National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today addressed the Crescent River Pilots’ Association on ensuring passenger ship safety on the nation’s waterways, according to a NTSB press release.

Rosenker applauded the audience on their efforts to reduce risks associated with movement of passenger vessels in and out of the port and waterways in restricted visibility.

“I realize it is no small feat to plan, execute and maintain timely schedules for high-passenger-capacity cruise vessels along with all other marine traffic and for your effort to do so safely, I commend you,” Rosenker said.

Rosenker provided background of the Safety Board’s Office of Marine Safety and highlighted some of its ongoing investigations. He pointed out that the Marine office is the smallest in the NTSB’s modal investigation groups, having at present 11 investigators. Accidents currently under investigation include the sinking of a commercial fish processing vessel in the Bering Sea, an allision between an orange juice tank vessel and a dredge in New Jersey, an engine room fire on a passenger vessel in Oregon, and the collision between a passenger ferry and a Coast Guard cutter on Rhode Island Sound.

From those and other Safety Board investigations, Rosenker pointed to the lessons learned that will benefit the passenger vessel community. These lessons include: mitigating risk, bridge resource management, communication, and medical oversight of licensed mariners.

Rosenker also noted that the Safety Board has issued over 2,300 marine safety recommendations since the Board’s inception in 1967. Over half of them were addressed to the Coast Guard to seek to reduce risk to passenger vessel operations.

“The NTSB is committed to the idea that there is always room for safety improvements,” Rosenker stated. “For this reason, we will continue to conduct careful, scientific investigations of transportation accidents to determine how our transportation system can be made even safer.”

The full text of Acting Chairman Rosenker’s speech will be available on the Board’s Web site at speeches and testimony.