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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-80-018
Details
Synopsis: ON APRIL 1, 1978, THE FOUR-BARGE TOW OF THE MOTOR VESSEL STUD COLLIDED WITH THE EASTERN FIXED SPAN OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD BRIDGE OVER THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER NEAR BERWICK BAY, LOUISIANA. THE COLLISION KNOCKED THE SPAN FROM ITS SUPPORTING PIERS INTO THE RIVER BUT DID NOT DAMAGE THE BARGES. DAMAGE TO THE STUD WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $4,000. PROPERTY DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1,400,000, INCLUDING THE COST OF REPLACING THE BRIDGE SPAN AND REROUTING RAIL TRAFFIC FOR 8 DAYS. THERE WERE NO DEATHS OR INJURIES.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, ESTABLISH METHODS TO MEASURE AND TO MAKE AVAILABLE CONTINUALLY UPDATED INFORMATION ON RIVER STAGE AND CURRENT VELOCITY TO VESSELS TRANSITING THE BERWICK BAY BRIDGES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: River, United States
Is Reiterated: Yes
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA78AM015
Accident Reports: ​Collision of M/V Stud with the Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Atchafalaya River
Report #: MAR-80-05
Accident Date: 4/1/1978
Issue Date: 4/7/1980
Date Closed: 3/31/1983
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/31/1983
Response:

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 1/3/1983
Response: USCG LETTER: THE COAST GUARD CONCURS IN PART WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE COAST GUARD PUBLISHED AN NPRM FOR BERWICK BAY VESSEL TRAFFIC SERVICE ON AUGUST 16, 1982. ONE OF THE PROPOSED RULES WOULD REQUIRE THE COAST GUARD TO ISSUE PRECAUTIONARY NOTICES WHEN THE RIVER STAGE REACHES 2.5 FEET ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL AND IS RISING. HIGH WATER NOTICES WOULD BE REQUIRED WHENEVER THE RIVER STAGE IS 3 FEET. THE NOTICES WOULD BE ANNOUNCED AT VARIOUS TIMES BY RADIOTELE PHONE, PUBLISHED IN NOTICES TO MARINERS, AND AVAILABLE BY CALLING THE VESSEL TRAFFIC CENTER BY TELEPHONE OR RADIO TELEPHONE. IN REGARD TO CURRENT VELOCITY, WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT INFORMATION ON VELOCITY ALONE WILL AID THE MARINER. THE CURRENTS IN THE AREA OF BERWICK BAY VARY IN DIRECTION AND SPEED FROM POINT TO POINT. REPORTING THE VELOCITY AT ONE LOCATION WOULD BE OF LITTLE HELP; REPORTING IT AT A NUMBER OF LOCATIONS WOULD PROBABLY BE CONFUSING. BECAUSE CURRENT VELOCITY IS CLOSELY RELATED TO THE RIVER STAGE, THE COAST GUARD FEELS IT IS ONLY NECESSARY TO PROVIDE THE LATTER INFORMATION.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 10/19/1982
Response: Safety Recommendations M-80-018, M-80-019, and M-80-021 were reiterated in the letter issuing Safety Recommendation M-82-041 sent on 10/19/1982. This letter discusses that on April 26, 1980, the M/V CITATION with its two-barge tow was southbound on the Intracoastal Waterway, Morgan City to Port Allen Alternate Route, en route to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 12/16/1980
Response:

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 10/6/1980
Response: U.S. COAST GUARD LTR: THE COAST GUARD CONCURS WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. WE HAVE INITIATED ACTION WITH THE U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IN LOUISIANA TO EVALUATE VARIOUS METHODS TO MEASURE RIVER STAGE AND CURRENT VELOCITY AND TO MAKE THIS INFORMATION, CONTINUALLY UPDATED, AVAILABLE TO VESSELS IN THE AREA.