Apr 162014
 

fireextWill your handheld fire extinguisher go off with a satisfying, throaty whoosh when it’s needed or will you be greeted by a rather disappointing, geriatric dribble? It might if the fire extinguisher is getting on a bit and has been serviced with the wrong components suggests a United States Coastguard safety alert.

Issued this month the alert says: During a fire-fighting event, a crewmember attempted to use a 15 lb CO2 extinguisher,
but the extinguisher failed to properly discharge and only seeped from the neck of the extinguisher.
The fire was extinguished by another crewmember using a dry-chemical fire extinguisher.”

Continue reading »

Apr 162014
 

ChristosXXIIPerhaps there are times to save money on hiring a pilot in unfamiliar waters but this was not one of them. The master of the Greek-registered tug Christos XXII had little experience in tidal waters and his company procedures were of little help when he decided to save on pilotage by anchoring in the tidal waters outside Tor Bay to investigate a dangerous list in the towed vessel Emsstrom, to judge by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Board report on the subsequent collision between tug and tow.

The result of the money-saving measurese and lack of appropriate company procedures was the sinking of the Emsstrom and the holing and flooding of Christos XXII. And a lot more expense. Continue reading »

Apr 152014
 

wellhead

Fire and a fatality following the ejection of a gland nut and lockscrew assembly from a wellhead while under pressure shortly before starting tubing installation has highlighted the need to ensure manufacturers procedures are always followed suggests a safety alert from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.

Lockscrews are commonly used in surface wellhead equipment to mechanically energize or retain internal wellhead components. Lockscrews are not standardized across the industry, so manufacturers’ procedures should always be used for operations that may require manipulation of lockscrews. Work involving gland nut and lockscrew assemblies should be done under the supervision of qualified service personnel from the wellhead equipment provider who have access to the operational procedures, key dimensions, and torque ratings necessary for correct use.

Operators should consider working with their wellhead equipment and service providers to validate the integrity of gland nut and lockscrew assemblies that are exposed to wellbore pressure in the field by taking the following steps: Continue reading »

Apr 142014
 

DMADenmark’s Maritime Authority, DMA, invites shipping companies’ employees on land and on board ships to meetings about Port State Control, PSC, to enhance safety on board at a series of meetings to be held in May

Says DMA: “The meetings will provide an opportunity to share experiences of Port State Control, for example best practice examples of how a company can improve safety and, thereby, avoid defects and detentions and of how the land-based organization can best support its crew during Port State Control inspections. Continue reading »

Apr 142014
 

UntitledToday marks 102 years since the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg at night and sank three hours later. It seems an appropriate moment for MAC to return to the fray from its extended sabbatical and review the relevant lessons for today’s seafarers but the estimable Dennis L. Bryant does it so well that we’re taking the liberty of quoting his latest newsletter:

Late on the night of 14 April 1912, the “unsinkable” passenger ship RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, struck an iceberg.  It sank about three hours later, at about 2:20 a.m. on 15 April 1912.  Of the 2,224 persons on board, 1,514 lost their lives. 

In the century that followed, ships are better-constructed.  They carry more lifeboat capacity than there are persons on board.  They have radios for instant communication with shore and with other ships.  They have radar, fathometers, and other devices to warn of danger.  Continue reading »

Mar 022013
 
A still from Lifejacket:

A still from Lifejacket: A Fisherman’s Friend

Two Bridlington fishermen have made a short film to encourage their fellow fishermen to wear lifejackets whilst at sea. The two minute film, entitled “Lifejacket: a fisherman’s friend” is available on Youtube and may be watched below.

The decision to make the film came after a panel of experts* concluded that 26 fishermen could still be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket when they were involved in an incident at sea (2007-11 figures). The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), were so alarmed by the new statistic that they put the idea of a short film forward to fishermen Dylan Silverwood and Christopher Stewart. They then made the film, with some help from FISG members. Continue reading »

Feb 272013
 
Photo: Seconds from Disaster

167 workers died when Piper Alpha exploded on 6 July 1988: Photo: Seconds from Disaster

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority looks at the 25 anniversary of the Piper Alpha tragedy this year in the latest issue of its annual Status and Signals publication.  In all its gruesomeness, Piper Alpha contributed insights and an understanding of risk to the international industry.

The publication also takes a closer look at other accidents and near misses which have contributed to a better grasp of safety – from the 1977 Ekofisk Bravo blowout to the Gullfaks C well incident in 2010.

Says PSA: “The primary reason for focusing on the most serious incidents is the PSA’s belief in the value of learning and experience transfer. Although it can be painful to revisit major accidents and critical incidents, such a review can help to reduce the risk of experiencing new ones”.

Meanwhile, Lord Cullen is to be keynote speaker at the Oil & Gas UK  safety conference to be held in the summer to mark the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster.

Piper 25, a three-day event to be held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre from 18 to 20 June 2013 and principally sponsored by Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited, will bring together people from across the global oil and gas industry to reflect on the lessons learnt from the tragedy, review how far offshore safety has evolved since and to reinforce industry commitment to continuous improvement.

Safety Status and Signals

Piper Alpha Conference

2008 Documentary

Feb 272013
 
Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire

Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire. Photo: Maritime Safety Investigation Unit

Malta’s Maritime Safety Investigation Unit has issued a safety alert following the discovery of significant corrosion on inner strands of a fall wire involved in the falling of of a lifeboat on 10 February 2013. Five seafarers died in the incident which occurred aboard Thomson Majesty while berthed alongside in Santa Crux de La Palma.

Says the safety alert: ” The wire rope had parted approximately where it rested over the topmost sheave, when the davit was in a stowed position.

“The fore and aft davit’s falls were replaced on 22 August 2010 and the next scheduled replacement was August 2014.
 “The launching appliance had been dynamically tested in May 2012.
“Initial results of the tests carried out on the parted ends of the wire indicate significant corrosion damage to the inner strands of the wire”. Continue reading »
Feb 232013
 
Roonagh Pier.

Roonagh Pier.

Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board says that failure of the leading lights at Roonagh Pier were the main cause of the grounding of the passenger ferry Pirate Queen but further investigations revealed serious weaknesses in the navigational procedures and practices on the company vessels. There appeared to be an over reliance on visual aids to
navigation and a neglect to practice and use the electronic aids on board.

On the evening of 20th December 2011 the inter island passenger ferry Pirate Queen grounded on rocks at the entrance to Roonagh Pier, Co. Mayo. The vessel was refloated shortly afterwards and although not holed, it had sustained severe structural damage. Two of the passengers were taken off the ferry whilst she was on the rocks and transferred to the pier by a rigid inflatable boat. One passenger sustained injuries during the incident. Continue reading »