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Board Meeting: Collision in Houston Ship Channel - Closing Statement
Christopher A. Hart
NTSB Conference Center, Washington, DC

​In closing, I would like to recognize the hard work of the NTSB staff in producing this report, and thank my fellow Board Members for their very helpful participation in the process.

The report adopted today, if acted upon, can help to close a number of safety gaps that came to light in the investigation of this accident.

We have made a new recommendation to the United States Coast Guard that, if acted upon, will help to protect crew members on tow vessels engaged in the transportation of hazardous materials. We have reiterated one recommendation to the Coast Guard to enhance oversight and require safety management systems appropriate to towing vessels. And we have reiterated and reclassified two other recommendations to the Coast Guard, to make shipping safer in the Bayport Channel and Bolivar Roads Precautionary Areas and other similarly configured precautionary areas in the Houston Ship Channel.

We have also recommended that Kirby Inland Marine take steps to enhance the equipment and training provided to crew-members who will serve on vessels that transport hazardous materials.

And we have recommended that the American Waterways Operators make the lessons of this accident known to their members.

Safe marine transportation, particularly of hazardous materials, demands that safety be accorded the highest regard by employees, operators, and the regulator.

It requires robust oversight, vigilant attention to safety on the part of vessel crews, and the utmost care for the health and safety of vessel crews on the part of vessel operators.

If the lessons learned in the investigation of this collision are heeded, we will help improve the safety of the marine transportation of hazardous materials.


We stand adjourned.