Subcommittee Hearing on Reports on the EL FARO Sinking

Subcommittee Hearing on Reports on the EL FARO Sinking and the Coast Guard’s Electronic Health Records System

Washington, DC – Next Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will hold a hearing to examine the results of investigations on two issues: the October 1, 2015 sinking of the EL FARO, and the failed efforts by U.S. Coast Guard to implement an electronic health records (EHR) system.

The hearing’s first panel of witnesses will focus on the sinking of the EL FARO and the results of investigations and recommendations by the Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation and the National Transportation Safety Board. The second panel will focus on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation of a cancelled project to modernize the Coast Guard’s EHR system.

The hearing of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), is entitled, “Examination of Reports on the EL FARO Marine Casualty and Coast Guard’s Electronic Health Records System.” The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, in 2167 Rayburn House Office Building.

Witnesses will include:

Panel I:

Rear Admiral John Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast Guard
The Honorable Earl Weener, Board Member, National Transportation Safety Board (Accompanied By: Mr. Brian Curtis, Director, Office of Marine Safety, National Transportation Safety Board)

Panel II:

Rear Admiral Erica Schwartz, Director of Health, Safety and Work-life, United States Coast Guard
Rear Admiral Michael Haycock, Assistant Commandant for Acquisition and Chief Acquisition Officer, United States Coast Guard
Mr. David Powner, Director of Information Technology Management Issues, Government Accountability Office

More information about the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing, including a witness list, testimony, additional background information, and live webcast, will be posted here as it becomes available.

For pete’s sake…just re-read the damn summary of the Marine Electric; tighten up the inspection routine and be SERIOUS about it or bring back the Steamboat Inspection Service (or some more up to date named body) and put people who know WTF they are looking at in inspection billets.

I wish it were that simple but your comment
just isn’t any more practical of an idea than it would be to put a merchant marine officer aboard the bridge of navy destroyer when in heavy traffic. It just won’t work because… :shushing_face:… oh wait :bulb: maybe it is that simple!

Wait, scratch that. Now I remember the problem.

Now I remember why it’s not a practical idea. The reason is because decisions like this need to be made in Washington and everytime I go to any meeting there it seems to get flooded with politicians, maritime executives and usn/USCG senior flag officers And somehow I start to feel like I’m wearing a big black helmet shaped like a dick


Not to be flip about this, because it drives me nuts that there have been endless hearings and meetings about this type of issue but, in response John…“This is why we can’t have nice things”.

Too much CYA in DC and not enough focus on actually FIXING the problem with meaningful change. The simplest solution may be the easiest to implement and, in the long run, offer the best return for safety.

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Where’s the profit or promotion in that?



The blame rests in each of us that votes to reelect any member of the house of representatives or the senate. To keep reelecting these lap dogs of the campaign contributors [bribe payers] and expecting anything to change is the definition of delusion or insanity. There is very little democracy left in the USA and continual reelection of those that have participated in the selling of democracy is nuts.


Hearing is happening now.

50min in I’d say most of the questions are softball, the chairman’s questikns are useless and the NTSB response is poor but I must admit that Rear Admiral John Nadeau is answering these questions in a direct and honest manner AND he is doing something admirable that I very rarely see at these types of hearings… the Admiral is answering more and going deeper than the questions asked.

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Hunter seems focused on crew errors, his analogy to his 1997 Ford Explorer with middle seat belt broke and one air bag not working(??). Said it should not be driven fast on a rainy day.

But what if his teenage son who assumes everything is OK takes it out with his friends and drives a bit too fast in rain? Ships need to be sturdy enough to have some margin of error.


While I want to preserve classic vessels, and I want ships to be well built (built to last) in the first place, there should be a mandatory retirement age for most ships. Perhaps 20 to 25 years.

I’m not sure how O got thought the entire El Faro segment as it was like pulling teeth!

The guy from the NTSB could understand the need to move the Mic closer and that told me all I needed to know about him.

All the B.S. about how we give them 90 days to respond but when asked what happens then, he was oh we hand it off to this other group. He would not give a straight answer!


Is this Hearing part of the accident investigation “process”?

I hope his example isn’t an indication of an “operator error” preconceived conclusion from the Committee.

Not exactly, officially it is:

“Examination of Reports on the EL FARO Marine Casualty” Before the: House Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee

The hearing was the subcommittee that has congressional oversight responsibility for the Coast Guard asking the CG questions about the report of findings from the NTSB.

The NTSB (and CG) investigations had findings critical of the way the CG was doing it’s job and several recommendations were made. The subcommittee was asking the CG what they planned to do with regards to the recommendations.

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Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) seemed to have a layman’s understanding of the loss. The fact that the ship was sailed into the eye wall of a hurricane is is bound to color any other details.

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Billl with many of the recommendations passed the Senate yesterday, similar bill has already passed the House. Coming soon… personal EPIRBs and Anonymous Safety Alert Systems (among other things)


How about that title III? Blue technology? This smells like a boondoggle. Standby for the marketing wave, “PFD - Now with BLUE technology !” And all the consultants awaiting the blue technology support RFP. I hope I’m wrong and something good for seamen or ships comes of this. Or is this a homeland security requirement?

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