Sinking of SS Marine Electric – 12 February 1983

An interesting note from Bryant’s Maritime Consulting,

clip_image020“The SS Marine Electric sank during a storm in the North Atlantic on 12 February 1983. Of the 34 crew members on board, three survived, but only after enduring 90 minutes in extremely cold water. The ship had passed all required inspections and surveys, but the subsequent USCG Marine Casualty Report revealed the inspections and surveys to have been perfunctory. As a result, inspection standards were drastically improved. In addition, carriage of survival suits became mandatory for ships on winter routes and the Coast Guard rescue swimmer program was initiated. The circumstances are detailed in Robert Frump’s book “Until the Sea Shall Free Them”.”

2 thoughts on “Sinking of SS Marine Electric – 12 February 1983

  1. An Academy classmate, David Anderson, added this on my facebook page. I’m reporducing it here with his permission.

    “I did some stability analysis in CG HQ after this casualty. Most striking to me then, and now, is how similar this casualty was to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald … it was as though no one had taken the lessons of the Fitz to heart, even though we had CG inspectors riding Great Lakes vessels specifically to check on hatch covers. And the Marine Electric was only 7 1/2 years after the Fitz. Later in the 80s as an inspector in Philly we kept a similar vessel in port for extended repairs. One of the crewmen on that ship had been on the Marine Electric before the voyage of the sinking … he told us that the vessel we were detaining was worse than the Marine Electric had been. As we became more computerized in the early 90s, each port of CG inspectors was able to see what other ports had been doing on vessels and that has helped greatly. By Christmas time in 1994 when I was the OCMI in New York and held the QE2 up from continuing its voyage, there was no questioning from Cunard or my superiors. The number and severity of such casualties as the Marine Electric is fortunately greatly reduced.”

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