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
60 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings The report of investigation (ROI) following a marine inci- dent is the primary communication method connecting all involved stakeholders. It delivers a coherent event timeline regarding actions surrounding the marine casualty and describes why the event occurred. Once completed, a report of investigation contains a wealth of knowledge to: • help prevent casualties, • base safety alerts upon, and • make appropriate changes to policy and regulations. Coast Guard personnel use the ROI to evaluate existing programs, regulations, and policy and incorporate changes as deemed necessary. Private industry corporations may also adjust their internal safety and operating procedures based on report results. With so much follow-up at stake, it's important to get these reports right. Fortunately, the Investigations National Center of Expertise (INV-NCOE) provides a wide range of experience and technical advice to help investigating offcers complete their investigations thoroughly and accurately for the beneft of the entire mari- time community. Vessel Electronic Analysis Expertise Today's investigation challenges include increasingly com- plex vessel electronics and the resulting volume of infor- mation investigating offcers must review. The INV-NCOE ensures that feld units have access to investigative and tech- nical expertise for different types of vessel feets as well as for the various types of onboard electronics. For example, the voyage data recorder (VDR), typically located on the vessel bridge, is considered the nautical "black box." Some of the VDR's capabilities include ship's position, speed, heading, bridge audio, very high frequency (VHF) radio communications, radar data, depth under keel, rudder order and response, and engine order and response. INV-NCOE personnel can download VDR data and enter it into a proprietary program that translates it all into a legible format for the investigations team. For example, VDR causal analysis of a 2012 bridge allision revealed that the bridge's navigational span should have been illuminated by three vertical white lights, indicating the main channel span. But VDR audio recorders revealed various inactions of the crewmembers on watch, includ- ing no verifcation of bridge lighting and no questioning of improper characteristics. Additionally, the vessel's Automatic Identifcation System, which is incorporated into the vessel's electronic chart sys- tem, identifed a towing vessel that had recently moored Coast Guard Reports of Investigation The Investigations National Center of Expertise's role. by LCDR BaRBaRa WiLK Marine Casualty Program Manager U.S. Coast Guard Investigations and Analysis Communicate Inspections offcer Chief Warrant Offcer Jeff Gradel responds to a bridge allision. U.S. Coast Guard photo.