NTSB El Faro Report Meeting

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Jesus Christ, what a fuck up. Who the fuck thought it was a good idea to send weather reports to the Captains computer and not the bridge? It takes 1 second to add a cc. They have blood on their hands.

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I agree. TOTE, it owners, and management, should be spanked very hard, but they won’t be.

The captain is always a convenient scapegoat, and the USCG and NTSB always plays along with management.

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That’s just the BVS weather that comes by email and updates the computer program. The NAVTEX and SAT-C equipment is on the bridge of course.

I do agree that it’s a problem. I set up MS outlook to forward the wx program to the wheelhouse when it comes in using “rules”. There are technical reasons not to have emails go to the bridge directly.

It’s the Captains prerogative to decide which information the crew needs, but if he decides to receive weather updates on his office computer without the bridge receiving a copy, he is either a idiot or a inhuman person that needs no sleep and stays up to date on the weather all the time.

What’s the point with a mate if all you are going to use him to is autopilot overseer?

The navtex and sat-c was of no use, because the Captain had made a plan on information that the bridge did not have.

And what kind of asshole dismisses concerns from the bridge without even opening up the latest information or visiting the bridge?


Good on Furukawa for hammering on the utter uselessness of the open-top lifeboats in these conditions. If nothing else comes from this hearing, I can only hope this will be the end of non-enclosed lifeboats grandfathered in on the US Flag fleet


As I said I have it set up so my computer forwards the wx update to the bridge the same time I get it. I don’t know why some captains choose not to have the weather sent to the bridge when it arrives.

That not really accurate. The captain sent the BVS weather update email to the bridge the afternoon of the 30th. He and the chief mate then used BVS program to plan the diversion around Joaquin.

The 2nd and 3rd mate did use the SAT-C to get updates and then called the captain but the captain did not agree to a change in plan.

As to why he did things that way, I don’t know. In my experience the wx computer program has to be cross-checked with the SAT-C and actual wx observations.

There is no information in the wx program that can’t be derived from SAT-C and wx fax. It just the computer version is much more convenient. The info is delayed from the NWS by a few hours so it is not useful for close avoidance.

Thanks for the correction. I just have a hard time accepting that the Captain dismissed the mate’s concern without checking the latest updates on the weather or visiting the bridge.

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Even if he had checked the weather the program they used uses old information for hurricanes so he likely wouldn’t have realized the severity of the situation.

That was another finding, over reliance on the program without knowing it’s limitations on regards to hurricanes. The captain thought the program was at least as current and accurate as the Sat-C, but it wasn’t.

Several Items over the last couple of hours. One Michael J. Kucharski, just blew the anemometer question. Second BRM is now going to be a repeated course to be taken with STCW. The communication issue brought up was one between Captain and crew reminded me of the Asian Airline flight 214 accident;

At a minimum there should be an advanced BRM for management level classes. People take it before getting their first license then last on the job, if they never see it used they forget everything about it by the time they’re Master and are a clone of the old school masters they trained under.

Here’s the probable cause.

The probable cause of the sinking, the NTSB’s Dennis Jones testified, was “the captain’s failure to avoid Hurricane Joaquin, his failure to use the most current weather information, and his late decision to muster the crew.

“Contributing to the sinking was ineffective bridge resource management onboard El Faro, which included the captain’s failure to adequately consider the deck officers’ suggestions. Also contributing to the sinking was the inadequacy of both Tote’s oversight and its safety management system.

The report is several hundred pages evidently.

This is a synopsis from the NTSB’s
report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the
conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations.
14 page pdf

Agree 1000 percent. A fully enclosed, stern launched boat would have given them a fighting chance. A very good one.

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56.The Coast Guard’s Alternate Compliance Program is not effective in ensuring that vessels meet the safety standards required by regulations, and many vessels enrolled in the program are likely to be operating in substandard condition.


I can’t onboard with the additional finding that the two junior mates should have been more insistent when they called the Captain. This went to a vote at the end of the meeting and passed with one opposed. These two dutifully read and analyzed the sat-C printouts, plotted alternatives and promptly notified the Captain of their concerns. What I would give to have mates that did that!

So here is a question: if the old man won’t come up, shouldn’t you call the mate?

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We had the BVS program for a short while for a trial. On the ship I was on it was installed on the network, but the Master’s email would get the update file and load it to the network. It seems like some people still don’t understand that email onboard has to be linked up and doesn’t download instantly. Even now that we have broadband internet, the Captain still has to link up manually and he is the only one who does so.

As for emails not going to the bridge, nearly everything that comes from the office goes to the Captain or Chief Engineer, and they forward it to the C/M, Bridge, or Engine Room as necessary. We have a third party weather service that we get updates from during hurricane season, but again, it is sent directly to the Captain, and again, isn’t seen unless the office forwards it and the Captain links up manually in the middle of the night.

Yes. Either the Mate has the ear of the Captain and can discuss options openly and honestly with him, or the Mate knows the phone number of the DPA or other office personnel and where the sat phone is and will go around the Captain. I don’t know that many young 2/3m’s would do that.

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Have you got any facts, figures or verifiable experience to back up that statement??

FYI most other flag states use similar programs.