The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.
NTSB has published its Safer Seas Digest 2016, a very interesting report, including lessons learned from major marine casualties investigated by the agency during the year. The accidents described are resulted from several causes, relevant to fatigue, standard maintenance and repair procedures, operational testing procedures, operating in inclement weather conditions, distraction, access to high-risk spaces, etc.
The lessons learned from the investigation of 27 major, maritime accidents involving loss of life, injuries and property damage are detailed in the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safer Seas Digest 2016, released online July 27, 2017.
In 2016, the NTSB also continued investigation into the October 2015 sinking of the cargo vessel El Faro, but it will not release the report until it is fully understood what happened. After three separate search and recovery voyages, and with the help of many federal and private institutions, the El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR) was recovered in August 2016. Specialists in the NTSB recorders laboratory have been working to faithfully document the words of the crew, barely audible among the sounds of hurricane winds and relentless seas.