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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-11-005
Details
Synopsis: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has completed its investigation of yet another marine accident in which crewmember distraction resulting from nonoperational use of a cell phone or other wireless device has been identified as a causal factor. The findings from the investigation of this fatal accident suggest that Coast Guard actions thus far, with regard to wireless device use by crewmembers engaged in vessel operations, have been inadequate in addressing this critical safety risk and that additional, more effective measures are needed. On Wednesday, July 7, 2010, the empty 250-foot-long sludge barge The Resource, being towed alongside the 78.9-foot-long tugboat Caribbean Sea, collided with the anchored 33-foot-long amphibious passenger vehicle (APV) DUKW 34 in the Delaware River at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. DUKW 34 carried 35 passengers and 2 crewmembers. On board the Caribbean Sea were five crewmembers. As a result of the collision, DUKW 34 sank in about 55 feet of water. Two passengers were fatally injured, and 26 passengers suffered minor injuries. No one on the Caribbean Sea was injured.1 The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the mate of the Caribbean Sea to maintain a proper lookout due to (1) his decision to operate the vessel from the lower wheelhouse, which was contrary to expectations and to prudent seamanship, and (2) distraction and inattentiveness as a result of his repeated personal use of his cell phone and company laptop computer while he was solely responsible for navigating the vessel. Contributing to the accident was the failure of Ride The Ducks International maintenance personnel to ensure that DUKW 34’s surge tank pressure cap was securely in place before allowing the vehicle to return to passenger service on the morning of the accident, and the failure of the DUKW 34 master to take actions appropriate to the risk of anchoring his vessel in an active navigation channel.
Recommendation: TO RIDE THE DUCKS INTERNATIONAL, LLC: Review Ride The Ducks International’s existing safety management program and develop improved means to ensure that your company’s safety and emergency procedures are understood and adhered to by employees in safety-critical positions.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received
Mode: Marine
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA10MM025
Accident Reports:
Collision of Tugboat/Barge Caribbean Sea/The Resource with Amphibious Passenger Vehicle DUKW 34
Report #: MAR-11-02
Accident Date: 7/7/2010
Issue Date: 8/26/2011
Date Closed: 5/12/2015
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Ride the Ducks International, LLC (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
Date: 5/12/2015
Response: After issuing this recommendation to you in 2011, on April 12, 2013, we wrote again requesting information regarding what action you had taken to implement Safety Recommendation M-11-5, but again, we received no reply to our letter. Recipients normally complete action to address our safety recommendations within 3 to 5 years, and this recommendation is now 3 1/2 years old without any response from you. Accordingly, we would appreciate receiving a prompt reply. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure the public the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that can be shared with others. Unless we receive a response soon, we will have no alternative but to classify Safety Recommendation M-11-5 CLOSED—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE/ NO RESPONSE RECEIVED.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
Date: 4/12/2013
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation?railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. We determine the probable cause of the accidents we investigate and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we conduct special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters. This letter addresses Safety Recommendation M-11-5, which we issued to Ride The Ducks International LLC (Ride The Ducks) on August 26, 2011, as a result of our investigation of the July 7, 2010, collision of the tugboat/barge combination Caribbean Sea/The Resource with Ride The Ducks’ amphibious passenger vehicle (APV) DUKW 34 in the Delaware River at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although it has been 2 years since this recommendation was issued, we have received no information to date regarding Ride The Ducks’ actions to address it and would appreciate receiving a reply regarding any actions that you have either taken or planned to address this important safety issue. We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure the public the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that can be shared with others. A copy of our August 26, 2011, letter issuing Safety Recommendation M-11-5 is enclosed. The full NTSB report of the Caribbean Sea/The Resource with the APV DUKW 34, accident investigation (Report Number MAR-11-02) is available on our website at www.ntsb.gov.