As part of its continuing investigation into a grounding accident involving the Empress of the North, southwest of Juneau, Alaska, the National Transportation Safety Board will open a public docket and release a factual report on Friday, December 21, 2007, at 11:00 am.
On May 14, 2007, about 1:30 pm local time, the passenger vessel Empress of the North grounded on a charted rock at the intersection of Lynn Canal and Icy Straits, about 20 miles southwest of Juneau, Alaska, after the vessel failed to negotiate a turn to the west. The vessel was carrying 206 passengers and 75 crewmembers. No injuries resulted from the accident, but the vessel sustained significant damage to its hull and propulsion system.
The information being released is factual in nature and does not provide any analysis. It will include investigative group factual reports, interview transcripts, transcripts of recorded conversations on the vessel's bridge, maintenance records, and other documents from the investigation. Additional material will be added to the docket as it becomes available. Analysis of the accident, along with conclusions and a determination of probable cause, will come at a later date when the final report on the investigation is completed.
For news media representatives, a CD-ROM containing the docket material will be available from the Office of Public Affairs, NTSB Headquarters (6th floor), 490 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. beginning at 11:00 a.m., Friday, December 21, 2007. Docket material also can be obtained from the NTSB's Public Inquiries Branch by calling (202) 314 - 6551, or from General Microfilm, Inc., (304) 267-5830.
This will be a document release only; no interviews will be conducted.