NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


April 11, 2006

Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board's Acting Chairman, Mark V. Rosenker today, during a speech at the 44th Annual National Marine Conference, discussed the Board's investigation of marine accidents and the cooperation required from all involved in promoting and ensuring marine safety.

"Safeguarding our nation's transportation systems is a partnership between government, professional organizations, and the public," said Rosenker.

The Safety Board has investigated more than 200 major marine accidents and has issued more than 2,000 marine safety recommendations. Although the NTSB does not have enforcement authority, 83 percent of its recommendations have been adopted. The recipients of these safety recommendations include: maritime organizations, vessel operating companies, marine associations, the International Marine Organization, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Safety accomplishments resulting from the Board's marine safety investigations and recommendations include improvements in lifesaving, communications between vessels, fire safety standards for cruise ships, stability and inspection standards for small passenger vessels, stronger training requirements for seafarers, and requirements for voyage data recorders.

Currently, the Safety Board investigates about 20 percent of the major marine accidents that occur annually. When the Safety Board takes the lead, the Coast Guard participates in the investigation as a party.

During his speech given in Annapolis, Maryland, Acting Chairman Rosenker highlighted two marine accidents that recently came before the Safety Board: the Lady D, a pontoon water taxi that capsized in the Baltimore Harbor, and the Express Shuttle II, a vessel that had just ferried passengers to a casino boat in Florida when an engineroom fire broke out. As a result of these accidents, the Safety Board made recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard, Paradise of Port Richey, and Caterpillar, Inc. Additionally, since the Lady D accident, the National Weather Service has revised its procedures so warnings regarding changing weather get out quicker.

"Because of our comprehensive safety regime and culture in the United States, accidents are almost never from a single cause, but rather the result of a chain of multiple things gone wrong," Rosenker said. "This is why each of us, who has a role in the marine industry, must be constantly vigilant in our duties and responsibilities to ensure the safety of the system."

The full text of the speech is available on the NTSB website at: www.ntsb.gov

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.