Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/617100
25 Winter 2015–2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings automation and control systems, integrated bridge systems, closed-circuit TVs, and other fre suppression and engineer- ing monitoring systems. Human Factor Incident Basics No matter the evolution, detail, or function, marine inves- tigators must identify or discount marine operator activity and determine if electronic devices possibly contributed to the incident. Items to consider: • the type of device and use; • who owns the equipment (the operator or the company); • proximity and accessibility to the crewmember; • wireless capabilities. Also consider the vessel's capability to provide wireless con- nectivity to crewmembers and personal wireless providers. Assistance Basics Vessels are becoming increasingly complex, so even the best marine investigators may encounter unfamiliar systems or situations. Proactively obtaining technical assistance in areas you're unfamiliar with is smart insurance. Colleagues and special teams such as the Investigations National Center of Expertise and/or other national centers of expertise are ready to help, supplying you with the best resources the Coast Guard has to offer. About the author: Mr. Marc DeJesus is a marine investigator and retired warrant offcer at the U.S. Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise. He has served in multiple operational afoat and marine safety capacities during his 35 years of service. In his present assignment, Mr. DeJesus specializes in electronic evidence collection, offshore supply vessel, and passenger vessel casualties. Consider starting at the source — the machinery in ques- tion may have onboard monitoring systems. From there, alarm and monitoring systems within the engine control room and on the bridge may hold vital information. The integrated bridge system and automation systems will have the individual engineering component's electronic perfor- mance history. Additionally, when it comes to these types of failures, inves- tigators should review maintenance records. Key questions include: • Was the equipment maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's specifcations? • Was the equipment serviced by the manufacturer's approved technicians or the ship's crew? • Was it being operated within specifcation? • Was the equipment maintained in accordance with the vessel's classifcation society technical standards? Most engine manufacturers utilize electronic control sys- tems that require a proprietary event data retrieval tool to gather engine performance data from event data recorders. Some data, such as event and alarm logs, can be viewed on engine monitoring screens in standard text fles. Be sure to obtain data from the electronic engine control units or modules, which can provide data trouble codes or onboard diagnostics information in addition to critical operating and performance data. This will often identify the exact cause of machinery or component failure, so service technicians must immediately recover this data to preserve its integrity. Fire Incident Basics A fre incident is one of the most problematic types to inves- tigate because such incidents often destroy systems. Seek out the assistance of professional fre investigators from fed- eral, state, or local authorities. Investigators should pay par- ticular attention to the events/operations leading up to the initiating event. First and foremost, thoroughly document and photograph the affected areas before crewmembers or others disturb the scene or remove critical evidence. Be sure to document: • power distribution items and panel switch positions; • fre extinguishing systems, detection, and discharge components; • valve handle positions; • suppression agent levels and weights. After collecting and documenting the affected areas, draw stored event information from individual alarm panels, Coast Guard LT Ronald Fogan and Petty Offcer Josh Hobson review a voyage data recorder. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Kyle Niemi.