Coast Guard to hold District Formal Investigation Hearing for Caribbean Fantasy marine casualty

Passengers aboard the 561-foot Caribbean Fantasy ferry vessel use the marine escape system to awaiting lift rafts as they abandon the vessel a mile from San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The Caribbean Fantasy had a fire start in the engine room that spread to other compartments forcing passengers and crew to abandon the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Passengers aboard the 561-foot Caribbean Fantasy ferry vessel use the marine escape system to awaiting lift rafts as they abandon the vessel a mile from San Juan Harbor, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016.  U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Station San Juan, Puerto Rico.

MIAMI — The U.S. Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a public District Formal Investigation Hearing from Mar. 20-25, and Mar. 27-28, for the 561-foot Panamanian-flagged passenger/cargo ship Caribbean Fantasy marine casualty, which occurred on Aug. 17, 2016, and the rescue of its 511 passengers and crew members.

The hearing will focus on the cause of the marine casualty, the adequacy of fire fighting protection systems, regulatory compliance including any physical or design concerns, adequacy of the vessel’s safety management system and evacuation procedures, and the Coast Guard’s mass rescue operation and procedures.

The National Transportation Safety Board has joined in this hearing to avoid duplicating the development of facts and will fully participate. The NTSB is an independent Federal agency, which is responsible for civil transportation accident investigation, and is tasked with determining the cause or probable cause of this accident. A separate report of the NTSB’s findings will be issued independently of the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard will announce initiation and closing of the hearing from @uscgsoutheast using the following hashtags: #CGFIH #CaribbeanFantasy.

An e-mail has been set up for interested parties to ask questions or make comments. This e-mail will be checked regularly. The e-mail is: CaribbeanFantasy@uscg.mil

The Coast Guard plans to host a live stream of the proceedings. The web address for the live stream is: https://livestream.com/USCGinvestigations/CaribbeanFantasy

Please see below for the full hearing schedule. The schedule is subject to change based on factors including, but not limited to, witness and board availability, time and weather. Please follow @uscgsoutheast on Twitter for updates.

Passengers aboard the Caribbean Fantasy on Aug. 17, 2016, can pass information to the District Formal Investigation Hearing Board by taking the following online survey.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CaribbeanFantasyEnglish

Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CaribbeanFantasyEspanol

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