS.

From: NTSB
To: American Pilots Association
Date: 8/2/1983
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Houston Pilots Association
Date: 7/22/1983
Response:

From: Houston Pilots Association
To: NTSB
Date: 4/26/1983
Response: HOUSTON PILOTS ASSOCIATION LETTER: AS TO THE RECOMMENDATION THAT PILOTS CONFER WITH SHIPS MASTERS ON ANY MANEUVERING AGREEMENTS, THIS PRACTICE IS USUALLY CARRIED OUT WHEN TIME ALLOWS. BECAUSE OF THE CONFIGURATION OF THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE PILOT TO GIVE THE MASTER A PREARRANGED PLAN AS TO HOW THE SHIP WILL BE MANEUVERED. THE NARROW CONFINES OF THE CHANNEL, MANY TIMES, REQUIRE SPLIT SECOND DECISIONS TO AVOID A TOW OR EVEN ANOTHER SHIP. A LANGUAGE BARRIER IS CONSTANTLY PRESENT EVEN IN THIS DAY AND TIME. A LARGE PRECENTAGE OF SHIP OFFICERS SPEAK LITTLE OR NO ENGLISH, AND SINCE THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT LANGUAGES ENCOUNTERED ON THESE SHIPS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, IT CAN BE A MAJOR PROBLEM. THE TIME IT WOULD TAKE TO TRY AND EXPLAIN A SITUATION TO A MASTER WITH LITTLE OR NO UNDERSTANDING OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WOULD MANY TIMES BE TOO LATE. ALL OF THE HOUSTON PILOTS ARE AWARE OF THE DANGEROUS SITUATIONS ENCOUNTERED IN MEETING AND OVERTAKING IN THE HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL, THESE PROBLEMS ARE JUST PART OF OUR JOB. THE PILOTS FREQUENTLY HAVE MEETINGS WITH ALL GROUPS INVOLVED WITH THE SAFETY OF THE CHANNEL INCLUDING U.S. COAST GUARD, PORT SAFETY AND ADVISORY COMMITEES, AND SEVERAL OTHERS.

From: NTSB
To: Galveston-Texas City Pilots Association
Date: 2/21/1984
Response:

From: NTSB
To: Galveston-Texas City Pilots Association
Date: 8/2/1983
Response: