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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-010
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: REQUIRE THAT HATCHES ABOARD SMALL PASSENGER VESSELS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO BE WATERTIGHT BE TESTED BEFORE A CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION IS ISSUED OR RENEWED AND THAT THE MARINE INSPECTORS CONDUCTING SUCH TESTS RECORD THE INSPECTION PROCEDURES USED IN THE SMALL PASSENGER VESSEL INSPECTION BOOK.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
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 - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/15/1993
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT USCG FIELD INSPECTORS ARE COMPLYING WITH THE RECOMMENDED ACTION. THEREFORE, RECOMMENDATION M-90-010 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/1993
Response: WE CONCUR WITH THE INTENT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. INSPECTION OF WATERTIGHT HATCHES DURING INSPECTIONS FOR CERTIFICATION IS CURRENTLY REQUIRED, AS NOTED ON PAGE 21 OF THE BOARD'S REPORT. THE SCOPE OF A REINSPECTION IS THE SAME AS THAT OF AN INSPECTION, ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE LESS INDEPTH, AND THE USCG INSPECTOR HAS THE LATITUDE TO CONDUCT TESTS AS NECESSARY TO ASSURE THE SAFETY OF THE VESSEL. IN THIS CASE THE QUALITY OR EXTENT OF THE TEST IS NOT THE REAL ISSUE; THE DESIGN OF THE CLOSURE WAS SUCH THAT IT WAS NOT WATERTIGHT AND DID NOT HAVE A SECURING DEVICE. A NOTATION THAT THE WATERTIGHT INTEGRITY AND SECURING DEVICES HAVE BEEN INSPECTED IS ALREADY INCLUDED IN THE SMALL PASSENGER VESSEL INSPECTION BOOK, FORM CG-84OT. FURTHER REQUIREMENTS IN THE MSM ARE NOT NECESSARY AND WILL NOT PROVIDE FOR BETTER OR MORE THOROUGH INSPECTIONS. WE ANTICIPATE NO FURTHER USCG ACTION ON THIS RECOMMENDATION, AND WE REQUEST THAT THIS RECOMMENDATION BE CLOSED.