June 3, 2016 - The Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan-led investigation regarding wake from the USS Milwaukee and recreational vessels off Chambers Island on Green Bay September 5, 2015, is completed.
The marine casualty investigation determined that enforcement action against any of the parties involved would not forward the integrity of maritime safety and is therefore not warranted.
As required by federal regulations, the Coast Guard conducted a marine casualty investigation. This investigative process collects and reviews all available information when a marine incident occurs and causes an injury, a specific level of property damage, harms the environment, affects seaworthiness of the vessel, or results in a loss of life. A marine casualty investigation does not include the determination of fault for damages.
“As the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, the Coast Guard is always committed to ensuring the highest safety and performance standards for the maritime public and the maritime industry,” said Capt. Amy Cocanour, the Sector Lake Michigan commander. “We approach each investigation with the utmost diligence to ensure that each element of any potential violation is met before leveraging an enforcement action, which is only issued if all of the conditions are met for a given violation.”
“The safety of the boating public is our number one concern and it’s our job to ensure that all vessel operators follow all applicable rules and regulations to ensure the safety and security of the maritime community,” she added.
The purpose of a marine casualty investigation is to determine root cause and contributing factors which led up to the casualty. Once determined, the objective is to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future. This is accomplished through review of policies, procedures, training, regulations and enforcement action.
The USS Milwaukee is a 378-foot-long Freedom-Class Littoral Combat Ship that was being built in Wisconsin for the U.S. Navy. At the time of the incident, the vessel had not been turned over to the Navy and was returning from conducting underway acceptance trials.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters that every vessel shall at all times maintain complete situational awareness whether day or night, and particularly near commercial traffic or other vessels.