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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-085
Details
Synopsis: ON JUNE 29, 1989, THE U.S. SELF-ELEVATING UNINSPECTED LIFT BOAT M/V TITAN FINISHED ITS WORK AT CORPUS CHRISITI OIL AND GAS BLOCK 427 WHERE IT HAD BEEN ELEVATED IN ABOUT 95 FEET OF WATER. THE TITAN HAD A CREW OF FOUR, PLUS FIVE LAREDO CONSTRUCTION, INC., EMPLOYEES ABOARD. ABOUT 1330 THE MASTER LOWERED THE LIFTBOAT AND HEADED IT TOWARD FREPORT, TEXAS. WHILE THE 160-FOOT LEGS WERE BEING RAISED, THE TITAN BEGAN LISTING TO STARBOARD. THE MASTER BELIEVED THE LIST WAS CAUSED BY MUD ON THE STARBOARD LEG PAD. HOWEVER, THE MASTER FOUND ON INSPECTION THAT THE STARBOARD LEG WAS FLOODED AND GUSHING WATER ON DECK THROUGH A FRACTURE OR FRACTURES IN THE LEG. THE MASTER DIRECTED THE LEGS TO BE LOWERED TO IMPROVE THE STABILITY OF THE VESSEL. WHILE THE LEGS WERE BEING LOWERED THE TITAN CAPSIZED ABOUT 1345.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: IN CONJUCTION WITH OPERATORS OF LIFTBOATS, CONDUCT A STUDY TO EXPLORE MEANS OF MONITORING WATERTIGHT LEGS ON LIFTBOATS TO DETERMINE WHEN AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH FLOODING OCCURS, AS WELL AS THE MEANS OF DEWATERING FLOODED LEGS AND PUBLISH THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY TO THE OPERATORS OF LIFTBOATS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Gulf of Mexico, GM, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA89MM052
Accident Reports:
Capsizing and Sinking of the U.S. Self-Elevating Liftboat M/V Titan
Report #: MAR-90-07
Accident Date: 6/29/1989
Issue Date: 1/14/1991
Date Closed: 4/16/1996
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 4/16/1996
Response: BECAUSE THE REQUIREMENTS CONTAINED IN THE REVISED RULES FOR OFFSHORE SUPPLY VESSELS, AT 46 CFR 134.170(B)(9), EFFECTIVE 3/15/96, SATISFY THE INTENT OF THE RECOMMENDATION, M-90-85 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 12/22/1995
Response:

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/18/1992
Response: Safety Recommendation M-90-85 asked that the Coast Guard, in conjunction with operators of liftboats, conduct a study to explore means of monitoring watertight legs on liftboats to determine when and the extent to which flooding occurs, as well as the means of dewatering flooded legs, and publish the results of the study to the operators of liftboats. Although Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 8-91 suggests that liftboat operating manuals include instructions for liftboat operators to inspect buoyant legs for flooding before jacking down and procedures to follow if flooding is found, NVIC 8-91 does not offer guidance on the methods that liftboat operators can use to either monitor or dewater watertight legs on liftboats. At the March 5 meeting, your staff advised that the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) is investigating solutions to this problem and will report its findings to the Coast Guard. The Safety Board would appreciate receiving a response from the Coast Guard on its intended actions after it has reviewed the SNAME report. Pending your further reply, Safety Recommendation M-90-85 is classified as "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 7/8/1991
Response: I AGREE WITH THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. HOWEVER, NO ADDITIONAL STUDY IS NECESSARY. PAST INVESTIGATIONS HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT LEG FAILURE MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO A NUMBER OF LIFTBOAT CASUALTIES, EITHER DIRECTLY, THROUGH STRUCTURAL COLLAPSE, OR INDIRECTLY, AS IN THE CASE OF THE M/V TITAN. IN EITHER SCENARIO, THE INITIAL STAGES OF LEG FAILURE CAN BE DETECTED BY MONITORING BUOYANT LEGS FOR FLOODING. THE COAST GUARD IS PUBLISHING ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE FOR LIFTBOAT OPERATORS IN THE FORM OF NAVIGATION AND VESSEL INSPECTION CIRCULAR (NVIC) 8-91. THIS GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT LIFTBOAT OPERATING MANUAL INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS FOR LIFTBOAT OPERATORS TO INSPECT BUOYANT LEGS FOR FLOODING BEFORE JACKING DOWN AND PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW IF FLOODING IS FOUND. AS POINTED OUT IN THE NTSB REPORT, ONCE FLOODING HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN TO REPAIR AND DEWATER THE LEGS SAFELY. SINCE THE INTENT OF YOUR RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN MET, I REQUEST IT BE CLOSED.