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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-71-033
Details
Synopsis: DURING A STORM IN THE NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN IN THE EARLY HOURS OF DECEMBER 26, 1969, THE CARGO OF MILITARY EXPLOSIVES ABOARD THE SS BADGER STATE BROKE LOOSE. THE SHIP RADIOED A DISTRESS CALL AND MADE STRENUOUS EFFORTS TO RESTRAIN THE ROLLING BOMBS. AN EXPLOSION FOLLOWED WHICH OPENED A HOLE IN THE STARBOARD SIDE, STARTED MINOR FIRES, AND CAUSED OTHER STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. THE CREW OF 40 ABANDONED SHIP. THE SHIP'S LIFERAFTS WERE LAUNCHED BUT BLEW AWAY. WHILE THE LIFEBOAT WITH 35 CREWMEMBERS WAS ALONGSIDE THE SHIP, A 2,000-POUND BOMB FELL OUT OF THE HOLE IN THE SHIP'S SIDE AND INTO THE LIFEBOAT, CAPSIZING IT. A MERCHANT SHIP ARRIVED ABOUT ONE-HALF HOUR AFTER THE EXPLOSION, RESCUING 14 SURVIVORS. THE BADGER STATE SANK ON JANUARY 5, 1970.
Recommendation: THE U. S. COAST GUARD, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE U. S. NAVY AND U. S. ARMY, CONDUCT A DESIGN STUDY TO DEVELOP, ON AN ENGINEERING BASIS, STOWAGE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CRITERIA REQUIRED ABOVE. THESE DESIGN REQUIREMENTS MUST NOT ONLY BE STRUCTURALLY ADEQUATE BUT SHOULD MINIMIZE THE SUSCEPTIBILITY OF THE STOWAGE TO A CHAIN REACTION FROM SINGLE-POINT FAILURES AND SHOULD MINIMIZE THE DEPENDENCE OF THE STOWAGE TO QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP RESULTING FROM PREVALENT CUSTOM-FITTING OF DUNNAGE. THE STUDY MUST ALSO RECOGNIZE THAT THE HULL AND BULKHEADS WORK SOMEWHAT IN A SEAWAY AND, THEREFORE, CANNOT BE CONSIDERED AS PROVIDING RIGID SUPPORTS FOR BLOCKING AND BRACING, PARTICULARLY IN HEAVY SEAS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action
Mode: Marine
Location: North Pacific Ocean
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: 80108
Accident Reports:
Report #: MAR-71-07
Accident Date: 12/25/1969
Issue Date: 10/21/1971
Date Closed: 2/2/1979
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
United States Department of Defense, Department of the Navy (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
USCG (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army
To: NTSB
Date: 1/4/1972
Response: RESPONSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY ON 1/4/72: THE SS BADGER STATE INCIDENT INDICATES THE NEED FOR STANDARDIZATION OF STOWAGE PRACTICES IN CONFORMANCE WITH ENGINEERED CRITERIA, PARTICULARLY FOR HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS THE BOMBS WHICH CAUSED THE BADGER STATE DISASTER. THE PRESENT TREND IS TOWARD USE OF LARGER, MORE MODERN SHIPS AND THE PROPOSED COAST GUARD STUDY SHOULD ADDRESS THE C4S AND LATER TYPE BREAKBULK FREIGHTERS RATHER THAN VC-2S AND C-3S. I RECOMMEND THAT THE PROPOSED COAST GUARD STUDY BE BROADENED TO INCLUDE DEVELOPMENT OF ENGINEERED STANDARDS FOR STOWAGE OF AMMUNITION IN BARGES AND IN CONTAINERS, AS WELL AS IN BREAKBULK FREIGHTERS.

From: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Navy
To: NTSB
Date: 2/14/1972
Response: RESPONSE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY ON 2/14/72: WE CONCUR IN THE NEED FOR DEVELOPMENT OF AMMUNITION STOWAGE CRITERIA DESIGNED TO MEET VESSEL RESPONSE TO DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS. WE ARE READY TO ASSIST THE COAST GUARD AND TO COMMIT OUR RESOURCES TO THIS DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT EFFORT. WE BELIEVE WE HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT STRIDES TOWARD THIS GOAL IN PUBLISHING NAVORD OP-3221, BUT RECOGNIZE ALSO THAT THIS DOCUMENT MAY CONTAIN CERTAIN INADEQUACIES SUCH AS THE "ONE POINT TECHNIQUE OF UNIT LOAD POSITIONING." I RECOGNIZE THE NEED FOR "FEEDBACK" AS A MEANS OF EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BLOCKING AND BRACING TECHNIQUES, AND AM TAKING STEPS TO INSURE INSTITUTION OF AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/13/1972
Response: RESPONSE OF THE COAST GUARD ON 3/13/72: THE COAST GUARD HAS ESTABLISHED AN AD HOC WORKING GROUP WITH MEMBERS FROM THE COAST GUARD, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, AND REPRESENTATIVES FROM CARRIERS WHO HANDLE AMMUNITION AND THE NATIONAL CARGO BUREAU. 8/8/74 - ENCLOSURE TO COAST GUARD 5943 MEMO TO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: THE COAST GUARD HAS SPONSORED A RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT TO DETERMINE THE TYPES AND MAGNITUDE OF DYNAMIC FORCES TO BE EXPECTED IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS ON SEVERAL CLASSES OF CARGO SHIPS RESULTING FROM EXPECTED OR PROBABLE MOTIONS IN EXTREME SEA CONDITIONS. THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY IS SPONSORING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TESTING OF FASTENERS IN A VARIETY OF DUNNAGING CONFIGURATIONS EXPOSED TO SEVERE LOADS. EVALUATION OF THE DATA RECEIVED FROM THESE PROJECTS NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED. 4/27/76 - COAST GUARD LTR: IN AN EFFORT TO DETERMINE SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND STOWAGE CRITERIA ABOARD VESSELS, THE COAST GUARD HAS CONTRACTED WITH THE NAVAL SHIP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER FOR THE PURPOSE OF STUDYING AND DEVELOPING NECESSARY DATA REQUIRED FOR SUCH DETERMINATION. 11/22/76 - COAST GUARD LETTER: THE FINAL REPORT ON THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT WORK FROM THE DAVID TAYLOR NAVAL SHIP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HAS BEEN RECEIVED BY THE COAST GUARD. OUR REVIEW OF THIS REPORT INDICATES THAT FURTHER WORK WILL BE NECESSARY TO CONVERT THE DATA INTO WORKABLE CRITERIA. AN AD HOC WORKING GROUP WITH DOD PARTICIPATION IS SCHEDULED TO MEET ON DECEMBER 1, 1976, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHAT STEPS ARE NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE ORIGINAL OBJECTIVES OF THE TWO RECOMMENDATIONS. 10/5/77 - USCG LTR: "THE RISK OF CHAIN REACTION FAILURES CAN BE REDUCED BY GREATER SUB-DIVISION OF CARGOES. A MAXIMUM OF SUB DIVISION IS OBTAINED BY CONTAINERIZING THE CARGO. BREAKBULK SHIPMENTS ARE BEING RAPIDLY REPLACED BY CONTAINERIZED CARGO SHIPMENTS. CORRESPONDENCE DOCUMENTATION INCOMPLETE.