Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-99-024
Details
Synopsis: ON 5/14/97, THE U.S. COAST GUARD BUOY TENDER COWSLIP AND THE PANAMANIAN CONTAINER SHIP EVER GRADE COLLIDED IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER NEAR ASTORIA, OREGON. ONE PERSON WAS INJURED AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT. THE EVER GRADE WAS ONLY SLIGHTLY DAMAGED IN THE COLLISION, BUT THE COWSLIP SUSTAINED SERIOUS DAMAGE TO ITS HULL AND SUPERSTRUCTURE. THE COST OF REPAIRS FOR BOTH VESSELS WAS ESTIMATED AT MORE THAN $1.2 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE OREGON BOARD OF MARITIME PILOTS: REVIEW AND REQUIRE REVISION AS NECESSARY TO THE PILOT TRANSFER PROCEDURES USED BY RIVER AND BAR PILOTS IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER TO BRING THEM INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THE AMERICAN PILOTS' ASSOCIATION RESOLUTION OF 10/8/97, CONCERNING PILOT TRANSFER PROCEDURES.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Columbia River, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA97MM033
Accident Reports:
Collision between Panamanian Container Ship Ever Grade and U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender Cowslip
Report #: None
Accident Date: 5/14/1997
Issue Date: 2/17/2000
Date Closed: 7/31/2003
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
Date: 7/31/2003
Response: The administrative rule establishes a recommended transfer area between bar and river pilots on the Columbia River upstream of River Mile 15. The pilot-to-pilot exchange will not be completed until all information necessary for safe navigation of the vessel is communicated between the two pilots. This rule accomplishes the objective of the Board's recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-99-24 is classified "Closed--Acceptable Action."

From: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
To: NTSB
Date: 3/27/2003
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/3/2003 1:41:05 PM MC# 2030187 In response to your letter dated March 17, 2003, enclosed is the text of the new rule entitled "Pilot Exchanges," that was adopted by the Board of Maritime Pilots on March 19, 2003. All of the proposed language was adopted, with the exception of the reference to specific wording of the master/pilot exchange (MPX) card in paragraph three. It was decided that incorporating the points for discussion listed on an MPX card into the rule would not allow the flexibility to make potential changes, without a required amendment to the rule. The Board agreed to delete the proposed language.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
Date: 3/17/2003
Response: Your letter advised that the proposed administrative rule will establish a recommended transfer area between bar and river pilots on the Columbia River upstream of River Mile 15 and will encourage, but not mandate, an exchange of pilots upstream of buoy 39. Your letter further indicates that there are some circumstances when it is safer for either the pilot or the ship to have the exchange take place below buoy 39. This proposed rule, if enacted, will accomplish the objective of the Board's recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-99-24 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending enactment of the proposed administrative rule.

From: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
To: NTSB
Date: 12/23/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/03/2003 10:00:21 AM MC# 2030016 Consistent with current practice, the proposal establishes a recommended transfer area between bar and river pilots on the Columbia River upstream of River Mile 15. It encourages but does not mandate an exchange of pilots upstream of buoy 39. There are some circumstances when it is safer for either the pilot or the ship to have the exchange take place below buoy 39. For example, there are times when the winds and weather create waves and wind chop that make boarding or disembarking above buoy 39 on the Astoria Range dangerous, while below buoy 39 the ship creates a lee that protects the pilot and pilot launch from the wind and waves, This proposed rule provides enough flexibility to accommodate such situations, while also making clear that the general practice should be to have the pilot exchange take place upstream of River Mile 15.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
Date: 9/13/2002
Response: The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We would appreciate receiving an update from you regarding actions taken or planned to implement the recommendation.

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
Date: 7/19/2001
Response: The Safety Board notes that leaders of both the Columbia River Pilots and the Columbia River Bar pilots have pursued discussions concerning the locations and the procedures for pilot-to-pilot transfers and that these discussions are expected to continue. Beyond moving the transfer location farther upstream, the Safety Board would appreciate further information on the action taken by the Board of Maritime Pilots to revise the pilot transfer procedures as outlined by the APA's 1997 resolution. Pending further response, Safety Recommendation M-99-24 is classified "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
To: NTSB
Date: 2/1/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/09/2001 5:29:51 PM MC# 2010103

From: NTSB
To: State of Oregon, Board of Maritime Pilots
Date: 8/22/2000
Response: THE SAFETY BOARD WOULD APPRECIATE LEARNING WHAT ACTION, IF ANY, HAS BEEN TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THESE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS, M-93-34, M-97-44, M-97-45, M-99-24 AND M-99-25.