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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11 Winter 2015–2016 Proceedings Back in 2009, as the frst national technical advisor for the Investigations National Center of Expertise, I was at Marine Safety Unit Texas City presenting an introduction on the National Centers of Expertise. I was the last presenter before lunch, and people were starting to fade fast, so I opened up my presentation with: "If you have a marine casualty that looks strange — who you gonna call?" "When things go bump in the night — who you gonna call?" "When you have a marine casualty that no one on your staff can deal with — who you gonna call?" Be Careful What You Ask For That's the kind of thing that ca n come bac k a nd hau nt you. Soon after my presenta- tion, one of the frst calls came from Coast Guard headquar- ters' Investigations Division. The National Transportation Sa fe t y Boa rd (N T SB) wa s about to release its report on the allision of a Liberia-regis- tered fruit juice carrier with a U.S.-registered dredge, and the Coast Guard case was nowhere close to completion. They tasked us to review the case in the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforce- ment (MISLE) database and analyze NTSB's case for com- parison. Since the investiga- tion was a joint effort, it was assumed to be a simple matter of comparing and contrasting the two reports. Unfortu- nately, that was not the case. With a history of working primarily in the Gulf of Mexico region for years, I thought I had a pretty solid knowledge base of all kinds of tank ships, but I'd never heard of a fruit juice carrier. I was also surprised the vessel had a fap-type rudder, which was somewhat controversial when combined with a controllable-pitch propeller. As you might imagine, these issues posed a serious learn- ing curve for a three-person unit. Luckily for us, the INV-NCOE's frst civilian hire was a former Coast Guard Who You Gonna Call? One man's view of the INV-NCOE. by LCDR WiLLie PittMan iii National Technical Advisor U.S. Coast Guard Investigations National Center of Expertise Investigations National Center of Expertise The Eagle Otome collided with a barge in Port Arthur, Texas. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston inves- tigating offcer.

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