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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-80-019
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: IMPROVE NAVIGATIONAL AIDS FOR 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 WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. BERWICK BAY RANGE A WAS REDESIGNED AND CONSTRUCTED IN FEBRUARY 1982. BERWICK BAY BRIDGE APPROACH RANGE WAS COMPLETED IN AUGUST 1982. THIS RANGE IDENTIFIES THE WESTERN LIMITS OF A SAFE LINE OF APPROACH. THE COAST GUARD HAS INVESTIGATED THE NECESSITY OF A RANGE FOR CONRADS POINT AND HAS CONCLUDED THAT A RANGE IS NOT REQUIRED. DURING HIGHWATER, THE RIVER IS NAVIGABLE UP TO CONRAD SHIPYARD ON THE EASTERN SHORE. THUS, THERE ARE NUMEROUS VISUAL CLUES FOR THE OPERATOR TO USE IN DETERMINING THE SHAPE OF HIS TOW AND HIS DISTANCE FROM SHORE.

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: USCG LTR: THE COMMANDER, EIGHTH COAST GUARD DISTRICT HAS DIRECTED HIS ENGINEERING STAFF TO LOOK INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF REDESIGNING THE EXISTING RANGE IN BERWICK BAY. HE IS STRESSING INCREASED SENSITIVITY, UPGRADED LIGHT SIGNALS, AND CONSPICUOUSNESS, IF POSSIBLE. THESE IMPROVEMENTS SHOULD AID PUSH TOWBOAT OPERATORS FROM A POINT JUST WEST OF CONRAD'S POINT THROUGH THE HIGHWAY BRIDGES AND THROUGH THE RAILROAD BRIDGE. ADDITIONALY, THE COAST GUARD IS INVESTIGATING THE POSSIBILITY OF USING VARIOUS RANGE CONFIGURATIONS MOUNTED ON THE TWO HIGHWAY BRIDGES TO ASSIST THE MARINER TO JUDGE HIS ORIENTATION ON 'SHAPE' WITH RESPECT TO THE BEST TRACK THROUGH THE HIGHWAY BRIDGES. BY PLACING THE FRONT MARKS ON THE UPRIVER HIGHWAY BRIDGE AND THE AFTER MARKS ON THE DOWNRIVER HIGHWAY BRIDGE, IT WOULD APPEAR POSSIBLE TO CONSTRUCT: (1) A PRECISE TRACK RANGE AND (2) ACCURATE LATERAL RANGES SHOWING THE BOUNDS OF THE VISUAL FUNNEL INTO THE HIGHWAY BRIDGE OPENING. ANOTHER POTENTIAL IMPROVEMENT IS A RANGE TO AID MARINERS IN PASSING CLOSE TO THE EAST BANK NEAR THE CONRAD SHIPYARD. THE SHIPYARD. THE SAFETY BOARD POINTED OUT THE NECESSITY OF PASSAGE CLOSE TO CONRAD POINT BEFORE APPROACHING THE HIGHWAY BRIDGES. THE COAST GUARD WILL INVESTIGATE THESE POSSIBILITIES THROUGH RANGE DESIGN ANALYSIS, AND SUBJECTIVE TESTING. THE SUBJECTIVE TESTING WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED EITHER IN FIELD OR SHIP SIMULATOR EXPERIMENTS.