A Message from the Chairman
The 30 marine accidents included in Safer Seas Digest 2019 involved contact with fixed objects, breakaways, sinkings, collisions, fires, explosions, floodings, groundings, and other vessel damage. The vessels ranged from personal craft to oceangoing passenger ships and even a US Navy destroyer. The accidents recounted here resulted in numerous injuries and significant property damage, and worst of all, the loss of thirty-two crewmembers and passengers. Readers might recall that 17 of those lost were on a recreational trip aboard the amphibious vessel Stretch Duck 7. Another 10 of the mariners lost were sailors serving aboard the USS John S McCain when it collided with the tanker Alnic MC. Accidents do not respect their victims’ occupations or, for that matter, their leisure activities. Whether serving in the nation’s armed forces, enjoying a recreational tour, fishing on a trawler, or keeping commodities flowing on tankers and freighters, we are all reliant on the safety measures that must be in place before we step aboard. The NTSB learns the safety lessons from these accidents and recommends safety improvements to prevent recurrences. It is up to the marine industry and its regulators in the Coast Guard to act on these recommendations to improve marine safety.