The National Transportation Safety Board today, as a result of its investigation of the 1998 accident involving the President Casino on the Admiral (Admiral) in the St. Louis Harbor, made recommendations on permanently moored vessels in that harbor. Additionally, the Board recommended that regular drills be conducted for the employees of the Admiral to ensure that they are trained in emergency preparedness.
On April 4, 1998, a tow of the M/V Anne Holly, traveling upriver on the Mississippi River through St. Louis Harbor, struck the left pier of the center span of the Eads Bridge. Eight barges broke away. Three of the barges struck the Admiral, a permanently moored gaming vessel, causing most of its mooring lines to break. The Admiral then rotated away from the Missouri riverbank. No deaths resulted from the accident; 50 people were examined for minor injuries.
Among the safety issues examined by the Board were: the advisability of the Anne Holly captain's decision to make the upriver movement in flood water conditions at night transit and the effectiveness of safety management oversight on the part of American Milling, L.P.; the effectiveness of safety measures provided for the permanently moored vessel the Admiral; and the adequacy of public safety for permanently moored vessels.
Among the NTSB's safety recommendations were:
To the U.S. Coast Guard:
Take the following three actions under your Ports and Waterways Safety Act authority: a) require that the owners of all operating permanently moored vessels that are accessible to the public provide and document formal training in crowd management techniques for all personnel on such vessels; b) require that periodic drills be conducted to reinforce the crowd management training; and c) require that the vessel owners amend their emergency plans to reflect crowd management techniques.
Either require owners of permanently moored vessels to protect their vessels from waterborne and current-related risks so that their permanently moored vessels are, in fact, equivalent to buildings or require that the owners obtain U.S. Coast Guard certificates of inspection for their permanently moored vessels.
To the State of Missouri:
Conduct, in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard, the State of Illinois, and the cities of St. Louis and East St. Louis, regular drills to exercise the contingency plans for a variety of different marine scenarios, such as stopping breakaway vessels or rescuing large numbers of people from the Mississippi River.
To President Casinos, Inc:
Develop guidelines for making periodic public address announcements during emergencies to provide direction and ensure patron safety.
Develop and exercise contingency plans for emergency egress from the President Casino on the Admiral to ensure that occupants can exit the vessel in a timely and orderly manner when the standard means of egress become unusable and amend the President Casino on the Admiral's emergency evacuation procedures to reflect the new procedures.
Site the President Casino on the Admiral in a location in which it is protected from waterborne and current-related risk events, including breakaways, allisions, sinking, capsizing, etc.
A copy of the report, which was adopted on August 9, 2000, is available on our website at www.ntsb.gov. Paper copies of the report, when available, can be purchased from the National Technical Information Service (800) 533-NTIS. Recommendation letters M-00-10 thru 33 and P-00-15 thru 19 can also be found on the Board's web site.