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Board Meeting: Collision between Bulk Carrier Conti Peridot and Tanker Carla Maersk, Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas, March 9, 2015, Closing Statement
Christopher A. Hart
NTSB Conference Center, Washington, DC

In closing, I would like to recognize the hard work of the NTSB staff in producing this report, and to thank my fellow Board Members for their very thoughtful participation in the process. I would especially like to thank Member Earl Weener for serving as the board member on scene.

I am pleased to see members of the Port Authority of Houston and the Houston Pilots Association here today. I would like to thank both of these organizations for their continued cooperation.

I would also like to thank the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard for their coordination and cooperation with the NTSB in this investigation. Our marine investigations are conducted jointly with the Coast Guard, and every accident we investigate helps us develop a more effective and efficient working relationship. We will further discuss Coast Guard VTS in a national context in a safety study in September.

The recommendations adopted today, if acted upon, will improve the safety of navigation in the Houston Ship Channel, which is an indispensable waterway serving one of the busiest ports in the world.

These recommendations underscore the importance both of effective communications between pilots, and of bridge resource management on board their respective vessels. BRM can play an important role in preventing accidents in marine transportation. Its importance is heightened close to port, in tight quarters, when a pilot takes on the task of guiding a vessel.

And, we have recommended that the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee develop predetermined ship movement strategies before or at the onset of hazardous weather, to enhance the safety of vessels that are underway in the Houston Ship Channel.

This narrow channel is a marine gateway to the world, handling an enormous volume of passengers and goods. The safe passage of these great ships is crucial to mariners, to the residents of the region, and to the region’s environment.  We hope that what we learned from this accident will help to make that passage safer.

We stand adjourned.