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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-98-005
Details
Synopsis: SHORTLY AFTER 1400 ON 12/14/96, THE FULLY LOADED LIBERIAN BULK CARRIER BRIGHT FIELD TEMPORARILY LOST PROPULSION POWER AS THE VESSEL WAS NAVIGATING OUTBOUND IN THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA. THE VESSEL STRUCK A WHARF ADJACENT TO A POPULATED COMMERCIAL AREA THAT INCLUDED A SHOPPING MALL, A CONDOMINIUM PARKING GARAGE, AND A HOTEL. NO FATALITIES RESULTED FROM THE ACCIDENT, AND NO ONE ABOARD THE BRIGHT FIELD WAS INJURED; HOWEVER, 4 SERIOUS INJURIES AND 58 MINOR INJURIES WERE SUSTAINED DURING EVACUATIONS OF SHORE FACILITIES, A GAMING VESSEL, AND AN EXCURSION VESSEL LOCATED NEAR THE IMPACT AREA. TOTAL PROPERTY DAMAGES TO THE BRIGHT FIELD AND TO SHORESIDE FACILITIES WERE ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $20 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE USACE: PARTICIPATE WITH THE USCG AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN A COMPREHENSIVE RISK ASSESSMENT THAT CONSIDERS ALL ACTIVITIES, MARINE AND SHORESIDE, WITHIN THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS.
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: 2/6/1998
Date Closed: 4/21/2004
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Date: 4/21/2004
Response: On August 11, 2000, based on information provided in USACE's May 19, 2000, letter Safety Recommendations M-98-5 and -6 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of further information from USACE. The Board understood that USACE and the Coast Guard, along with port-associated interests, met regularly in several forums to review maritime safety issues. As a result of the Bright Field report, the Safety Board issued Safety Recommendations M-98-2 and -4 (companion recommendations to M-98-5 and -6) to the U.S. Coast Guard. On October 22, 2001, in response to the Coast Guard's April 3, 2001, letter, Safety Recommendations M-98-2 and -4 were classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action." The Coast Guard maintained that a comprehensive research study would be necessary to adequately address all of the complex issues associated with the recommendations and stated that it did not have the resources to pursue such a study. USACE's May 19, 2000, letter advised the Safety Board that USACE participates with the Coast Guard and other stakeholders in the Port of New Orleans on various committees that provide scheduled forums to review issues of navigation safety in the port. USACE reported that these committees meet on a regular basis where potential hazards, risks, and mitigation measures, such as recommended by the Safety Board, are addressed as needed. Because USACE has been a willing participant in these endeavors, Safety Recommendation M-98-5 to USACE is classified "Closed-Acceptable Action," and Safety Recommendation M-98-6 is classified "Closed-No Longer Applicable," because the Coast Guard, as the lead agency, has stated that it will not pursue the study on risk-mitigation initiatives. Although these recommendations are being closed, the risk of Bright Field-type accidents has not diminished in the Port of New Orleans. The Bright Field accident occurred in December 1996. On October 24, 2002, another accident occurred when the inbound tanker Chilbar lost steering as it approached the New Orleans Riverwalk area but veered aside, making light contact with the dock. The Safety Board cautions that the next Bright Field-type accident has the potential to cause catastrophic consequences for the Port of New Orleans.

From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Date: 10/22/2001
Response: On August 11, 2000, based on information provided in the USACE letter of May 19, 2000, Safety Recommendations M-98-5 and -6 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of further information from USACE. The Board understood that USACE and the Coast Guard, along with port-associated interests, met regularly in several forums to review maritime safety issues. However, in its May 19, 2000, letter, USACE did not provide any information about what had been accomplished to implement the two safety recommendations. To date, the Safety Board has not had any further response from USACE and would appreciate being informed about the efforts that have been made or are being made to implement these safety recommendations. Enclosed are copies of our previous correspondence concerning these recommendations. Please refer to the recommendation by number in your response.

From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT USACE AND THE COAST GUARD, ALONG WITH PORT-ASSOCIATED INTERESTS, MEET REGULARLY IN SEVERAL FORUMS TO REVIEW MARITIME SAFETY ISSUES. HOWEVER, USACE HAS NOT PROVIDED ANY INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED TO IMPLEMENT THE TWO SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS. CONSEQUENTLY, PENDING FURTHER INFORMATION FROM USACE, M-98-5 AND -6 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 5/19/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 05/23/2000 3:43:48 PM MC# 2000660 THE CORPS AND COAST GUARD, ALONG WITH PORT-ASSOCIATED INTERESTS, MEET REGULARLY IN SEVERAL FORUMS TO REVIEW MARITIME SAFETY ISSUES. THE COAST GUARD HOSTS THE NEW ORLEANS PORT SAFETY COUNCIL MEETING BIMONTHLY TO REVIEW NAVIGATION CONDITIONS IN THE PORT AREA. THE CORPS HOSTS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FORUM MONTHLY TO EVALUATE RIVER CONDITIONS AND SAFETY CONCERNS. BOTH MEETINGS ARE ATTENDED BY PILOT ASSOCIATIONS, THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION, NEW ORLEANS PORT OFFICIALS, AND MARITIME INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES. ADDITIONALLY, OTHER REGULAR PORT MEETINGS SUCH AS THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER AND THE PORT SAFETY . THESE COMMITTEES AND MEETINGS PROVIDE SCHEDULED FORUMS TO REVIEW ISSUES OF NAVIGATION SAFETY IN THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS ON A REGULAR BASIS. POTENTIAL HAZARDS, RISKS, AND MITIGATION MEASURES ARE ADDRESSED AS NEEDED.

From: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 11/6/1998
Response: Mistaken entry. Letter related to other recommendations.