Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-017
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 ALL UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSELS THAT OPERATE ON AN OCEAN OR COASTWISE ROUTE TO CARRY ON BOARD AN EPIRB THAT OPERATES ON A FREQUENCY OF 406.025 MHZ.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable 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: 3/12/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Emergency Locator Transmitter

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/12/1997
Response: THE BOARD WAS DISAPPOINTED TO LEARN THAT THE USCG WITHDREW ITS PROPOSED RULEMAKING CGD 87-016B ON 10/6/95, STATING THAT IT HAD FULFILLED ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR EPIRBS & OTHER EQUIPMENT FOR UNINSPECTED VESSELS UNDER OTHER RULEMAKINGS. THE NEW RULES FOR SUBCHAPTERS K & T VESSELS AT 46 CFR 115.114 & 176.114, RESPECTIVELY, APPLY ONLY TO INSPECTED SMALL PASSENGER VESSELS. THE EPIRB REGULATION APPLICABLE TO UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSELS AT 46 CFR 25.26.10 STATES THAT "AN UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSEL IS NOT REQUIRED TO CARRY AN EPIRB." BECAUSE THE USCG WITHDREW THE PROPOSED RULE IN CGD 87-016B & PLANS NO FURTHER ACTION ON THIS ISSUE, M-90-17 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 6/26/1996
Response: REQUIRE ALL UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSELS THAT OPERATE ON AN OCEAN OR COASTWISE ROUTE TO CARRY BOARD AN EPIRB THT OPERATES ON A FREQUENCY OF 406.025 MHZ.

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/24/1995
Response: (GREENSHEET) SINCE 1977, THE BOARD HAS ISSUED TO THE UCSG 55 BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WERE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE ACTION" BECAUSE THE USCG RESPONDED THAT IT WOULD TAKE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN THE REGULATIONS WERE REVISED. BASED ON A LACK OF TIMELY ACTION, THE BOARD HAS RECLASSIFIED THESE RECOMMENDATIONS "OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE."

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

From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 11/15/1993
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (87-016B) REQUIRES EPRIBS. PENDING PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULES, RECOMMENDATION M-90-17 WILL BE CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE." THE BOARD COMMENDS THE USCG FOR ITS WORK IN DEVELOPING SATELLLITE EPIRBS AND ENCOURAGE CONTINUED EFFORS IN THIS AREA.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/1993
Response: WE CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. EPIRB REQUIREMENTS FOR UNINSPECTED PASSENGER VESSELS AND VESSEL ASSISTANCE TOWING VESSELS WILL BE PROPOSED IN A SUPPLEMENTAL NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING (SNPRM) UNDER DOCKET NUMBER (CGD87-016B). WE WILL INFORM THE BOARD WHEN THE FINAL RULE IS PUBLISHED.