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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-092
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: REQUIRE THAT LIFTBOATS BE EQUIPPED WITH PRIMARY LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT THAT PROTECTS PERSONS FROM WATER IMMERSION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Gulf of Mexico, GM, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
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: 5/18/1992
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/18/1992
Response: Safety Recommendation M-90-92 asked the Coast Guard to require that liftboats be equipped with primary lifesaving equipment that protects persons from water immersion. The Safety Board is disappointed that the Coast Guard does not concur with this safety recommendation. We believe that for the reasons outlined in the TITAN accident report, lifefloats are not a suitable substitute for lifesaving equipment that provides out-of-water protection. Because the Coast Guard plans no further action on this safety recommendation, it has been classified as-"Closed--Unacceptable Action." We plan to track this issue closely in future accident investigations where the question of lifesaving equipment is raised.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 7/8/1991
Response: I DO NOT CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. ON SMALLER VESSELS OPERATING IN WARM WATERS SUCH AS THE GULF OF MEXICO, LIFE FLOATS PROVIDE ADEQUATE FLOTATION FOR THE LENGTH OF TIME NECESSARY FOR RESCUE, ESPECIALLY FOR VESSELS EQUIPPED WITH SATELLITE EMERGENCY POSITION INDICATING RADIO BEACONS. A LIFERAFT MIGHT NOT HAVE PERFORMED ANY BETTER THAN THE LIFE FLOATS IN THIS CASE. LIFERAFT FLOAT-FREE ARRANGEMENTS REQUIRE EITHER A STANCHION ARRANGEMENT SIMILAR TO THAT USED FOR THE LIFE FLOATS, OR A HYDROSTATIC RELEASE. A HYDROSTATIC RELEASE MUST BE SUBMERGED TO BETWEEN 5 AND 15 FEET BEFORE IT OPERATES. SINCE THE TITAN DID NOT SINK WHEN IT CAPSIZED, THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE THAT A LIFERAFT WOULD NOT HAVE DEPLOYED. THE CG PLANS NO FURTHER ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION AND I REQUEST THAT IT BE CLOSED.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 4/16/1991
Response: From the accident report of the capsizing and sinking of the U.S. liftboat M/V Avco V in the Gulf of Mexico on July 31, 1989. The Board adopted this report on 4/16/1991. Also, the Safety Board reiterates the following safety recommendations issued to the Coast Guard as a result of its investigation of the capsizing and sinking of the liftboat TITAN on June 29, 1989. (M-90-87, M-90-88, M-90-89, M-90-91, M-90-92, M-90-93, M-90-95, M-90-97, M-90-98)