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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-89-067
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 MEDIVACED 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 LLOYD'S REGISTER OF SHIPPING: AMEND SURVEY PROCEDURES FOR THE EMERGENCY GENERATOR ON PASSENGER VESSELS TO REQUIRE VERIFICATION THAT THE EMERGENCY GENERATOR IS INDEPENDENT AND NOT RELIANT ON A POWER SOURCE FROM THE MAIN ENGINEROOM.
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: 12/6/1990
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Lloyd's Register of Shipping (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
Date: 12/6/1990
Response: Safety Recommendation M-89-67 urged Lloyd's Register to amend its survey procedures to require verification that the emergency generator on passenger vessels is independent and not reliant on a power source from the main engineroom. We have your assurance that your existing rules require the provision of a self-contained emergency source of electrical power, and further require that a fire or other casualty in spaces containing the main source of electrical power should not interfere with the supply, control, and distribution of the emergency electrical power. Furthermore, we understand that your rules require that the satisfactory operation of all emergency sources of power be verified during periodic surveys. In addition, we note that your circular dated September 29, 1989 to all surveyors emphasizes the need for surveyors to ensure that arrangements for emergency generating sets are in full accordance with the rules in force at the date of building and the applicable regulations of the SOLAS conventions, specifically that the starting and excitation arrangements are provided without recourse to sources of power within the machinery space.. The Safety Board is now satisfied that its concerns in this matter have been adequately addressed; therefore, Safety Recommendation M-89-67 has been reclassified as "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
To: NTSB
Date: 7/5/1990
Response: AT PERIODICAL SURVEYS, OUR RULES REQUIRE THAT THE SATISFACTORY OPERATION OF ALL EMERGENCY SOURCES OF POWER BE VERIFIED. THEREFORE, OUR EXISTING RULES FULLY ADDRESS THE BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION. DESPITE THIS, AS A RESULT OF M-89-67, WE HAVE AGAIN EMPHASIZED TO SURVEYORS THAT, DURING THE SURVEY OF EMERGENCY GENERATOR SETS, THEY SHOULD ENSURE THAT THE STARTING & EXCITATION ARRANGEMENTS ARE PROVIDED WITHOUT RECOURSE TO SOURCES OF POWER WITHIN THE MACHINERY SPACE.

From: NTSB
To: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
Date: 6/27/1990
Response: With regard to Safety Remmendation M-89-67 concerning amendment of survey procedures to require verification that emergency generators are independent and not reliant on a power source frcm the main engine room, the Safety Board is disappointed that Lloyd's Register continues to take the position that this is an unnecessary course of action. The facts of this accident clearly show otherwise. Because your position on this matter has not changed, we have placed this safety recommendation in a "Closed-- Unacceptable Action" status.

From: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
To: NTSB
Date: 1/30/1990
Response: YOU MAKE THE VARY VALID COMMENT THAT SUBSEQUENT TO INITIAL CONSTRUCTION SURVEYS, ALTERATIONS COULD BE EFFECTED SUCH THAT EMERGENCY GENERATING SYSTEMS ARE NOT TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF A POWER SOURCE IN THE ENGINE ROOM. I BELIEVE THAT OUR CURRENT RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OF SHIPS, AND GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO SURVEYORS ARE SUFFICIENT TO ENSURE THAT THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, AND THAT THE SCANDINAVIAN STAR WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL CASE. AS YOU ARE AWARE AT THE TIME OF THE ENGINE ROOM FIRE ON THIS SHIP, SHE HAD ONLY RECENTLY TRANSFERRED CLASS FROM ANOTHER CLASSIFICATION SOCIETY TO LLOYD'S REGISTER. THIS PROBLEM (AS INDEED THAT OF THE OBSTRUCTION TO THE C02 RELEASE MECHANISM) HAD THERE FORE BEEN INHERITED FROM THE PREVIOUS SOCIETY. ALTHOUGH IT WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIED DURING OUR TRANSFER OF CLASS SURVEY, I FEEL SURE THE DEFICIENCY WOULD HAVE BEEN QUICKLY RECOGNIZED AND RECTIFIED THEREAFTER. I WOULD CERTAINLY NOT EXPECT A SHIP IN LLOYD'S REGISTER'S CLASS FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME TO BE DEFICIENT IN THIS RESPECT. OUR RULES AND REGULATIONS REQUIRE THAT PLANS AND PARTICULARS OF ANY PROPOSED ALTERATIONS TO THE APPROVED SCANTLINGS AND ARRANGEMENTS OF HULL, EQUIPMENT, OR MACHINERY ARE TO BE SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL AND SUCH ALTERATIONS ARE TO BE CARRIED OUT TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE SOCIETY'S SURVEYORS. (THE OPERATOR MUST TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY IN THESE MATTERS.) FURTHER, OUR GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS TO SURVEYORS INCLUDES THE DIRECTIVE THAT ITS PART OF HIS (THE SURVEYOR'S) RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT NO DEVIATIONS FROM THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE RULES ARE PERMITTED IN HULL OR MACHINERY BUILDING OR REPAIRING UNDER THE SOCIETY'S SURVEY WITHOUT NECESSARY APPROVAL BEING FIRST OBTAINED. THE FOREGOING COMPLEMENTARY REQUIREMENTS HAVE WORKED WELL FOR MANY YEARS, AND NO PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCEDS, EXCEPT IN THE SINGLE CASE OF THE SCANDINAVIAN STAR, ON BEING TRANFERRED TO LLOYD'S REGISTER'S CLASS FROM ANOTHER SOCIETY. THUS, WITH THE GREATEST RESPECT, I SEE NO REASON TO INTRODUCE FURTHER SURVEY PROCEDURE INSTRUCTIONS DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AT EMERGENCY GENERATOR SETS IN ISOLATION FROM THE REMAINDER OF OF ESSENTIAL MACHINERY ITEMS. I SINCERELY HOPE THAT MY FOREGOING COMMENTS REGARDING CO2 RELEASE MECHANISMS AND EMERGENCY GENERATORS ARE NOT CONSTRUCED AS BEING OBSTRUCTIVE OR REACTIONARY. IT IS SIMPLY THAT OUR RECORDS INDICATE THAT THE CASE OF THE SCANDINAVIAN STAR IS EXCEPTION IN BOTH RESPECTS, AND THAT A SINGLE CASE OF THIS NATURE IS NOT SUFFICIENT REASON TO MAKE EXCEPTIONAL CHANGES TO OUR SURVEY REQUIREMENTS IN EXCESS OF ALL THE CLASSIFICATION SOCIETIES AND, AS FAR IS KNOWN, FLAG ADMINISTRATIONS.

From: NTSB
To: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
Date: 12/8/1989
Response:

From: Lloyd's Register of Shipping
To: NTSB
Date: 9/12/1989
Response: