Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
National Transportation Safety Board
Opening Remarks
Marine Accident Report
Allision of Cargo Vessel Delta Mariner with Eggner's Ferry Bridge
Near Aurora, Kentucky, January 26, 2012
Washington, DC — May 14, 2013
(As Prepared for Delivery)


Good morning. Welcome to the Boardroom of the National Transportation Safety Board. I am Debbie Hersman, and it is my privilege to serve as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. Joining me are my fellow Board members: Vice Chairman Chris Hart, Member Robert Sumwalt, Member Mark Rosekind and Member Earl Weener.

Today, we meet in open session, as required by the Government in the Sunshine Act, to consider the January 26, 2012, accident in which the cargo vessel Delta Mariner struck the Eggner's Ferry Bridge on the Tennessee River near Aurora, Kentucky. Fortunately, there were no injuries, but there were substantial damages to the bridge, which was closed for four months.

We will hear about several safety issues today and they will echo what we have seen and learned in other investigations about the importance of the human, the machine and the environment. All three are important in marine safety, but the human element -- a trained professional's focus on the task, the machine, and the environment -- is paramount, as we'll hear more about today.

Dr. Mayer, will you please introduce the staff.