Why Are Shipyards given a free pass at Marine Board Hearings?

There are two reasons (that I can see) as to why shipyard corruption remains under the radar.

(1) shipyards (especially Korean and Chinese) are very good at being secretive
(2) for some totally inexplicable reason, shipyards (everywhere) are never called into court to testify at marine investigation hearings.

11 years ago MIT’s former head of Naval Architecture, Dr. Jack Devanney, exposed this problem in his book Tankship Tromedy (http://www.c4tx.org/ctx/pub/tromedy2.pdf) yet nothing has been done.

Marine boards call dozens of witnesses from all corners of the industry but continue NOT to call on shipyards. During the el faro hearing efforts and appeals by numerous concerned parties to put shipyard reps in the hot seat… but it did never happen. Why?

A soon to be published book on the el faro desicates an entire chapter to the man who helped design the el fato and contains lots of information not shared at the trial. This man was eager to testify but was his request where tirned down.

Further the most thorough and complete recent inspection of the el faro and her dediciencies was conducted, not by ABS or USCG, but by the repair shipyard What did they find in their inspection? Why where those inspectors never called to testify?

In the course of writting my book I personally made numerous requests of the marine board to call the builder of the Deepwater Horizon to testify. They never did and I still have many unanswered questions for them.

If the USCG (and other marine investigators overseas) won’t acknowledge a BIG concern of someone with Dr. Devanney’s pedigree, and won’t buckle under the media pressure I’ve worked hard to put them under, continue to placate congressmen who have asked these questikns and openly rebutts the request of el faro family members asking this specific question… then what hope is there for the future?

why do shipyards (both domestic US and overseas) continje ti get a free pass??


Here is USCG Commandant Zukunft’s comments on this issue from page 13 of the el faro final action memo:

  1. The Coast Guard received one comment noting that there should be more involvementfrom shipyards during incident investigations. The Coast Guard does not concur with this comment in regards to this investigation. Coast Guard Investigating Officers have authority to subpoena testimony and records, including from shipyards. It is up to each Investigating Officer to make a determination as to what evidence is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation.

The question is… Why does he avoid the question? Of course CG Investigators can subpoena testimony and records from a shipyard but why don’t they?

How can an Investigating Officer be seen as competent if he does not subpoena the records of the most recent thorough and complete inspection of the el faro?