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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-89-048
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: EXPAND THE SCOPE OF CONTROL VERIFICATION EXAMINATIONS OF FOREIGN FLAG PASSENGER VESSELS TO INCLUDE A MORE DETAILED EXAMINATION OF FIRE DETECTION AND FIXED FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS AND EMERGENCY POWER SYSTEMS.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Alternate 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: 11/28/1994
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/28/1994
Response: THE USCG NAVIGATION & VESSEL INSPECTION CIRCULAR (NVIC) 1-93, PUBLISHED ON 1/21/93, MEETS THE GENERAL INTENT OF THE RECOMMENDATION. ALTHOUGH THE NVIC DOES NOT ACTUALLY EXPAND THE SCOPE OF THE CONTROL VERIFICATION EXAMS FOR FOREIGN PASSENGER SHIPS, IT DOES PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO THE USCG INSPECTORS & THE SHIP OPERATORS ON WHAT SHOULD BE ADDRESSED, & PLACES EMPHASIS ON THE MOST IMPORTANT AREAS. THEREFORE, BECAUSE THE GENERAL INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN ACHIEVED, M-89-48 HAS BEEN CLASSIFEID "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 3/23/1994
Response: THE USCG CONCURS WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. NAVIGATION & VESSEL INSPECTION CIRCULAR 1-93, PUBLISHED ON 1/21/93, PROVIDES VESSEL OWNERS WITH INFO & GUIDANCE NECESSARY TO PREPARE FOR INITIAL, ANNUAL, & QUARTERLY EXAMINATIONS. THIS NVIC EXPANDS THE SCOPE OF THE INITIAL & ANNUAL EXAMINAITONS TO INCLUDE MORE DETAILED EXAMINATIONS OF FIRE DETECTION, FIXED FIRE EXTINGUISHING & EMERGENCY POWER SYSTEMS. THE CONTENTS OF THIS NVIC HAVE BEEN INCORPORATED INTO THE MARINE SAFETY MANUAL TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL POLICY GUIDANCE TO USCG MARINE INSPECTORS ASSIGNED THESE DUTIES. THE USCG INTENDS NO FURTHER ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 8/21/1991
Response: Safety Recommendation M-89-48 urged the Coast Guard to expand the scope of Control Verification Examinations of foreign-flag passenger vessels to include a more detailed examination of fire detection and fixed fire extinguishing systems and emergency power systems. We understand that the Coast Guard is developing policy directives to further emphasize problemareas that have been identified through casualty review and that these directives will address the issues outlined in this safety recommendation. Therefore, we will hold Safety Recommendation M-89-48 in an "Open--Acceptable Response" status pending your further reply.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 10/25/1990
Response: I CONCUR WITH THE INTENT OF THIS REC. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CERTIFYING COMPLIANCE WITH SOLAS RESTS WITH THE FLAG ADMINISTRATION, & CG ENFORCEMENT POLICY HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO SPECIFICALLY AVOID DUPLICATION OF SOLAS EXAMINATIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. OUR PRESENT CONTROL VERIFICATION PROGRAM CONSISTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE INITIAL EXAMINATION TO ENSURE THAT THE VESSEL IS CONSTRUCTED & FITTED AS DEPICTED ON SUB MITTED PLANS, & IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF SOLAS & APPLICABLE CG REGULATIONS. ANNUAL EXAMINATIONS QUARTERLY REEXAMINATIONS ARE CONDUCTED THEREAFTER, TO CHECK THE VESSEL'S COMPLIANCE WITH ALL SOLAS, STATUTORY, & REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS. THESE EXAMINATIONS EMPHASIZE FIRE SAFETY & LIFESAVING. PRESENT DIRECTIVES TO FIELD INSPECTION PERSONNEL ALREADY REQUIRE DETAILED EXAMINATION OF THE FIRE EXTINGUISHING SYSTEMS. OPERATIONAL TESTS MAY BE CONDUCTED AT ANY TIME THAT THE OFFICER IN CHARGE, MARINE INSPECTION (OCMI) SUSPECTS THAT THE VESSEL'S FIRE SAFETY SYSTEMS MAY NOT BE IN COMPLIANCE WITH SOLAS. EMERGENCY POWER SYSTEMS ARE EXAMINED TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO DETERMINE THAT THEY ARE IN COMPLIANCE WITH SOLAS & OPERATIONAL TESTS MAY BE CONDUCTED AT ANY TIME THE OCMI SUSPECTS THE SYSTEM IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH SOLAS. POLICY DIRECTIVES ARE NOW BEING DEVELOPED TO FURTHER EMPHASIZE PROBLEM AREAS WHICH HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED THROUGH CASUALTY REVIEW. I ANTICIPATE THAT THESE DIRECTIVES WILL ENCOMPASS THE CONCERNS OF THIS REC. I WILL INFORM THE BOARD WHEN ACTION IS COMPLETED.