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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-90-020
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 INSPECTED SMALL PASSENGER VESSELS OPERATE WITHIN THE ROUTE RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CARRYING SIX OR FEWER PASSENGERS.
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):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/12/1997
Response: ALTHOUGH THE NEW REGULATIONS AT 46 CFR 115.114 & 176.114 REQUIRE THE OCMI TO ENDORSE THE CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION OF A SMALL PASSENGER VESSEL WITH THE ROUTE, MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PASSENGERS, & MANNING REQUIRED TO OPERATE AS AN UNINSPECTED OR RECREATIONAL VESSEL, THEY ALLOW THE OCMI ROOM FOR INTERPRETING WHEN & HOW THESE REGULATIONS WILL BE APPLIED. THEREFORE, BECAUSE THE NEW REGULATIONS ARE NOT MANDATORY & COLD BE DISCRETIONARY IN THEIR APPLICATION, M-90-20 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--UNACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 6/26/1996
Response: REQUIRE THAT INSPECTED SMALL PASSENGER VESSELS OPERATE WITHIN THE ROUTE RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION EVEN WHEN THEY ARE CARRY SIX OR FEWER PASSENGERS.

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 USCG IS CONSIDERING REVISING SUBCHAPTER T TO INLCUDE ALTELRNATIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE KINDS OF VESSELS MENTIONED RECOMMENDATIONS M-90-20 AND 21. A VESSEL TO WHICH THESE REQUIREMENTS APPLY WOULD HAVE TO BE INSPECTED AND WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE ROUTE RESTRICTIONS ON ITS CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION. THEREFORE, RECOMMENDATIONS M-90-20 AND 21 HAVE CLASSIFED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," PENDING PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULES.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 8/19/1993
Response: WE CONCUR WITH THE INTENT OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS (M-90-20 & -21). THE USCG WILL CONSIDER INCLUDING IN THE SNPRM TO REVISE 46 CFR SUBCHAPTER T (CGD85-080) ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL PASSENGER VESSELS CARRYING NOT MORE THAN SIX PASSENGERS OR WHEN OTHERWISE OPERATING IN A SERVICE THAT DOES NOT NORMALLY REQUIRE THAT A VESSEL BE INSPECTED. A VESSEL OPERATING UNDER THE ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS WOULD STILL BE AN INSPECTED VESSEL UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF TITLE 46, USC, SECTION 3313(A). AS PART OF THE ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS WE ARE CONSIDERING PROPOSING THAT THE MAXIMUM ROUTE WHICH A VESSEL MAY OPERATE ON UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE ENDORSED ON THE VESSEL'S CERTIFICATE. WE WILL ADVISE THE BOARD WHEN THE FINAL RULE HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.