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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-98-012
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 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS: IN COOPERATION WITH THE USCG AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL AGENCIES; PRIVATE COMMERCIAL ENTITIES; SHIPOWNERS; AND PILOT ASSOCIATIONS, IMPLEMENT RISK-MANAGEMENT AND RISK-MITIGIATION INITIATIVES THAT WILL ENSURE THE SAFETY OF PEOPLE AND PROPERTY WITHIN THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable
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: 4/15/2004
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans
Date: 4/15/2004
Response: On January 11, 2000, based on initiatives outlined in the Board of Commissioners' May 28, 1998, letter, Safety Recommendations M-98-9, -10, and -12 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending an update on the initiatives from the commissioners. In the Safety Board's letter, Safety Recommendation M-98-11 was classified "Open--Unacceptable Response," pending the commissioners' reconsideration of their initial response and action to implement the recommendation. Because the Board had not received any further response from the Board of Commissioners, on October 10, 2001, the Safety Board requested further information on action taken or being taken to implement Safety Recommendations M-98-9 through -12. Companion recommendations M-98-1, -2 and -4 (corresponding to M-98-10, -11, and -12) were issued to the U.S. Coast Guard, also as a result of the Bright Field report. On June 11, 2002, in consideration of the Coast Guard's efforts to work with the Board of Commissioners and other stakeholders, Safety Recommendation M-98-1 was classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-98-10 is also classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." 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," because the Coast Guard, the lead agency, 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. Because the Board of Commissioners has not provided any information since its May 28, 1998, letter, in which it disagreed with the Safety Board's recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-98-11 is classified "Closed--Unacceptable Action." Because the Coast Guard, the lead Federal agency responsible for instituting safety measures in the port, has decided to take no further action to institute risk-mitigation initiatives, Safety Recommendation M-98-12 is classified "Closed--No Longer Applicable." The Safety Board remains interested in receiving an update on the implementation of Safety Recommendation M-98-9. Although three 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: Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans
Date: 10/10/2001
Response: To date, the Safety Board has not received any further response from the Board of Commissioners and would appreciate being informed about the efforts that have been made or are being made to implement Safety Recommendations M-98-9 through -12. Please address your response to Ms. Marion C. Blakey, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board, and refer to the recommendations by number. Copies of our correspondence regarding these recommendations are enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans
Date: 1/11/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD IS PLEASED TO LEARN THAT THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS HAD, BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, INSTITUTED A NUMBER OF RISK-REDUCTION INITIATIVES AND HAS IMPLEMENTED MORE SINCE THEN. THE SAFETY BOARD BELIEVES THAT THE RESULTS OF THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROPOSED BY M-98-10 AND -11 SHOULD BE CONSIDERED IN ANY RISK-MITIGATION INITIATIVES. THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING ABOUT SPECIFIC ACTIONS TAKEN SINCE THE ACCIDENT, ACTIONS PLANNED FOR FUTURE RISK MITIGATION, AND A TIME FRAME FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IDENTIFIED RISK ASSESSMENT MEASURES. PENDING FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, M-98-12 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

From: Board of River Port Pilot Commissioners for the Port of New Orleans
To: NTSB
Date: 5/28/1998
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 6/4/98 12:41:23 PM MC# 980711 WITH REGARD TO M-98-12, WE, ALONG WITH THE COAST GUARD AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, HAVE INSTITUTED A NUMBER OF RISK MANAGEMENT AND RISK MITIGATION INITIATIVES BOTH BEFORE AND AFTER THE BRIGHT FIELD ACCIDENT. THESE HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN DESCRIBED TO YOUR RESEARCHERS, AND A BRIEF SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN POST-BRIGHT FIELD IS ATTACHED. WE CONTINUE AN ACTIVE DIALOG WITH THESE ENTITIES TO CONSTANTLY IMPROVE THESE MEASURES.