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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-15-013
Details
Synopsis: On July 18, 2014, about 0355 central daylight time, the towing vessel Riley Elizabeth was pushing 30 barges on the Mississippi River at Kempe Bend, near Waterproof, Louisiana, when the vessel and two of its barges collided with a US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps of Engineers) barge plant conducting a revetment project. No one was injured in the accident; however, the collision resulted in an estimated $100,000 in damage to the Riley Elizabeth and two of its barges and $200,000 in damage to the barge plant. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision of the Riley Elizabeth tow with the Corps of Engineers barge plant was the incomplete information provided by the Corps of Engineers about the extent of the obstruction in the waterway, and the failure of the Riley Elizabeth mate to determine the extent of the obstruction before starting the turn at Kempe Bend.
Recommendation: TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: Specify in the information you provide to the public how far US Army Corps of Engineers projects extend into the waterway.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Waterproof, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA14PM014
Accident Reports: Collision between the Riley Elizabeth Tow and US Army Corps of Engineers Barge Plant Mississippi River near Waterproof, Louisiana
Report #: MAR-15-03
Accident Date: 7/18/2014
Issue Date: 1/19/2016
Date Closed: 3/19/2019
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Date: 3/19/2019
Response: We note that you now provide information regarding how far US Army Corps of Engineers projects extend into the waterway through direct radio communications with mariners approaching a mat-sinking unit work location. We further note that you now transmit an application specific AIS message created for particular geographic areas that communicates safety zones, work areas, waterway restrictions, and contact information. The mat-sinking unit transmits its current working area using AIS messaging until its operations are complete. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendations M-15-13 and -14, which are classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
To: NTSB
Date: 6/7/2018
Response: -From Todd T. Semonite, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Commanding General: Thank you for your letter dated November 28, 2017. The letter expressed an interest in the implementation status of Safety Recommendations M-15-13 and -14. In Safety Recommendation M-15-13, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) specify in the information that the Corps provides to the public how far Corps projects extend into the waterway. The Corps has implemented this recommendation through direct radio communications with mariners approaching a Mat Sinking Unit work location. Additionally, the Corps coordinates with industry pilots in advance of the mat sinking season to get input and provide information on site specific hazards and recommendations. In Safety Recommendation M-15-14, the NTSB recommended that the Corps use automatic identification system aids to navigation or application-specific messages to mark potential hazards to navigation. The Corps has implemented this recommendation through transmission of an application-specific message via the automatic identification system (AIS). This AIS message is a notice for a particular geographic area that communicates safety zones, work areas, waterway restrictions, and contact information. The Mat Sinking Unit transmits its current working area using AIS messaging until operations are complete. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact me, or your staff may contact Ms. Sheryl Carrubba, Acting Chief, Navigation Branch.

From: NTSB
To: United States Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Date: 11/28/2017
Response: We are interested in knowing whether and how our recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the traveling public is provided the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We normally expect actions to address our recommendations to be completed within 3 to 5 years, and we have yet to hear from you regarding your progress toward addressing these recommendations. We would appreciate receiving a response within 90 days indicating any actions you have taken or plan to take to implement these recommendations; until then, they will retain their current classification of OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. For additional background information about these safety recommendations, please refer to sections 2.1, Incomplete Information about Corps of Engineers Barge Plant, and 2.2, Need for Expanded Use of Automatic Identification Systems on pages 13 to 16 of our report, Collision between the Riley Elizabeth Tow and US Army Corps of Engineers Barge Plant, Mississippi River near Waterproof, Louisiana, July 18, 2014.