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
Marine investigations provide vital feedback to help improve standards and compliance pro- cesses, hold parties accountable when necessary, and prevent reoccurrence of accidents that harm people, property, and the environment. Coast Guard marine investigators are trained to determine incident contributing factors, which include assessing vessel and equipment design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The subsequent investigation report includes a comprehensive analysis derived from witness state- ments, forensic scrutiny, technical calculations, and investigator observations. When deemed necessary, recommendations are made to the Commandant on specif c actions the Coast Guard can take to hold people accountable and prevent similar incidents. In this manner, the Coast Guard continuously evaluates and improves prevention efforts. For example, the joint Coast Guard and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement inves- tigation report into the explosion and sinking of the foreign-f agged mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon resulted in more than 50 recommendations, many of which have been enacted, including developing new standards for explosion-proof electrical f ttings. Establishing the Investigations National Center of Expertise (INV-NCOE) has signif cantly enhanced the Coast Guard's ability to investigate all marine casualties. INV-NCOE investigators actively support investigations around the globe, help identify trends, and develop key rela- tionships with investigative counterparts from the National Transportation Safety Board and foreign maritime safety agencies. Such relationships are especially essential in the international realm, as the Coast Guard has to be invited to participate in investigations that involve U.S. citi- zens aboard foreign-f agged vessels operating beyond U.S. waters. As an example, INV-NCOE investigators have supported f ve foreign-f agged cruise ship f re investigations within the last 12 months, which prompted the release of a worldwide safety alert on fuel line maintenance. Coast Guard marine investigators also pursue suspension and revocation (S&R) actions against merchant mariners for negligent operations, acts of misconduct, violations of law and regula- tion, falsif cation of off cial records or false statements to off cials, fraudulent use or obtainment of Coast Guard credentials, and use of illicit drugs. The Suspension and Revocation National Center of Expertise has been instrumental in assuring that these actions are appropriate and consistent. Because these investigations may culminate in the suspension or revocation of a mariner's Coast Guard-issued credential, potentially placing his or her livelihood at stake, the S&R NCOE's involvement and oversight is specif cally implemented to safeguard mariner rights throughout a complex process, while holding parties accountable and preventing incident reoccurrence. I want to close by thanking the authors who contributed to this edition. Their stories effectively highlight the invaluable contributions and capabilities of these specialized units that support the Coast Guard's prevention program. 4 Proceedings Winter 2015–2016 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Admiral Paul F. Zukunft Commandant U.S. Coast Guard The Marine Safety & Security Council of the United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin Judge Advocate General Chairman Mr. Jeffrey G. Lantz Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards Member Rear Admiral Peter J. Brown Assistant Commandant for Response Policy Member Rear Admiral Paul F. Thomas Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Member Rear Admiral Todd A. Sokalzuk Assistant Commandant for Resources, Chief Financial Off cer Member Ms. Ellen Engleman Conners (Acting) Director for Governmental and Public Affairs Member Captain Verne B. Gifford Director of Inspections and Compliance Member Mr. William R. Grawe Director of National Pollution Funds Center Member Mr. Gary C. Rasicot Director of Marine Transportation Systems Management Member Captain Anthony Popiel (Acting) Director of Incident Management and Preparedness Policy Member Mr. Michael W. Mumbach Executive Secretary Assistant Commandant's Perspective by ReaR aDMiRaL PauL F. thoMas Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy U.S. Coast Guard