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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-94-025
Details
Synopsis: ABOUT 1430 ON DECEMBER 5, 1993, THE 32-YEAR-OLD WOODEN-HULLED U.S. SMALL PASSSENGER VESSEL EL TORO II FOUNDERED IN ROUGH SEAS WHILE RETURNING TO ST. JEROME CREEK IN RIDGE, MARYLAND, FROM A FISHING EXCURSION IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. U.S. COAST GUARD AND U.S. NAVY RESCUE PERSONNEL RETRIEVED THE 20 PASSENGERS, 2 CREWMEMBERS, AND THE OWNER OF THE VESSEL FROM THE WATER. AS A RESULT OF THE SINKING, TWO PASSENGERS AND THE DECKHAND DIED FROM THE EFFECTS OF HYPOTHERMIA. THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD DETERMINED THAT THE PROBABLE CAUSE OF THE EL TORO II SINKING WAS CATASTROPHIC FLOODING RESULTING FROM SEVERELY CORRODED HULL FASTENERS THAT HAD REMAINED UNDETECED AND UNCORRECTED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF EFFECTIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR INSPECTING, MAINTAINING, AND/OR SUPPLEMENTING THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF WOODEN-HULLED VESSELS. CONTRIBUTING TO THE LOSS OF LIVES WAS THE LACK OF SURVIVAL CRAFT CAPABLE OF PROVIDING OUT-OF-WATER FLOTATION FOR THE PASSENGERS AND CREW.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE U.S. COAST GUARD: REQUIRE FOR WOODEN PASSENGER VESSELS THAT BILGE ALARMS BE FITTED IN THE BILGES OF ALL COMPARTMENTS THAT EXTEND BELOW THE LOAD WATERLINE.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Bays and Sounds, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA94MM007
Accident Reports:
Sinking of U.S. Small Passenger Vessel El Toro II
Report #: MAR-94-03
Accident Date: 12/5/1993
Issue Date: 9/14/1994
Date Closed: 3/12/1997
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: USCG (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: USCG
Date: 3/12/1997
Response: THE BOARD IS PLEASED THAT THE NEW REGULATIONS AT 46 CFR 119.530 & 182.530 REQUIRE BILGE HIGH WATER ALARMS IN SPACES CONTAINING THROUGH HULL FITTINGS BELOW THE WATERLINE, MACHINERY SPACES (SPACES CONTAINING SEAWATER PIPING) & SPACES WITHOUT WATERTIGHT HATCHES; & THAT CFR 182.530 REQUIRES ALL WOODEN VESSELS TO HAVE BILGE HIGH LEVEL ALARMS IN ALL WATERTIGHT COMPARTMENTS EXCEPT SMALL BUOYANCY CHAMBERS. ACCORDINGLY, M-94-25 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION."

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 6/26/1996
Response: REQUIRE FOR WOODEN PASSENGER VESSELS THAT BILGE ALARMS BE FITTED IN THE BILGES OF ALL COMPARTMENTS THAT EXTEND BELOW THE LOAD WATERLINE.

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: 4/5/1995
Response: M-94-25 ASKED THE USCG TO REQUIRE FOR WOODEN PASSENGER VESSELS THAT BILGE ALARMS BE FITTED IN THE BILGES OF ALL COMPARTMENTS THAT EXTEND BELOW THE LOAD WATERLINE. BECAUSE THE USCG WILL EVALUATE THE NEED FOR INSTALLING HIGH-WATER BILGE ALARMS IN ALL COMPARTMENTS ON WOODEN VESSELS AS PART OF THE REVISION TO THE SMALL PASSENGER VESSEL REGULATIONS, M-94-25 HAS BEEN CLASSIFIED "OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE," PENDING PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULES.

From: USCG
To: NTSB
Date: 1/4/1995
Response: I PARTIALLY CONCUR WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION. THE USCG DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT A HIGH-LEVEL BILGE ALARM IN EACH NON-WATERTIGHT SPACE WILL BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A SINGLE BILGE ALARM IN THE MACHINERY SPACE. HOWEVER, THE USCG WILL EVALUATE THE NEED FOR HIGH LEVEL BILGE ALARMS IN ALL WATERTIGHT COMPARTMENTS OF WOODEN VESSELS AS PART OF THE CURRENT REGULATORY PROJECT FOR SMALL PASSENGER VESSEL INSPECTION & CERTIFICATION.