Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Connecting the dots between Jones Act and EL FARO sinking
By Michael Hansen @ 4:03 PM :: 2782 Views :: Jones Act

Connecting the dots between Jones Act and EL FARO sinking

by Michael Hansen, Hawaii Shippers Council, May 24, 2016

The Journal of Commerce (JOC) published on May 20, 2016, the article, “Investigators question outsourced inspections of sunken El Faro,” reporting on third and fourth days of hearings and the connection between the Jones Act, the age of the ship, and likely causes the ship was lost.

Thursday and Friday, May 19th and 20th, were the fourth and fifth days of the second round of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Board of Investigations (MBI) hearings -- scheduled for May 16th to 27th, 2016 -- in Jacksonville, Florida, regarding the loss of the Jones Act Ponce-Class Roll-on / Roll-off (Ro/Ro) containership EL FARO owned and operated by TOTE Maritime.

The TOTE Maritime EL FARO sank off the Bahamas on October 1, 2016, in Hurricane Joachim with the loss of all 33 persons onboard. The ship was en route from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a regularly scheduled common carrier service voyage.

On Thursday and Friday, officials of the ship’s classification society, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), which is responsible to the underwriters and the USCG for ship inspection, were questioned about the ship’s last inspection before sinking. The officials were Thomas Gruber, the former head of the stability group, Suresh Pisini, head of the structures group, Dan Cronin, former VP of operations, and Mark Larose, surveyor.

Separately, the World Maritime News reported on May 20th regarding Thursday’s testimony, “On the fourth day of the hearings, the board listened to a testimony from a surveyor with the American Bureau of Shipping, Mark Larose, who inspected the vessel some three months before its final voyage. He said that, during the inspection conducted in June 2015, the 20 percent of the ship which was inspected that year did not show any mechanical or structural issues, adding that they only inspect 20 percent of a ship each year over a 5-year period.”

As the JOC article pointed out, there is an obvious connection between the age of the 40 year old EL FARO and her loss in Hurricane Joachim.

Key excerpts:

A U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation bore down on ABS “outsourced” inspection processes this past week as its members continued a methodical examination of why the old “Jones Act” vessel El Faro lost power and sank during Hurricane Joaquin.

A tough “crackdown” on old ship inspections, which followed the 1983 sinking of the SS Marine Electric, could send many of the old ships to the scrap yard, affecting coastal rates and commerce.

The Marine Board, sitting with the National Transportation Safety Board, also heard charges that Tote Maritime, the operators of El Faro, did not immediately report holes in a cargo hold flagged by a captain of the ship and that private ship surveyors were unaware of modifications to the vessel and boiler problems during the last inspection.

“During the first weeks of the hearings, Tote created an image of a company where safety came first,” said Rod Sullivan, an admiralty attorney and former law professor observing the hearings.

“During the second two weeks, much of that façade was damaged,” he said.

The outcome of the Marine Board could have an impact on the Jones Act fleet, a third of which are “over age” at 20 or more years. Proponents of the act, which reserves coastal trades to ships built in U.S. yards and manned by U.S. crews, say the old ships can be maintained. Critics say the ships are susceptible to system failures and hidden corrosion even if inspected regularly.

El Faro, more than 40 years old, sank on Oct. 1 after its captain reported the ship had lost power, was taking on water and had developed a 15-degree list.

Former El Faro master Captain Jack Hearn testified that while Tote generally maintained the El Faro, he found the company slow to report to the Coast Guard holes in a cargo hold that he had earlier reported to the company. He later said he believed his insistence on reporting the damage to the Coast Guard, as required by law, led the company to pressure him to resign or be fired.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT