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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-98-023
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 NEW ORLEANS PADDLEWHEELS, INC.: IN COOPERATION WITH THE USCG & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS, INCLUDING FEDERAL, STATE, & LOCAL AGENCIES; PRIVATE COMMERCIAL ENTITIES; SHIPOWNERS; & PILOT ASSOCIATIONS, IMPLEMENT RISK-MANAGEMENT & RISK-MITIGATION INITIATIVES THAT WILL ENSURE THE SAFETY OF PEOPLE & 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Overall Status: Closed--No Longer Applicable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: 6/14/2002
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc. (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
Date: 6/14/2002
Response: The Safety Board is aware of the improvements that have occurred in the Port of New Orleans since the Bright Field accident and is appreciative of the role that NOP has played to facilitate these initiatives. Nonetheless, the USCG has never conducted a comprehensive risk assessment that considers all activities, marine and shoreside, within the Port of New Orleans. Consequently, on October 22, 2001, the Board classified Safety Recommendations M-98-2 and -4 to the USCG "Closed--Unacceptable Action," because the Coast Guard had not taken action to implement the recommendations. However, because the NOP had expressed willingness to work with the Coast Guard on these issues, Safety Recommendation M-98-22 is classified "Closed-Acceptable Action" and Safety Recommendation M-98-23 to the NOP is classified "Closed-No Longer Applicable."

From: New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 11/20/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/07/2002 11:31:16 AM MC# 2020019 We have complied with all directives issued by the Coast Guard in response to the Bright Field incident. One of the most significant is the pilothouse lookout while the vessel is docked, which requires the manning of the pilothouse by a competent member of the crew while the vessel is docked and with passengers on board. In conjunction with this is the second- gangway requirement previously discussed. The USCG now mans the Gov. Nichols Traffic Control Center at Algiers Point on a year-round basis and not just during high-river season. At the Riverwalk, which is the site of the Bright Field crash, an audible and visual alarm is in place and activated by the Gov. Nichols Traffic Center to alert persons in the vicinity of any threat in the area. In addition, a USCG Vessel Traffic Service, or VTS, which utilizes on-board transponders linked to satellites, is in the development stages and the Creole Queen is an active participant in this program. This technology allows participating vessels to view on a pilothouse computer screen the locations of other participating vessels as well as their length, draft and speed and how their position relates to each vessel. We continue to work closely with the USCG on all issues of vessel and port safety and are kept current through USCG sponsored safety meetings and seminars and through direct contact on board our vessel.

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.