USCG implements NTSB training recommendations after El Faro sinking

The USCG Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing published Change 1 to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 03-14, ‘Guidelines for Approval of Training Courses and Programs’, in response to the recommendations made after the sinking of El Faro.

On 1st October 2015, the SS El Faro, a 40-year-old cargo ship owned by TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico and operated by TOTE Services, Inc. was on a regular route from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It foundered and sank during Hurricane Joaquin in the Atlantic Ocean, about 40 nautical miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Island, Bahamas.

The ship had sailed directly into the path of Hurricane Joaquin. All those aboard perished in the sinking.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) identified a number of safety issues and made safety recommendations to the USCG and other agencies and organizations.

Among those to the USCG were recommendations concerning the content of training provided in Basic Meteorology, Advanced Meteorology, Advanced Shiphandling, and Bridge Resource Management courses for mariners seeking STCW officer endorsements.

This Commandant Change Notice implements those recommendations concerning course content by providing additional guidance to Enclosure (3) of NVIC 03-14.

Training providers holding approvals for these courses should review and if necessary, revise their courses as part of their continuous improvement process to ensure that the topics identified above are included and adequately covered in their courses. We remind providers that any substantial modification of an approved course curricula should be submitted to the National Maritime Center (NMC) for review and approval before they are implemented.

The NMC will review courses submitted for original approval, modification, or renewal of approval to ensure inclusion of the topics contained in Enclosure (3) of NVIC 03-14.

Find out the official investigation report on El Faro here below: