Although allegations that a member of the US Coastguard was distracted by texting on a cellphone immediately before a fatal accident appear to be unfounded cellphone on bridges remain problematic. Currently there is a move in the US to discourage what it like to call ‘Distraction Operations’, mainly aimed at car and truck driver but the USCG is also running an initiative aimed at seafarers.
Of course, it is unlikely to have much effect on all those shorebased offices who think that the bridge team is just sitting there twiddling its thumbs as the ship negotiates its way into port and have nothing else to do but risk the ship and its cargo by rabbiting on a cellphone.
Be that as it may, the USCG has annunced: “Throughout the United States, and across all transportation modes, safety initiatives are being established to address issues related to Distracted Operations. The Coast Guard recognizes the importance of this issue, understands the potential consequences caused by increased operational risk in marine operations, and is supportive of the goals and objectives of the US Department of Transportation and other distracted driving safety initiatives.