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/665311
47 Spring 2016 Proceedings www.uscg.mil/proceedings Up ahead loomed the highway bridge, where a buoyed channel and sailing line on the U.S. Army Corps of Engi- neers river chart indicated the main channel. The vessel crew included a team of capable merchant marine offcers. In addition, the vessel operators put a marine contract pilot aboard to assist the ship's offcers on this segment of the waterway. 2 This was not a regulatory requirement, but a proactive safety practice for the operating company. The ship also had a safety management system in place. As the ship neared the highway bridge, personnel noted that the lighting on the bridge wasn't quite right; there were discrepancies in the correct lighting scheme for the bridge. Most importantly, the center of the main navigational span, where larger vessels travel, was supposed to have three powerful white vertical lights to distinguish that span and the centerline of the channel for vessels required to transit that section of the bridge. 3 As the minutes ticked by, the pilot decided to alter the ship's course to steer for another span that was adjacent to the lighted recreational vessel span, closer to the right side of the shoreline. Time was short as the ship moved off the sailing line indicated on the electronic chart and headed for that opening. Moments later, the Each year, Coast Guard marine investigators conduct inves- tigations into marine casualties. Part of that process involves examining the vessel's safety management system (SMS). Two unique incidents in 2012 and their follow-on investiga- tions give us unique insight into this process. The year started with an allision, as a motor vessel ran into a highway bridge on a lake in Kentucky, causing a 300-foot bridge span to drop onto the vessel and into the Tennessee River. As 2012 ended, another vessel in the Gulf of Alaska struggled to control a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU), which eventually grounded. Both vessels were conducting unique operations in unique environments. Delta Mariner — The Incident In late January 2012, the motor vessel Delta Mariner was car- rying rocket motors in her cargo bay as she transited the Tennessee River en route to Cape Canaveral, Florida. 1 As she neared the Eggner's Ferry Bridge that spanned the Tennes- see River in the vicinity of Aurora, Kentucky, it was raining, but the rain was easing up. A Tale of Two Ships Examining SMS similarities, strengths, and weaknesses. by mR. KeiTh FAWCeTT Investigations National Center of Expertise U.S. Coast Guard Investigations and Safety Management Systems The M/ V Delta Mariner anchored to the river bottom in Kentucky Lake on the Ten- nessee River with the span of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge draped across her bow. Photo courtesy of the National Transportation Safety Board. Spreadsheet developed aboard the M/ V Delta Mariner showing the bridges and overhead obstructions on the inland waterway where overhead restrictions would be a problem. The ship's off- cers used colors to highlight the potential for danger. U.S. Coast Guard photo.