Nov 262014
 
Ovit

All the key ingredients for a navigational accident were in place long before the Malta-flagged oil and chemical tanker Ovit grounded on the Varne Bank in the Dover Strait in the early morning darkness of 18 September 2013. The report on the incident from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, identifies several layers of factors, not all of them on the bridge of the Ovit, that led to the grounding without which it would not have occurred.

The vessel was equipped with a Maris 900 ECDIS supplied and installed by STT Marine Electronics in Istanbul. An installation certificate issued on 1 April 2011 indicates that all systems had been properly configured and tested. They had not.

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Nov 242014
 
bowmariner1

This week the first of a two parter on the explosion aboard the chemical tanker Bow Mariner 


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…90 minutes after Third Officer Lugen Ortilano sent that distress call, the 174 metre long chemical tanker Bow Mariner was 77 metres down on the bottom of the Atlantic, 53.5 nautical miles off the Virginia coast. Twenty one of her 27 crew were dead or dying. More than thirteen and a half million litres of ethyl alcohol, 864 thousand litres of heavy fuel oil and 216 thousand litres of diesel had entered the ecosystem leaving a trail of pollution two and a half kilometres by 56 kilometres.

The Bow Mariner and three quarters of her crew met their end because of mismanagement, ignorance, incompetence, intolerance and fraud.

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Nov 232014
 
polar_code_square
With concerns increasing regarding the safety of vessels in the Arctic as the once-mythical North est Passage becomes a reality the International Maritime Organization, IMO, has adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), and related amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, to make it mandatory. With global warming now opening up once uneconomic routes and exposing the Arctic to oil and gas exploitation – a recent report from the Swedish P&I Club says that in just four years commercial traffic through polar regions increased 15 times and is still growing – it is almost inevitable that accidents it these environmentally sensitive areas will increase.
Nov 232014
 
Resceue operations underway following MTM Westport incident.

One seafarer died and two were injured on Friday, 21 November in an incident involving what appears to have been  a fast rescue   craft. It is the fourth lifeboat/FRC fatality in the past two months.

Details of the incident remain sketchy. German-language newspaper Spiegel says that the boat fell 11 metres, 30 feet, into the water from the chemical tanker MTM Westport resulting in the death of a 57 year old seafarer and injuries to two others who were thrown out of the boat on impact. The Hong-Kong-flagged vessel with officers and crew from Myanmar, Ukraine and Russia,  was at anchor in the North Sea off the Elbe estuary.

In May 2014 MTM Westport was detained in Argentine due to nine deficiencies, none involving lifeboat or FRC equipment.

 

Nov 202014
 
FVliberty

Sooner or later the chances were that someone was going to be killed aboard the 13.32 metre Irish registered FV Liberty. Given the long list of safety issues uncovered by Ireland’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB, and the fact that an earlier incident involving an injury went unreported so the conditions that resulted in the death of a seafarer on 14 February 2013 went undetected, tragedy was inevitable and preventable.

In port at Dunmore East prior to the voyage, one of the trawl nets on the vessel, supplied by the owner, was swapped for a used net supplied by the skipper. The skipper’s net had been kept in storage and had not been used since October 2012. The net was apparently changed because
it was deemed to be more suitable for the intended fishing grounds  where the vessel was going to fish. Continue reading »

Nov 192014
 
bravery
One year to the day after surviving an explosive fire which threatened the lives of 32 people on board his vessel, Captain Andreas Kristensen and his crew of the Britannia Seaways have received the 2014 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea, at a special ceremony on Monday, 17 November 2014.
Accepting the IMO medal and certificate on behalf of his crew, Captain Kristensen said the award should also be shared with the passengers, the Norwegian soldiers who assisted the crew during the fire-fighting, and the Norwegian rescue teams and fire-fighters who supported them.
“As Captain, I watched the fire from the bridge, while the crew were fighting it on the open deck in high seas, facing an intense situation with extreme heat. Or striving in the engine room to avoid a blackout which could have had fatal consequences for the ship, the persons onboard and the environment. Personally, I am very proud to be Captain of this crew which managed so well under those extreme circumstances,” Captain Kristensen said.
(Video below)

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Nov 182014
 
container

Over the past few years the industry has tried to bring order to the problem of misdeclared container weights, and issue that presets seriosu hazardous to the lives of seafarers and their ships but that doesn’t stop attempts to fraudulently change indicators of container weight, as the   the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau, IMB, has revealed. It’s worth keeping an eye on those boxes.

The incident uncovered by IMB concerned a container of aluminium scrap in which the information outside the box was tampered with to show false weight and size. An IMB member highlighted the case after being notified of a significant weight shortage on the container, which arrived in the Far East from the Middle East.

During the investigation that followed, the member noted that the tare weight of the container, as shown on its door – and used by the shipper – was 3,680kg. The cube, also shown on the door, was 2,700 cubic feet.

The numbers displayed were entirely acceptable for a 40 foot container. However the box in question was a 20 foot one. Continue reading »

Nov 182014
 
philippines

Authorities in the Philippines have expressed concern over a rise of ‘suicide by ferry’ incidents,reports local media. While the Philippines has  relatively low reported suicide rate of 2.75 per 100,000, a quarter of the global average, June to October incidents involving people jumping from ferries ferries reached 12, up from 10 the previous year.

In the latest incident 34 year old Daniel Pame, jumped from a ferry, nearly hitting hit the vessel’s propeller. He was rescued but attempted to jump again.

The Philippine Coastguard has advised that elatives of passengers at risk coordinate with shipping lines to ensure those who are depressed or have mental problems do not jump off the ship and the PCG can monitor them.