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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-98-015
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 INTERNATIONAL RIVERCENTER: 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-MITIGATION 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Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable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Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: International RiverCenter (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: International RiverCenter
Date: 4/15/2004
Response: As a result of the Bright Field report, the Safety Board issued companion recommendations to M-98-14 and -15 to the Coast Guard (the companion recommendations are M-98-2 and -4). 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. While the Coast Guard did not take action as requested on M-98-2, because the IRC advised in its August 12, 1998, letter, that it agreed to work on solutions for the IRC, agreed that action was needed by all stakeholders in the port, and was ready and able to participate as requested, Safety Recommendation M-98-14 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action." Because the Coast Guard, the lead agency, did not take action as requested on M-98-4, Safety Recommendation M-98-15 is classified "Closed--No Longer Applicable." Although the two 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: International RiverCenter
Date: 4/13/2002
Response: On September 4, 1998, based on a response received from the IRC, Safety Recommendations M-98-13 through -15 were classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of information about the final actions taken to implement the recommendations. On August 27, 2001, Mr. Robert C. Carpenter, in an e-mail, advised the Safety Board that the IRC, in cooperation with the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans, had recently completed a study on the type and consistency of the silt along the wharf to determine whether alternative ways could be identified to eliminate the risk of future allisions. The Safety Board would appreciate receiving a copy of the silt study and a more detailed discussion of the alternative action that the IRC proposes to satisfy the intent of the safety recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: International RiverCenter
Date: 3/3/2000
Response: On September 4, 1998, based on information provided by the International Rivercenter in a letter dated August 12, 1998, Safety Recommendations M-98-13 through -15 were classified "Open-Acceptable Response," pending additional information from the International Rivercenter. To date, the Safety Board has not received any further response from the International Rivercenter on these safety recommendations. We would appreciate learning what action has been taken since August 1998.

From: NTSB
To: International RiverCenter
Date: 9/4/1998
Response: M-98-14 URGED THE IRC TO PARTICIPATE WITH THE USCG & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS IN A COMPREHENSIVE RISK ASSESSMENT THAT CONSIDERS ALL ACTIVITIES, MARINE & SHORESIDE, WITHIN THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS. M-98-15 ENCOURAGED THE IRC, IN COOPERATION WITH THE USCG & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING FEDERAL, STATE, & LOCAL AGENCIES;PRIVATE COMMERCAIL ENTITIES; SHIPOWERS; & PILOT ASSOCIATIONS, TO IMPLEMENT RISK-MANAGEMENT & RISK-MITIGAITON INITIATIVES THAT WILL ENSURE THE SAFETY OF PEOPLE & PROPERTY WITHIN THE PORT OF NEWORLEANS. BECAUSE THE IRC, AS STATED IN ITS RESPONSE, HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS WILLINGNESS TO BECOME PART OF THE EFFORT TO INITIATE FURTHER STUDY, ANALYSIS, & IMPLEMENT SOLUTION, M-98-14 & -15 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD ASKS THAT THE IRC PERIODICALLY PROVIDE UPDATES ON THE STATUS OF THESE INITIATIVES.

From: International RiverCenter
To: NTSB
Date: 8/12/1998
Response: (Letter Mail Controlled 8/17/98 4:59:37 PM MC# 981017) INTERNATIONAL RIVERCENER (IRC) HAS GIVEN CAREFUL ATTENTION TO YOUR FINAL REPORT, & IT RECOMMENDATIONS. THIS IS ITS CONSIDERED REPONSE. IRC HAS NEITHER THE AUTHORITY NOR OBLIGATION TO ERECT AN ADDITION TO THE LOWER POYDRAS STREET WHARF BEYOND ITS LEASED PREMISES. NEVERTHELESS, CONSIDERING YOUR RECOMMENDATION, IRC UNDERTOOK AN IN-DEPTH STUDY OF YOUR REPORT, & CONCLUDED THAT IT WOULD COOPERATE WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, (AS YOU HAVE CHARACTERIZED THE PARTIES IN INTEREST), AS WELL AS THE RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC BODIES, TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. IRC HAS ENGAGED ENGINEER & NAVAL ARTCHITECTS WHO HAVE ADVISED THAT THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO THE ENHANCEMENT PROPOSED IN YOUR REPORT THAT SHOULD PROVIDE GREATER PROTECTION. ACCORDINGLY, IRC IS PROCEEDING TO OBTAIN A MORE DETAILED DEVELOPMENT OF THIS CONSTRUCTION DESIGN FOR ALL INVOLVED TO CONSIDER. ONCE IT HAS BEEN PREPARED & EVALUATED BY OUR CONSULTANTS, WE WILL CONTACT YOU TO DISCUSS THIS INFO. HOWEVER, THIS IS ONLY ONE ASPECT OF SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT THIS LOCATION. IT SHOULD BE AUGMENTED & SUPPORTED BY EFFORTS OF ALL OF THOSE BODIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RIVER BY INITIATING FURTHER STUDY & ANALYSIS WHICH WOULD GIVE CONSIDERATION TO THE CONSTANTLY CHANGING CONDITIONS OF TRAFFIC ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. CONTROLS & OTHER STEPS,WHICH SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ASSURE VESSEL SAFETY ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, SHOULD ALSO BE CONSIDERED IN THIS PROCESS. IRC HAS ALREADY DEMONSTRATED IT WILLINGNESS TO BECOME A PART OF SUCH A EFFORT, BUT CAN DO SO ONLY WITH THE PARTICIPATION & COOPERATION OF ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS INCLUDING PUBLIC BODIES, SUCH AS, THE BOARD OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE PORT OF NEW ORLEANS, THE USCG, & THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS.

From: NTSB
To: International RiverCenter
Date: 3/12/1998
Response: THE BOARD ACKNOWLEDGES YOUR RECEIPT OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE INTERNATIONAL RIVERCENTER & AWAITS RESPONSE ON THE ACTION THAT HAS BEEN TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THEM. PENDING FURTHER RESPONSE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL RIVERCENTER, RECOMMENDATION M-98-13 THROUGH -15 WILL REMAIN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--AWAIT RESPONSE."

From: International RiverCenter
To: NTSB
Date: 2/17/1998
Response: MOISE S. STEEG, JR, A LAWYER FOR INTERNATIONAL RIVERCENTER ACKNOWLEDGES RECEIPT OF RECOMMENDATIONS M-98-13 THRU-15.