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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-89-046
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 2325 ON MARCH 15, 1988, A FIRE OCCURRED IN THE ENGINE ROOM OF THE BAHAMIAN FLAG PASSENGER VESSEL SCANDINAVIAN STAR. AT THE TIME OF THE FIRE, THE SHIP WAS ABOUT 50 NMI NORTHEAST OF CANCUN, MEXICO, EN ROUTE FROM COZUMEL, MEXICO, EN ROUTE FROM COZUMEL, MEXICO, TO ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, WITH 439 PASSENGERS AND 268 CREWMEMBERS ON BOARD. THE MASTER BROADCAST A DISTRESS MESSAGE AND ORDERED THE EVACUATION OF PASSENGERS TO THE FOUR MUSTER STATIONS ON THE SHIP. THE LOSS OF MAIN GENERATOR AND EMERGENCY GENERATOR ELECTRICAL POWER AND THE MALFUNCTION OF THE SHIP'S FIXED CO2 FIRE FIGHTING SYSTEM HINDERED EFFORTS TO FIGHT THE FIRE. THE INABILITY OF CREWMEMBERS TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH PASSENGERS CREATED CONFUSION DURING THE FIREFIGHTING AND EVACUATION ACTIVITIES. TWO CREWMEMBERS RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES DURING THE EMERGENCY. TWO PASSENGERS WERE MEDI VACED FROM THE VESSEL AND FLOWN TO A HOSPITAL IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA, WHERE THEY WERE TREATED AND LATER RELEASED. DAMAGE AND REPAIR COSTS WERE ESTIMATED AT $3.5 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: PROPOSE THAT THE INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION AMEND SOLAS '74 REQUIREMENTS FOR PASSENGER VESSELS TO: REQUIRE THAT OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS AND ENGINEERING DRAWINGS FOR VITAL SHIP MACHINERY AND EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT BE WRITTEN IN A LANGUAGE WHICH IS READILY UNDERSTOOD BY THE SHIP'S OFFICERS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Gulf of Mexico, GM, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA88MM038
Accident Reports: Fire on Board the Bahamian Passenger Ship The Scandinavian Star
Report #: MAR-89-04
Accident Date: 3/15/1988
Issue Date: 8/8/1989
Date Closed: 5/25/1995
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 5/25/1995
Response: Because the Coast Guard submitted a recommended SOLAS amendment to IMO's subcommittee on ship design and equipment as requested in M-89-46, we have classified this recommendation as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 1/3/1995
Response: The Coast Guard submitted a recommended SOLAS amendment to IMO's subcommittee on ship design and equipment as requested in M-89-46.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/28/1994
Response: REMINDER TO USCG OF PENDING ACTION.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/23/1994
Response: THE USCG SPONSORED AN IMO RESOLUTION (MSC.CIRC.455, PUBLISHED IN 1986) URGING MEMBER COUNTRIES TO CONSIDER THE LANGUAGE(S) OF THE VESSEL'S CREW IN POSTING WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS FOR EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT & SHIP DATA. THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS PARTIALLY IMPLEMENTED BY A 1991 AMENDMENT TO SOLAS WHICH REQUIRES EMERGENCY TRAINING & DRILL MANUALS TO BE WRITTEN "IN EASILY UNDERSTOOD TERMS & ILLUSTRATED WHEREVER POSSIBLE". TO FULLY SATISFY THIS RECOMMENDATION, THE USCG INTENDS TO SUBMIT A PAPER AT THE 38TH SESSION OF IMO'S DESIGN & EQUIPMENT SUBCCOMMITTEE IN 1995. THE PAPER WILL PROPOSE THAT OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS & ENGINEERING DRAWINGS FOR VITAL SHIP MACHINERY & EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT BE WRITTEN IN A LANGUAGE EASILY UNDERSTOOD BY CREWMEMBERS.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 8/21/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation M-89-46 asked the Coast Guard to propose that the IMO amend SOLAS '74 requirements for passenger vessels to require that operating instructions and engineering drawings for vital ship machinery and emergency equipment be written in a language that is readily understood by the ship's officers. The Safety Board acknowledges the Coast Guard's efforts in sponsoring an IMO Resolution in 1986 urging member countries to consider the language(s) of the vessel's crew in posting written instruction for emergency equipment and ship data. We note that the Coast Guard intends to submit a proposal to IMO that would require these materials to be written in a language which is readily understood by the ship's officers and crew. Safety Recommendation M-89-46 has been classified as "Open--Acceptable Response" pending the outcome of this latest proposal.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 10/25/1990
Response: I CONCUR WITH THIS REC. AS A RESULT OF A PREVIOUS CASUALTY, WE SPONSORED AN IMO RESOLUTION (MSC/CIRC. 455, PUBLISHED IN 1986) URGING MEMBER COUNTRIES TO CONSIDER THE LANGUAGE(S) OF THE VESSEL'S CREW IN POSTING WRITTEN INSTRUCTION FOR EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT & SHIP DATA. WE NOW INTEND TO SUBMIT A STRONGER PROPOSAL TO IMO THAT WOULD REQUIRE THESE MATERIALS TO BE WRITTEN IN A LANGUAGE WHICH IS READILY UNDERSTOOD BY THE SHIP'S OFFICERS & CREW. WE WILL ALSO SUBMIT PAPERS SUPPORTING SIMILAR LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR MAINTENANCE OPERATION OF LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT & FOR MUSTER & EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS. I WILL INFORM BOARD OF PROGRESS IN THESE AREAS.