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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-98-016
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, & A HOTEL. NO FATALITIES RESULTED FROM THE ACCIDENT, & NO ONE ABOARD THE BRIGHT FIELD WAS INJURED; HOWEVER, 4 SERIOUS INJURIES & 58 MINOR INJURIES WERE SUSTAINED DURING EVACUATIONS OF SHORE FACILITIES, A GAMING VESSEL, & AN EXCURSION VESSEL LOCATED NEAR THE IMPACT AREA. TOTAL PROPERTY DAMAGES TO THE BRIGHT FIELD & TO SHORESIDE FACILITIES WERE ESTIMATED AT ABOUT $20 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE CLEARSKY SHIPPING COMPANY: PERFORM A BASELINE ENGINEERING ASSESSMENT OF THE BRIGHT FIELD'S ENGINEERING PLANT & CORRECT ALL CONDITIONS NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATIONS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 7/20/2001
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Clearsky Shipping Company (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Clearsky Shipping Company
Date: 7/20/2001
Response: The Safety Board recognizes that COSCO complies with the International Safety Management (ISM) and International Standard Organization (ISO) 9002 system requirements and that the MV Bright Field/Bright City has been free of any incidents since the 1996 accident. On November 24, 2000, the Board advised COSCO that this alone was not responsive to these two recommendations, and requested that COSCO provide the following: (1) results of your baseline engineering assessment of the MV Bright Field/Bright City's engineering plant (M?98?16) and (2) details of the engineering maintenance, repair, and company oversight program that will confirm the safe and reliable operation of the MV Bright Field/Bright City's engineering plant (M-98-17). The Safety Board is disappointed that COSCO still has not completed a baseline engineering assessment nor instituted any engineering program based on such an assessment. COSCO's technical division provided a copy of its ISM document, Shipboard Operation Instructions, along with their view that the incident occurred because former engineers were negligent in caring for the main engine lubricating oil. However, neither of these submissions constitutes an acceptable response to either recommendation. Accordingly, because COSCO has not completed the recommended engineering baseline assessment and instituted the engineering programs as requested, Safety Recommendations M-98-16 and -17 are classified "Closed-Unacceptable Action."

From: Clearsky Shipping Company
To: NTSB
Date: 2/26/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/07/2001 3:21:38 PM MC# 2010202 We confirm that a copy of your letter has been passed to our Technical Division and Crew Division respectively for their attention and response, as the above recommendations M-98-16 and -17 involve technical matters. Technical Division have also passed to us a copy of ISM document, Shipboard Operation Instructions, with regard to Rules for Selecting, Analyzing, Purifying, Using and Caring of Lubricants, with their view on the cause of the incident that the former engineers were negligent in caring of the main engine lubricating oil, in which they failed, in accordance with some comments, to refill sufficient quantity of fresh lubricating oil into the sump tank as required, after a part of the used oil had been removed from the tank on the voyage prior to the incident (although the engineers deemed the tank to have been properly refilled). We believe that the impact against the River-walk was an accident of sudden mechanical failure as a result of the engineers' negligence in caring of the main engine lubricating oil although the vessel was properly manned and managed. In fact, after rectifying the problem, the engines of the vessel have resumed normal in operation and free of any accident since March, 1997. We thank you for your kind assistances in dealing with the incident and trust that all the instructions, requirements and measures as indicated in the above Shipboard Operation Instructions have met the requirements of your recommendations.

From: Clearsky Shipping Company
To: NTSB
Date: 7/12/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 07/25/2000 1:03:21 PM MC# 2000948 WE REFER TO YOUR LETTER OF 4/4/00, WITH ATTENTION TO MR. F. Y. KHONG WHO RETIRED IN APRIL THIS YEAR. BEFORE MR. KHONG LEFT THE COMPANY, HE PASSED YOUR LETTER TO THE UNDERSIGNED FOR A REPLY. HOWEVER, THE UNDERSIGNED, AS AN ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER OF INSURANCE AND CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE COMPANY, FELT THAT THE THREE RECOMMENDATIONS RELATING TO TECHNICAL AND CREW TRAINING ISSUES SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE RELEVANT DIVISIONS FOR THEIR VIEWS, AND THEREFORE PASSED A COPY OF IT TO TECHNICAL DIVISION WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENGINEERING TESTING, MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS AND OTHER TECHNICAL MATTERS AND, AT THE SAME TIME, TO CREW DIVISION WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREW RECRUITING AND TRAINING. THE SAID DIVISIONS HAVE TRACED THEIR RELEVANT FILES AND ALSO THE RELEVANT RECORDS AND REPORTS OF THE VESSEL "BRIGHT FIELD" WHICH HAS AFTER THE INCIDENT BEEN RENAMED AS "BRIGHT CITY." THE UNDERSIGNED HAS RECENTLY BEEN ADVISED THAT YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS HAD BEEN CONSIDERED CONSTRUCTIVE, POSITIVE AND THEREFORE WELCOME. THEY STRESS THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BASICALLY IN LINE WITH THE COMPANY'S ISM CODE AND ISO 9002 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS, WHICH HAVE BEEN STRICTLY IMPLEMENTED BY BOTH THE COMPANY AND THE VESSELS, AND SUPERVISED AND AUDITED BY ABS AND CCS. IN FACT, THE "BRIGHT FIELD"/"BRIGHT CITY" HAS BEEN FREE OF ANY INCIDENT DURING HER TRADING OPERATION SINCE MARCH, 1997, AND IN ADDITIN SHE HAS SINCE THEN PASSED SEVERAL OCCASIONS OF THE PORT STATE CONTROL INSPECTIONS, INCLUDING ONCE IN THE USA, WITHOUT ANY DEFICIENCIES. ALL THESE PROVE THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED AND OBSERVED VERY WELL BY THE COMPANY AND THE SHIP WITH THE MOST SATISFACTORY RESULT.

From: NTSB
To: Clearsky Shipping Company
Date: 2/25/1999
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD UNDERSTANDS THAT SINCE SEPTEMBER 1996, CLEARSKY HAS ACQUIRED INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT (ISM) CODE AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ORGANIZATION (ISO) CERTIFICATES ISSUED BY THE AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING (ABS) AND THE CHINA CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY (CCS). ACCORDINGLY, YOU REPORT THAT ALL THE MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO COMPLY WITH THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS OF THE ISM CODE AND ISO-9002 HAVE BEEN STRICTLY IMPLEMENTED BY CLEARSKY AND SUPERVISED BY THE ABS AND THE CCS. IN ADDITION, CLEARSKY STATES THAT THE BRIGHT FIELD RECOMMENDATIONS ARE CONSTRUCTIVE, IN LINE WITH THE CLEARSKY SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, AND CONSISTENT WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE ISM CODE. CLEARSKY INDICATES, HOWEVER, THAT IT HAS HAD DIFFICULTY UNDERSTANDING THE REFERENCES TO "MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT" MADE IN THE BOARD'S REPORT AND STATES THAT IT HAS BEEN MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO ENSURE THAT SAFE OPERATIONS ARE CARRIED OUT ON BOARD ITS VESSELS. THE SAFETY BOARD ASKED THAT CLEARSKY SHOULD PERFORM A BASELINE ENGINEERING ASSESSMENT OF THE BRIGHT FIELD'S ENGINEERING PLANT AND CORRECT ALL CONDITIONS NOT IN CONFORMANCE WITH MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATIONS. THE BOARD RECOMMENDED THAT CLEARSKY INSTITUTE AN ENGINEERING TESTING, MAINTENANCE, REPAIR, AND COMPANY OVERSIGHT PROGRAM FOR THE BRIGHT FIELD THAT WOULD ENSURE SAFE AND RELIABLE OPERATION OF THE VESSEL'S ENGINEERING PLANT MANAGEMENT OVERSIGHT. THE BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT SPECIFIC ACTIONS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THESE THREE RECOMMENDATIONS. ACCORDINGLY, M-98-16 THROUGH -18 HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," PENDING OUR RECEIPT OF FURTHER INFORMATION FROM CLEARSKY.

From: Clearsky Shipping Company
To: NTSB
Date: 12/24/1998
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 1/5/99 1:22:51 PM MC# 981547 WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR LETTER OF 10/14/98, AND ARE SORRY TO MAKE A BELATED RESPONSE. FIRST OF ALL ON BEHALF OF THE SHIPOWNERS, WE APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS IN CARRYING OUT THE INVESTIGATION AND ANALYSIS TO THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF AVOIDING THE RECURRENCE OF SUCH AN UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT AND MINIMIZING LOSSES AND DAMAGES IN THE FUTURE. ALTHOUGH BEING UNABLE TO AGREE WITH YOUR VIEWS ON THE CONCLUSION OF THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT ("FAILURE OF CLEARSKY SHIPPING COMPANY TO ADEQUATELY MANAGE AND OVERSEE THE MAINTENANCE OF THE ENGINEERING PLANT ABOARD THE BRIGHT FIELD"), WE AGREE THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE CONSTRUCTIVE AS THEY ARE IN LINE WITH OUR SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. THEY ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE SPIRIT OF ISM CODE. HOWEVER, SOME VAGUE TERMS IN THE RECOMMENDATIONS SUCH AS, COMPANY OVERSIGHT PROGRAM, DO NOT REVEAL THE TRUTH OF OUR MANAGEMENT. WE HAVE BEEN DOING OUR BEST AND MAKING EVERY EFFORT TO ENSURE THAT SAFETY OPERATION HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT ON BOARD. WE WOULD LIKE TO ADD THAT THIS COMPANY HAS SINCE SEPTEMBER 1996 ACQUIRED ISM-DOC AND ISO-9002 CERTIFICATES ISSUED BY ABS AND CCS. ALL THE MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD OF THE ISM CODE AND ISO-9002 ARE STRICTLY IMPLEMENTED BY US AND SUPERVISED BY ABS AND CCS. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THERE WILL BE NO REPETITION OF A SIMILAR INCIDENT IN THE FUTURE.

From: NTSB
To: Clearsky Shipping Company
Date: 9/22/1998
Response: NTSB REQUESTED A FOLLOWUP.