The following are among safety and administrative recommendations in the U.S. Coast Guard’s report on the El Faro disaster:
High-water alarms — It is recommended that the Coast Guard commandant direct a regulatory initiative to require high-water audio and visual alarms, capable of providing audible and visual warnings on the navigation bridge, in the cargo holds of dry cargo vessels.
Ventilators and other hull openings — It is recommended that the commandant initiate revisions to ensure that all ventilators or other hull openings on cargo ships, which cannot be closed watertight or are required to remain open normally for operational reasons, should be considered as downflooding points for intact and damage stability.
Open lifeboats — It is recommended that the commandant initiate a legislative proposal and direct a regulatory initiative to eliminate open-top, gravity-launched lifeboats on all oceangoing ships in the U.S. commercial fleet.
Closed-circuit television cameras — It is recommended that the commandant direct a regulatory initiative to require the installation of CCTV cameras to monitor unmanned spaces on cargo ships from the bridge, such as cargo holds and steering compartments.
Voyage data recorders — It is recommended that the commandant direct a regulatory initiative to require that all VDR capsules be installed in a float-free arrangement, and contain an integrated EPIRB for all domestic vessels currently required to be equipped with a VDR.
Personal locator beacons — It is recommended that the commandant direct a regulatory initiative to require that all personal flotation devices on oceangoing commercial vessels be outfitted with a personal locator beacon.
Damage control competency — It is recommended that the commandant direct an initiative to update regulations (46 CFR) to establish damage control training and drill requirements for commercial inspected vessels.
Authorized classification society transparency — It is recommended that the commandant establish and publish an annual report of domestic vessel compliance. This report shall include domestic vessel no-sail rates for each type of inspected subchapter.
Third-party oversight — It is recommended that the commandant consider creation of a national center of expertise to conduct comprehensive and targeted oversight of all third-party organizations and authorized classification societies that perform work on behalf of the Coast Guard.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation