News and Summaries

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(Note: Restores broken link in Until the Sea Shall Free Them item sent earlier today. Apologies for glitch.)

The “Sky Captains” of the NTSB Have Their Own Walk of Shame on Maritime Safety
The NTSB delivered a well-deserved dope slap to the Coast Guard this week after years of the Coasties ignoring NTSB recommendations on small passenger vessel safety. But the NTSB has its own problems when the sky pilots try to come to grips with Sea Captain issues.

Dive Boat Conception
The LA Times files a well-done investigation into the dive boat Conception and the Coast Guard’s failure to enact NTSB recommendations. (I had a piece of this back in September. The Times takes it mainstream.)

Freedom of Information Act
We’ve appealed the FOIA requested information denied by the Coast Guard. Essentially, the names of ships cited by the Coast Guard as “high risk.” In the meantime, we offer our own list.

Until the Sea Shall Free Them (Free online)
You can read the history of merchant marine safety enforcement and the role the NTSB did and did not play, here.

Dive Boat Investigators Turn to Egypt
Investigators into the Conception dive boat tragedy may be looking to a series of dive boat fires in Egypt.

Four Years After El Faro, a Day of Reckoning
Four years after the loss of the SS El Faro and her crew of 33 on October 1, 2015, the Coast Guard convincingly has slammed the door on easy inspections by its own agents and the American Bureau of Shipping, forcing dozens of old, unsafe ships into repair or retirement. 

The action finishes the job first started by Coast Guard reformers after the loss of the SS Marine Electric and her crew of 31 in 1983 and seems to end a 50-year-old hit and miss safety system that allowed old unsafe ships to remain in service. More here.

“Project Lighthouse: Passenger, Duck Boat, Ferry and Dive Ship Coast Guard Safety Records Online
The loss of the SS El Faro — translated from Spanish as The Lighthouse — prompted the US Coast Guard to toughen up inspections of ships and the oversight of the American Bureau of Shipping, a private inspection service. 

Project Lighthouse makes those inspections available to the public in an easy to search and understand data base. You’ll see below listings for Passenger, Duck Boat and Ferry ships first, on the theory these will be of most interest to the general public. And for the hard core mariner, you’ll see a larger data base of nearly all commercial maritime vessels. 

Larger Passenger Ships Ranked by Boarding Priorities:

Here is a data base of all available past Coast Guard inspections of larger passenger ships through 2018, with Coast Guard boarding priorities. 

Duck Boats and Amphibious Vessels

Duck Boats and Amphibious Vessels are listed here with inspection comments and records. 

Dive Boats and Ships

Dive boats such as the “Conception” are listed here, classed as “small passenger ships.”

Ferry Boats

More than 100 million Americans a year travel on ferry boats, from New York City to Seattle. Here are the Coast Guard records. 

The Full List of All Boarding Priorities for All Ships

Here’s a very large list of all large ships ranked by Coast Guard Boarding priority. 

All Larger Passenger Ships

A list of all passenger ships inspected by the Coast Guard. 

“Ships of Interest List”

A ranking of vessels in the American Merchant Marine, seeking to mimic Coast Guard “boarding priority” lists.



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