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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-009
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1530, ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1988, THE 46-FOOT-LONG PASSENGER VESSEL COUGAR BEGAN TO TAKE ON WATER WHILE RETURNING FROM A FISHING TRIP OFF THE OREGON COAST. ABOARD WERE NINE PERSONS CONSISTING OF THE MASTER, THE MATE (WHO ASSISTED THE MASTER AT THE HELM), THE DECKHAND, AND SIX PASSENGERS. AN INSPECTION OF THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT AND LAZARETTE REVEALED SUBSTANTIAL FLOODING. THE PASSENGERS AND THE CREW FOUGHT THE RISING WATER WITH BUCKETS AND PUMPS FOR 1.5 HOURS WITHOUT SUCCESS. ABOUT 1615, A DISTRESS MESSAGE WAS REPEATEDLY TRANSMITTED OVER THE VESSEL'S VHF-FM AND CITIZENBAND RADIOS UNTIL THE MASTER ABANDONED THE COUGAR. ABOUT 1650, THE PASSENGERS AND CREW ABANDONED THE VESSEL. THE PASSENGER HAD SUFFICEIENT TIME TO LAUNCH A BUOYANT APPARATUS BEFORE LEAVING THE VESSEL. AT 1700, THE COUGAR SANK QUICKLY BY THE STERN. PIECES OF WRECKAGE THAT BROKE FREE OF THE VESSEL WERE GATHERED BY THE SURVIVORS AND USED TO REMAIN AFLOAT IN THE 55 DEGREES WATER. DURING THE FOLLOWING 18 HOURS, THE MASTER, THE DECKHAND, AND TWO PASSENGERS SUCCUMBED TO HYPOTHERMIA AND DROWNED. AT APPROXIMATELY 1048, ON SEPTEMBER 16, 1988, SEARCH AND RESCUE AIR UNITS OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD LOCATED THE MATE AND FOUR SURVIVING PASSENGERS. ABOUT 1100, THE FIVE SURVIVORS WERE RESCUED AND TRANSPORTED TO A HOSPITAL ASHORE FOR TREATMENT FOR HYPOTHERMIA AND EXPOSURE.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: PROVIDE IN THE MARINE SAFETY MANUAL ADDITIONAL WRITTEN GUIDANCE ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF 46 CFR 171.124-"WATERTIGHT INTEGRITY ABOVE THE MARGIN LINE," EXPLAINING HOW THE HATCH COVERS SHOULD BE TESTED AT EACH COAST GUARD INSPECTION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Reconsidered
Mode: Marine
Location: Pacific Ocean, PO, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA88MM061
Accident Reports:
Sinking of the Passenger vessel Cougar
Report #: MAR-90-02
Accident Date: 9/15/1988
Issue Date: 2/22/1990
Date Closed: 11/15/1993
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Reconsidered)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/15/1993
Response: RECOMMENDATION M-90-9 ASKED THE USCG TO PROVIDE IN THE MARINE SAFETY MANUAL ADDITIONAL WRITTEN GUIDANCE ON THE REQUIREMENTS OF 46 CFR 171.124--"WATERTIGHT INTEGRITY ABOVE THE MARGIN LINE." EXPLAINING HOW THAT HATCH COVERS SHOULD BE TESTED AT EACH USCG INSPECTION. BECAUSE THE MARINE SAFETY MANUAL ALREADY PROVIDES SUFFICIENT GUIDANCE, RECOMMENDATION M-90-9 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--RECONSIDERED."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/1993
Response: WE DO NOT CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. AS INDICATED ON PAGES 21 AND 41 OF THE BOARD'S REPORT, THE MARINE SAFETY MANUAL (MSM), SECTION 6.F.5, ALREADY INCLUDES DETAILED GUIDANCE ON INSPECTING AND TESTING WATERTIGHT AND WEATHERTIGHT FITTINGS AND CLOSURE. BECAUSE THE RECOMMENDED GUIDANCE ALREADY EXISTS, WE REQUEST THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION BE CLOSED.