Waterways Management the focus of recommendation report from National Transportation Safety Board

By Hannah Helsby posted 05-02-2017 10:52 AM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (February 9, 2017) – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a recommendation report examining Waterways Management and the increase in encounters between commercial and recreational vessels in the nation’s navigable waters. The NTSB visited multiple major ports around the country where they conducted interviews of local waterways users. As a result of this analysis, the NTSB has made the following recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard;

1. Establish a process whereby, at regular intervals, all harbor safety committees identify the safety risks posed by the interaction of commercial and recreational vessels in their respective geographic areas; where necessary, develop and implement practices to mitigate those risks; and share successful practices among all harbor safety committees.

2. Seek statutory authority that requires all recreational boat operators on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the US to demonstrate completion of an instructional course or an equivalent that meets the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators standards.

3. Working with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the National Water Safety Congress to review and update the “A Guide to Multiple Use Waterway Management” at regular intervals.

“Waterways Management is an important tool in recreational boating safety. In many areas recreational and commercial vessels come in close contact and it is not always a safe situation,” said Stephanie Weatherington, President of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

“This issue has become even more prevalent with the growing popularity of non-traditional vessels such as personal watercraft (PWC) and stand up paddleboards. It is important that local, state and federal agencies that are responsible for multiuse waterways are aware of the risks present and the best practices available that can help them mitigate those risks. It is also crucial that support is given to agencies and organizations that work to expand the knowledge, effectiveness and implementation of Waterways Management nationwide. Doing this will help us all in our mission to increase safety on the water and reduce the number of accidents and injuries.”

The Multiple Use Waterway Management Guide provides management plans, trends, factors, solutions and best practices regarding multiple use waterways and waterways management. The guide is intended for local, state and federal agencies responsible for waterways management and programs that work to ensure the safety of recreational boaters.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit organization representing all 50 states and the U.S. territories. In addition to developing public policy for recreational boating safety and maritime security for over 50 years, NASBLA has been committed to maintaining the national training and education standards for the recreational boating community and the maritime public safety professionals.

NASBLA’s mission includes fostering partnerships among the states, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other recreation boating safety partners. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, the organization affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters. To learn more about how NASBLA visit http://www.nasbla.org.

Contact: NASBLA Headquarters 859.225.9487

View the NTSB Report
National Transportation Safety Board Safety Recommendation Report - Shared Waterways: Safety of Recreational and Commercial Vessels in the Marine Transportation System