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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-97-063
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 NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC.: WORK WITH THE USCG TO DEVELOP & IMPLEMENT PROCEDURES FOR EVACUATION UNDER MOORED OR DOCKED CONDITIONS FOR ALL YOUR EXCURSION VESSELS TO ENSURE THAT PASSENGERS CAN EXIT EACH VESSEL IN A TIMELY & ORDERLY MANNER SHOULD AN EMERGENY 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: 6/14/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
Date: 6/14/2002
Response: The Safety Board understands that during the months following the Bright Field accident, the NOP and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) examined procedures for embarking and disembarking passengers at the Canal Street location and as a result of that examination, the USCG now requires that two gangways be maintained at the dock at all times. One gangway is used for embarking and disembarking passengers, and the second gangway is available in the event there is an immediate need to evacuate the vessel. Further, drills were conducted at the Canal Street location under USCG supervision, and the NOP procedures were found to meet the goal of vessel evacuation in a timely and orderly manner under both moored and docked conditions. The Safety Board further notes that the NOP has developed an "Emergency Procedure Guideline" that includes evacuation plans utilizing various gangways on all three levels, plans for routing passengers from rooms to outer and upper decks, and plans for routing passengers to specific gangways, under various scenarios. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-97-63 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 11/20/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/07/2002 11:31:16 AM MC# 2020019 During the months following Bright Field, NOP and the USCG examined our procedures embarking and disembarking at the Canal Street location. It was mandated by the USCG at that time that the company would maintain two gangways at the dock at all times. Only one gangway was required for embarking and disembarking with the second gangway in a standby mode, ready for immediate use to evacuate the vessel. Drills were conducted at the Canal Street location, under USCG supervision and our procedures were accepted as meeting the goal of vessel evacuation in a timely and orderly manner under moored or docked conditions. In addition, we had developed an Emergency Procedure Guideline Manual and presented it to the USCG for their review. These guidelines include various emergency scenarios including evacuation plans utilizing various gangways on all three levels. It also includes plans for routing passengers from the rooms to the outer and upper decks and to specific gangways under various scenarios.

From: NTSB
To: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
Date: 11/1/2001
Response: On March 3, 2000, the Safety Board requested a follow-up response from New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc., on action taken to implement these recommendations. To date, the Safety Board has received no response from New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc. Accordingly, Safety Recommendations M-97-63 and M-98-19 through -23 have been classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." Should New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc., provide information on the implementation of these recommendations in a timely manner, the Safety Board will review the information and consider reclassifying the recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
Date: 2/6/1998
Response: THE BOARD IS CONCERNED THAT THE EVACUATION PLAN FOR THE QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS DOES NOT PROVIDE A READILY ADDITIONAL MEANS OF ESCAPE THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE STAGING IN AN EMERGENCY. THE BOARD'S INTENT IN ISSUING RECOMMENDATION M-97-62 WAS TO PROMPT NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS,INC., TO AMEND THE QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS'S EVACUATION PLAN FOR MOORED CONDITIONS NOT ONLY TO ENHANCE EVACUATION PROCEDURES, BUT ALSO TO ADDRESS THE NEED TO PROVIDE FOR MORE THAN ONE IMMEDIATELY ACCESSIBLE DISEMBARKATION LOCATION TO ENSURE A TIMELY & ORDERLY EXITING OF PASSENGERS. FURTHER, ALTHOUGH THE SEPTEMBER 29 LETTER STATES THAT THE DECK CREW IS TRAINED & DRILLED ON USE OF THE PROTABLE GANGWAYS, THE LETTER DOES NOT ADDRESS THE TRAINING OF THE NONOPERATING CREWMEMBERS, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSISTING PASSENGERS TO THE EGRESS AREAS OF THE VESSEL DURING EMERGENCIES. THE EVACUATION PLAN FOR MOORE CONDITIONS PROVIDES NO GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF PROTABLE GANGWAYS TO THE NUMEROUS NONOPERATING CREW ON BOARD THE VESSEL WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DIRECTING PASSENGERS & ASSISTING THEIR ESCAPE . MOREOVER, THE SPECIFIC PLAN TO WHICH ALL CREWMEMBERS ARE TO LOOK FOR GUIDANCE IN RESPONDING TO EMERGENCY SITUATIONS DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY INFO ON THESE GANGWAYS OR HOW GUIDE PASSENGERS TO THEM. BASED ON THE FAILURE OF NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWEELS, INC., TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS THESE CONCERNS, THE BOARD CLASSIFIES M-97-62 "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION." NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC., HAS NOT RESPONDED TO M-97-63 CONCERNING THE DEVELOPMENT OF EVACUATION PROCEDURES FOR MOORE OR DOCKED CONDITIONS FOR ALL ITS EXCURSION VESSELS. THEREFORE, M-97-63 REMAINS CLASSIFIED "OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE."

From: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 9/29/1997
Response: