NTSB wants marine cellphone rules
A federal agency is recommending that the Coast Guard develop a policy on the use of cellphones and other wireless devices as part of its investigations into two separate collisions last December.
The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday crew members were using wireless devices but stressed it has not determined the causes of the collisions in San Diego Bay and Charleston, S.C. The agency says crew members were using the devices for texting or conversations unrelated to vessel operations.
The NTSB did not say how many crew members were using wireless devices or what their roles were in vessel operations.
"The use of wireless communications devices while operating vehicles in any mode of transportation poses an unacceptable distraction," NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement. "State governments and federal regulators have been acting to combat these safety hazards and we urge the Coast Guard to do the same."
The statement said that both "the boating public and commercial marine industry should be reminded" of the dangers.
In San Diego, a Coast Guard boat collided with another boat, killing a child and injuring four people. In South Carolina, a collision with a small passenger vessel injured six.
-- Staff and wire reports
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