Coast Guard Report Details Findings of Concern in M/V Iyanough Crash

Last week, the United States Coast Guard, “USCG”, issued “Findings of Concern” related to the M/V IYANOUGH crash of June 16, 2017.  It took nearly 2 years to complete the USCG work of the M/V IYANOUGH crash that resulted in more than 15 injuries with the investigation closed on May 24, 2019.  The Investigative Report will be published soon; but in the meantime, the Coast Guard published its Findings of Concern.

Findings of Concern are used to disseminate information to the public related to unsafe conditions that were identified as casual factors in an incident and could contribute to future incidents.  The goal is to educate the entity being investigated and the public to prevent future incidents.

Regarding the M/V IYANOUGH crash, the Findings of Concern pointed out that the mate had not served on the vessel for 10 months, was unfamiliar with the vessel spotlight used to locate navigational aids and because of that the Captain had to assist the mate in the operation of the spotlight at critical time in navigation.  After the Captain assisted the mate in working the spotlight and it was turned on, both the Captain and mate failed to see the navigational markers, missed their turn and struck the jetty.  The M/V IYANOUGH did have an Electronic Chart Display and Information System, ECDIS,  but the Master used the radar system instead and mistook several radar targets as channel markers.

The USCG found that the mate’s unfamiliarity and lack of training contributed with the M/V IYANOUGH crashing into the jetty.  The USCG found that the M/V IYANOUGH’S HSC manual did not include crew refresher training contained within Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC 5-10, Ch-1) nor was the mate provided any refresher course prior to coming out of retirement and his return to the vessel.  Further, the USCG discovered that the M/V IYANOUGH ferry operational manual had not been updated for 10 years since its inception.

The USCG Findings of Concern contained the following measures that Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority needs to follow and other operators of similar vessels:

  1. Vessel owners need to reassess operations and see if aligned with operations manual and if not, refresh operations and manual to make sure comply with COI’s, Certificate of Inspections and in alignment with NIVC 5-01, Ch-1.
  2. Provide training to the master and crew members when returning from extended absences and/or on a reoccurring basis even on simple matters and everyday matters.
  3. Recommended a safety management system for certain vessels and if a manual is in place, the owner should be required to submit the operations manual to the Coast Guard every five years for review.

The USCG Findings of Concerns are an important step in learning what occurred when the M/V IYANOUGH crashed into a jetty on June 16, 2017; however, all people involved in the M/V IYANOUGH crash patiently await the USCG complete casualty investigation in hopes of determining all causes of the M/V IYANOUGH crashing into the jetty on June 16, 2017 and in  preventing future incident