TSB cites lack of training, emergency preparedness in grounding of Louis Jolliet

The following is the text of a news release from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada:

(QUEBEC CITY) (Oct. 2) — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into the grounding of the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet highlights the need for comprehensive emergency procedures, training and drills according to its investigation report (M13L0067) released today.

On May 16, 2013, the passenger vessel Louis Jolliet ran aground off Sainte-Pétronille, Île d’Orléans, Quebec, while on a cruise with 57 passengers on board. The passengers and some crew were evacuated, the vessel sustained minor damage, and was refloated at high tide. There were no injuries or pollution reported.

The investigation found that, although present on the bridge at the time of the grounding, the master was not participating in or supervising the navigation of the vessel, leaving navigation to the recently-hired chief mate, who initiated a course alteration, and went aground.

In examining the events following the grounding, the investigation determined that key crewmembers were not familiar with their emergency duties. The investigation also determined that the emergency procedures in place for the vessel had shortcomings with respect to passenger safety management, and crewmembers had not practiced such procedures in a realistic way. Although the task of securing the safety of the passengers was accomplished on the day of the occurrence, the Louis Jolliet may carry up to 1,000 passengers, highlighting the need for comprehensive and detailed procedures, training and drills in passenger safety management. The investigation also highlighted the need for effective oversight of passenger safety by Transport Canada (TC).

Since the occurrence, Croisières AML, the owner/operator of the vessel, has implemented many safety actions addressing the issues outlined by the TSB investigation including new procedures to familiarize the crew with the route and new training and drills related to passenger safety. TC subsequently issued a notice to their inspectors on their requirements under the current regulations and made improvements to their reporting system.

By Professional Mariner Staff