bobcouttie

Dec 182014
 
safespace2

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.

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Dec 162014
 
claude

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 reveiw.

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.
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Dec 152014
 
blackea

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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Dec 152014
 
northtug

Tugs are unforgiving vessels. The enormous forces involved mean that when something goes wrong it goes wrong very fast and often with fatal consequences. North Tug’s crew were lucky, after inexperience, poor communications and a lack of mandatory requirements led to the vessel capsizing while assisting

The workboat North Tug capsized and sank when it was assisting the cruise ship Ocean Princess during its departure from the quay in Kirkenes on 10 June 2013. The plan was to move the cruise ship sideways out from the quay, and North Tug was to assist in pulling the bow of the cruise ship away from the quay. There was a change of plan without this being communicated to the skipper of North Tug. This led to North Tug being pulled along by the cruise ship and moving backwards with the towline over its stern. This is a very unstable situation for a conventional tugboat with the towing point forward of the propellers. Because of the speed at which North Tug was moving astern, the aft deck started to fill up with water, which caused the boat to heel. North Tug ended up partly sideways on the direction of movement. The tug capsized as a consequence of water on deck and the transverse forces from the towline. Both crew members on board North Tug saved themselves by jumping into the water.

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Dec 152014
 
mozscreenshot10_thumb

When it comes to safety, unless everybody’s on the same page
avoidable tragedies will happen.

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When the anchor-handling tug supply vessel Bourbon Dolphin capsized it came at enormous cost. Not just the loss of an almost new and expensive vessel, and a fine of more than $700,000 against Bourbon Offshore Norway, but, most importantly the loss of eight lives including that of a 14 year old schoolboy whose own life had yet to begin. It was a wake up call to the offshore industry that resonates even today.

It happened not because one man made an error but because an entire system failed to protect those onboard, because policies, procedures and practices that should have created a virtual safety net proved wanting, because not everybody was singing from the same songsheet. Continue reading »

Dec 142014
 
magnet2

If it ain’t broke fixing it may break it is the message from the US Coast Guard in a safety alert regarding embarkation hull ladder magnets after a State Pilot fell suffered concussion as he was boarding a vessel using its pilot ladder. In this case the modified magnet arrangement disconnected, fell, and hit the pilot on the head.

It wasn’t the first such accident to be caused by a modified magnet arrangement. Other incidents with injuries have occurred on other vessels at several different ports, says the USCG. In each instance the hull magnets were modified prior to the accident. Moreover, in all cases, after restoring the hull magnets to their original design no further problems were experienced.
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Dec 082014
 
bdolphin

Listen To The Podcast

Seven years ago Bourbon Dolphin capsized during a rig move. It was a tragedy that sent waves thorough the offshore industry but have the lessons been learned?

It is still dark early on the morning of 30th March 2007 in Scalloway, Shetland as Norwegian Captain Oddne Remoy boards the Bourbon Dolphin for the first time. Bourbon Dolphin is less than a year old, painted in the distinctive green and white house colours of Bourbon Offshore Norway. She flies the Norwegian flag.

Remoy is to relieve from the vessel’s existing master, Frank Reiersen, as part of the vessel’s shift – five weeks on and five weeks off and is replacing the ship’s other regular master, Hugo Hansen.  Hansen and Remoy have already discussed Bourbon Dolphin by telephone. Continue reading »

Dec 042014
 
green-poison-bottle-23774612

Recently an account from a former master of a close encounter that under other circumstances could have led to a collision sent MAC scrambling to Google to find out what information was available on toxic leadership at sea resuting in an accident. Tere were precisely five results, out of a potential of 132,000 hits on maritime accidents and of those one the top of the list was MAC’s post on the Maria M incident and the IMO model course on leadership and teamwork. That drilling into the remaining three results produced nothing on maritime accidents and toxic leadership suggests that it is an under researched area of maritime safety.

A member of MAC’s LinkedIn maritime accident investigation group provided this account of a close call:
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Dec 032014
 
reith

MAC believes those interested in maritime safety, not matter how well experience, may have much to learn from, and be inspired by, other field in which safety is critical and errors may be disastrous, if not tragic, including medicine. This year’s BBC Reith Lectures by Dr Atul Gawande examines the nature of progress and failure in medicine. There may be lessons there for those in the maritime domain as well.

Listen to the first two episodes for free here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith

They can also be downloaded for later listening.