Jan 192015

MAC is indebted to gCaptain for clarifying this video currently doing the rounds. All eight people aboard survive the ditching. Sadly, helicopter failures are all too common offshore.

gCaptain says that the incident “Although there’s no date associated, it seems this video depicts the crash of a crew change helicopter approaching the CGG-chartered seismic vessel Viking Vision. Australian authorities report that on 12 December 2013, a helicopter with 6 personnel and 2 pilots was forced to ditch in the water offshore Malaysia. All 8 were subsequently rescued by the standby boat.”

(See video below) Continue reading »

Jan 192015

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority is investigation the fall of an umanned lifeboat from the rig Maersk Giant during a test in which a wire rope broke, dropping the lfeboat which then drifted underneath the facility.  Later the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant with an emergency vessel as escort. Continue reading »

Jan 192015

She’s powerful, unpredictable and pushy. If you don’t keep a firm hold it could mean a rocky relationship gets very deadly.

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The Master

Let’s talk about Chandra. That’s not his real name but he was a real master, 44 years old with 27 years seafaring experience and seven years as a master.

The Ship

Coop Venture The Coop Venture His vessel was the Coop Venture, a Panamanian registered Panamax bulk carrier of 36,080 gross tones witha crew of four Indians and 15 Filipinos. She carried a cargo of

40,280 metric tones of corn from New Orleans, United States, to Shibushi Bay in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan.

Continue reading »

Jan 072015

One must hope that 2015 will not continue as it has begun with at least four serious maritime accidents, with significant  making headlines in the Christmas/New Year period. They are stark reminders of how far we have to go to reduce to make a significant impact on losses.

Gearbulk’s Bulk Jupiter, sank off the coast of Vietnam while carrying bauxite, so far, of the 19 crew there has been one survivor.

On January 3 the Cyprus-registered cement carrier Cemfjord was discovered bow-up in the Pentland Firth, her crew of eight are still missing.

That same day the car carrier Höegh Osaka lost stability in the Solent and was deliberately grounded on the Brambles Bank. Fortunately no lives were lost.

Over the Christmas period came the fire aboard the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic Ferry. More than 400 people were evacuated but 11 died and 18 are missing.

Four very different vessels coming to grief in different ways.



Dec 182014

Recent steps to normalise relationships between the United States and Cuba reminded MAC of an old post that bears republication as a reminder of darker days and the conspiracy theories surrounding the collision between the Magdeburg and the Yamashiro in the Thames.

MAC’s eye for mystery was caught by a recent report in the Observer retailing claims that the CIA was responsible for a collision of two vessels on the Thames in 1964. Real sea mysteries are fascinating, one of these days we’ll nose around the tale of the Mary Celeste, non-mysteries like the fraudulent ‘Bermuda Triangle’ we don’t have time for. Are tales of the CIA sinking ships in the Thames evidence of a plot, or the tales by a clot? Continue reading »

Dec 182014

We are all familiar with, and rather tired of, lifeboat hazards but a safety alert from the US Coast Guard combines that with confined space risks, too. Yes, in certain circumstances a lifeboat can be a confined space.

A Port State Control inspector was on board a tanker to conduct a examination. In anticipation of the examination, the crew opened the hatch to the freefall lifeboat to let it air out. As the inspector entered the lifeboat his gas meter alarmed and he quickly exited. Upon investigation, it was confirmed with ship’s equipment that carbon monoxide had collected in the lifeboat.

Continue reading »

Dec 162014

TSB’s report on the contact and grounding incident involving the general cargo vessel Claude A. Desgagnes as it entered Iroquois Lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway, is a tale of sticky decisions, poor communications and whose-in-charge confusion. One lesson is that once you’ve made a decision, keep in constantly under review.

Here’s the short version:

As the vessel proceeded downriver, the master and pilot spoke, but did not develop a shared understanding of the manoeuvre to be used in the approach to the Iroquois Lock. While the pilot had explained his plan to dredge the anchor to the officer of the watch (OOW) earlier in the voyage, the details of the plan were not relayed to the master when he arrived on the bridge.
Continue reading »

Dec 152014

Substandard ships operating on the Black Sea endanger the lives of seafarers every day. Now Ihe International Transport Workers’ Federation member Marine Employees Solidarity Association (DAD-DER) exposes the appalling conditions in a documentary Dark Side of the Black Sea, has been made by International Transport Workers’ Federation member the Marine Employees in English, Turkish and Russian.

A 2012 report uncovered poor standards of living and working conditions, low wages and unseaworthy vessels in use in the Black Sea. A second report in 2014 report showed little change.

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