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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-97-059
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 2:11 P.M. ON 12/14/96, THE LIBERIAN FREIGHTER M/V BRIGHT FIELD WAS HEADED DOWNBOUND ON THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER. AS THE SHIP PASSED UNDER THE GREATER NEW ORLEANS HIGHWAY BRIDGES, ENGINE PROBLEMS OCCURRED, & THE VESSEL LOST STEERING CONTROL & STRUCK THE POYDRAS STREET WHARF. SEVERAL BUILDINGS ON THE WHARF WERE DAMAGED, & THE VESSEL NORROWLY MISSED COLLIDING WITH A MOORED GAMING VESSEL THAT HAD PASSENGERS & CREW ON BOARD. NO FATALITIES OCCURED, BUT 4 INDIVIDUALS WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED & SOME 58 PERSONS SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE USCG: WORK WITH NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC., TO REVIEW & AMEND THE EMERGENCY EVACUATION PLAN FOR MOORED CONDITIONS OF THE QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS REGARDING CURRENT EVACUATION PROCEDURES & THE NUMBER OF IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE GANGWAYS & DISEMBARKATION LOCATIONS, & TO DEVELOP & IMPLEMENT PROCEDURES FOR EVACUATION UNDER MOORED OR DOCKED CONDITIONS FOR ALL NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC., & ORDERLY MANNER SHOULD AN EMERGENCY EVACUATION BE NECESSARY.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Lower Mississippi River, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA97MM014
Accident Reports:
Allision of the Liberian Freighter Bright Field with the Poydras Street Wharf, Riverwalk Marketplace and New Orleans Hilton Hotel
Report #: MAR-98-01
Accident Date: 12/14/1996
Issue Date: 9/4/1997
Date Closed: 6/11/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 6/11/2002
Response: The Safety Board understands that the Queen of New Orleans certificate of inspection was surrendered and that the vessel no longer operates in the vicinity of Algiers Point. Further, in April 1998, the Captain of the Port (COTP) of New Orleans required passenger vessels and cruise ships that moor in the Port of New Orleans to develop emergency evacuation plans and to establish two separate gangways on each vessel. All vessels currently use two gangways and all plans have been reviewed and approved according to the Coast Guard's letter. Additionally, the Marine Safety Office New Orleans met with Port of New Orleans stakeholders (the Steamship Association, New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc., the New Orleans Dock Board, and the New Orleans Harbor Police) and developed a joint evacuation plan for passenger vessels moored in the Port of New Orleans. The Safety Board notes that the joint evacuation plan includes a newly created alert system, the River Alert System, that can be activated to warn vessels and port stakeholders of dangerous situations that are developing. The alarm can be initiated at the Governor Nicolas Street Coast Guard traffic tower or the vessel traffic service upon notification of any hazardous irregularities on vessel in the port area. Accordingly, because the Coast Guard has taken action as requested, Safety Recommendation M-97-59 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 6/13/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 06/28/2001 9:47:49 AM MC# 2010505 Memo from Doug Rabe hand delivered to me. The Coast Guard writes...The Queen of New Orleans Certificate of Inspection (COI) was surrendered and no longer operates in the vicinity of Algiers Point. In April 1998, COTP New Orleans directed all passenger vessels and cruise ships that moor in the Port of New Orleans to develop emergency evacuation plans and to establish two separate gangways on each vessel. These plans were to be submitted to COTP New Orleans for review and approval. To date, all vessels now use two gangways and all plans have been reviewed and approved. Additionally, MSO New Orleans met with Port of New Orleans stakeholders (Steamship Association, New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc., New Orleans Dock Board. New Orleans Harbor Police) and developed a joint evacuation plan for passenger vessels moored in the Port of New Orleans. This joint evacuation plan includes a newly created alert system, the River Alert System (RAN) that can be activated to warn vessels and port stakeholders of developing dangerous situations. The RAN was designed and implemented by a team of public safety experts to provide the earliest possible warning of an impending incident which might affect the riverfront area. The RAN is maintained by the New Orleans Harbor Police and consists of alarm repeater units at the following locations: The Riverwalk Shopping Mall, Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans Steamboats (Natchez & John James Audubon), Harbor police, New Orleans Dockboard, Riverside Hilton, MSO Governor, Nicolas Traffic Light, and VTS Lower Mississippi River (LMR). *The alarm can be initiated at the Governors Nicolas Street Coast Guard traffic tower or the VTS upon notification of any hazardous irregularities on vessel in the port area. The alarm consists of a live situational broadcast and siren and is tested daily by the MSO.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/6/2001
Response: The Safety Board is continuing to review its safety recommendation files to identify recommendations for which there has been no correspondence for an extended period of time. Our review indicates that currently, 79 safety recommendations that have been issued to the Coast Guard are being held in an "Open" status; no information was provided in the Coast Guard’s July 31, 2000, letter regarding these recommendations. In some cases, action on these 78 recommendations has not been reported for some time; for recommendations issued in 2000, there has been no response at all to the original recommendation letter. Enclosed is a list of these safety recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 7/14/1998
Response: NTSB REQUESTED A FOLLOWUP.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 2/6/1998
Response: (FROM A GREENSHEET) THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE USCG HAS NOT ONLY ADDRESSED THE SPECIFIC INTENT OF RECOMMENDATION M-97-59 REGARDING THE QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS, BUT HAS ALSO EXPANDED THE SCOPE TO THE RECOMMENDATION TO COVER ALL HIGH-CAPACITY PASSENGER VESSELS OPERATING WITHIN THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS. WHILD THE USCG RESPONSE DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY ADDRESS EVACAUTION PLANS FOR NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS EXCURSION VESSELS, THE BOARD NOTES THAT THESE VESSELS WILL BE COVERED BY THE EVACUATION CRITERIA THE USCG PLANS TO DEVELOP FOR ALL PASSENGER VESSELS OPERATING IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. PENDING FURTHER INFO FROM THE USCG REGARDING THE PROPOSED REVIEW OF EVACUATION PLANS FOR SUCH VESSELS, & SPECIFICALLY THOSE VESSELS BELONGING TO NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC., THE BOARD CLASSIFIES M-97-59 "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 11/18/1997
Response: (FROM THE GREENSHEET) THE USCG RESPONDED THAT THE NEW ORLEANS CAPTAIN OF THE PORT HAD ALREADY REQUIRED A REVIEW OF EVACUATION PROCEDURES FOR ALL HIGH-CAPACITY GAMING VESSELS, BUT THE USCG BELIEVES THIS RECOMMENDATION SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO COVER ALL PASSENGER VESSELS OPERATING IN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER IN THE NEW ORLEANS AREA. THE LETTER STATED USCG'S BELIEF THAT, I WOULD BE PRUDENT TO DEVELOP REASONABLE & APPROPRIATE EVACUATION CRITERIA FOR THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PASSENGER VESSELS BASED UPON THEIR TYPE, CONFIGURATION, PASSENGER & CREW CAPACITY, & THE EXTENT WHICH PASSENGERS ARE NORMALLY ABOARD THE VESSEL WHILE DOCKSIDE. TO THIS END, WE HAVE DISCUSSED THE EXPANSION OF THIS RECOMMENDATION WITH CAPTAIN OF THE PORT NEW ORLEANS & WILL REQUIRE FURTHER REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT OF THIS INITIATIVE.