Proceedings Of The Marine

WIN 2015

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.

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30 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings that point, I made the decision to change investigators doing the questioning. It was a tough call, but the lead investigat- ing offcer has to keep the end goal in focus — sometimes at the cost of someone else's feelings. Joint Eforts This was not my frst time working with the NTSB. I know firsthand that their personnel have their own marching orders, their own investigative process, and often the scope of their investigation is much wider than ours. As the lead agency, we shared all evidence and information with NTSB personnel, and they participated in our inter- views and all aspects of the investigation at their discre- tion. Often though, because their scope is wider, they ask for additional information, documentation, and other material the Coast Guard doesn't typically require during an inves- tigation. That said, when we're the lead agency, NTSB personnel have to go through us to get these things, which can lead to frus- tration, lending an extra burden to an already intense and time-consuming investigation. I recommend keeping the door of communication open with your joint lead investi- gating offcer. My best advice for a joint investigation: • Know who your district point of contact is and keep the chain of command informed of any and all issues. • Lead agency or not, make sure you understand your role in the investigation, then hold your investigation as close to your role and scope as possible. • Ensure that you are familiar with the differences in poli- cies and adhere to the ones that apply according to who has the lead. • Be fully cognizant that you will need to compromise along the way to facilitate the process. This will reduce frustrations and keep both agencies on an even keel. About the author: LCDR Teresa Hatfeld enlisted in 1986 and received a reserve commission in 2001. Returning to active duty after 9/11, she responded to Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon spill, among other events. She has served as supervisor at Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg, as the INV- NCOE's national technical advisor, and is currently chief of the investiga- tions division at Sector New Orleans. belts, the more we could pass on to others. With that in mind, we divvied up the witnesses for questioning. However, not all of us had the same interview style. As the lead, it was my job to make sure that we conducted the hear- ing in such a way so that we got as much information as pos- sible. During the hearing, it was clear to me that one team member had a style of questioning that came off as aggres- sive and off-putting to the witnesses and their attorneys. At The Marine Board of Investigation into the Alaska Ranger sinking in 2008 tours the trawl deck of the Alaska Warrior, another Fishing Company of Alaska vessel. The crew of the Alaska Warrior responded to the casualty and recovered several of the crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Sara Francis. The Marine Board of Investigation listens to testimony in the 2008 sinking of the fshing vessel Katmai. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Allyson E.T. Conroy.

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