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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-16-002
Synopsis: On March 9, 2015, at 1230 central daylight time, the inbound bulk carrier Conti Peridot collided with the outbound tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas. The collision occurred in restricted visibility after the pilot on the Conti Peridot was unable to control the heading fluctuations that the bulk carrier was experiencing during the transit. As a result, the Conti Peridot crossed the channel into the path of the Carla Maersk. No one on board either ship was injured in the collision, but an estimated 2,100 barrels (88,200 gallons) of methyl tert-butyl ether spilled from the Carla Maersk, and the two vessels sustained about $8.2 million in total damage. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between bulk carrier Conti Peridot and tanker Carla Maersk in the Houston Ship Channel was the inability of the pilot on the Conti Peridot to respond appropriately to hydrodynamic forces after meeting another vessel during restricted visibility, and his lack of communication with other vessels about this handling difficulty. Contributing to the circumstances that resulted in the collision was the inadequate bridge resource management between the master and the pilot on the Conti Peridot.
Recommendation: TO HOUSTON PILOTS ASSOCIATION: Inform your members about this accident and the need for effective bridge resource management and timely communication between pilots when circumstances could impact the safety of vessel operations.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Morgan's Point, TX, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: DCA15MM017
Accident Reports: ​Preliminary Marine Accident Summary - Houston Ship Channel, Buoy 89-90, Upper Galveston Bay, TXCollision between Bulk Carrier Conti Peridot and Tanker Carla Maersk Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas
Report #: MAR-16-01
Accident Date: 3/9/2015
Issue Date: 6/22/2016
Date Closed: 10/12/2016
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Houston Pilots Association (Closed - Acceptable Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Houston Pilots Association
Date: 10/12/2016
Response: We are pleased that you have informed your members about this incident and provided them with a copy of our full accident report, and that you have also issued your members a marine advisory with specific recommendations regarding bridge resource management and ship-to-ship communications. We understand that you will also discuss our safety recommendations internally with all full and deputy pilots. Because this action satisfies the intent of Safety Recommendation M-16-002, it is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Houston Pilots Association
Date: 8/23/2016
Response: -From Captain Robert Shearon, Presiding Officer, Houston Pilots: Thank you for your June 22, 2016 recommendation relative to the captioned incident. Members of Houston Pilots welcome all interest in safety on the Houston Ship Channel. We deal with one of the busiest waterways in the world, and face new challenges on each ship. Now we are facing issues caused by older engines transitioning to cleaner fuels, including Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. We are always looking to make the Houston Ship Channel safer, and take your recommendations to heart. Members have been informed of this incident, provided with a copy of the NTSB's full Marine Accident Report, and a Marine Advisory has been issued to the Members with your specific recommendations regarding Bridge Resource Management and ship-to-ship communications relative to navigational issues specific to one's vessel. We will also discuss the NTSB' s recommendations internally with all full and deputy pilots. If I can be of any assistance with regard to the foregoing, please don't hesitate to contact me.