Apr 172014
 
ntsbseastreak

NTSB Investigators Morgan Turrell and Christopher Babcock examine propulsion and steering controls on the bridge of Seastreak Wall Street.

By the time the captain of Seastreak Wall Street realised he’d lost control of the vessel it was too late to prevent the vessel colliding with a Manhattan pier at about 12 knots on the morning of January 9, 2013. Of the 331 people on board, 79 passengers and one crewmember were injured, four of them seriously, in the third significant ferry accident to occur in the New York Harbor area in the last 10 years.

The intended maneouvre was a common one among those commanding the Seastreak fleet: Reduce speed and transfer control from one bridge station to another better visibility less than a minute before reaching Pier 11/Wall Street on the East River. However, it left little opportunity to correct a loss of control at a critical moment.

The incident had been waiting to happen since July 2012 when a controllable pitch propulsion system was installed to replace the existing water-jet propulsion along with a poorly designed control panel and alert system, “The available visual and audible cues to indicate mode and control transfer status were ambiguous” says the NTSB. 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 »

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 »

Feb 232013
 

The third officer on CCNI Guayas was less lucky.

Heavy weather does not have to be extreme to lead to injuries on the bridge – it’s enough to lack handrails and have improperly stowed equipment. The latest example comes from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, in a safety alert.

Recently on a vessel it was reported that a crewman had taken a fall in the bridge during heavy weather. He suffered only minor injuries.
The incident occurred whilst on sea passage as the vessel was in the process of altering course, the weather although heavy could not be described as extreme and the vessel would have encountered similar conditions on a regular basis. Continue reading »
Feb 162013
 
John Collins - prop shaft chewed skipper

John Collins – prop shaft chewed skipper

Jonathan O’Donnell, skipper of the fishing Vessel John Collins is currently recovering from injuries to his foot sustained in an incident which could have led to amputation. Unsafe working practices and lack of effect safeguards led to him being caught up in a rotating propeller shaft says a newly released accident investigation report from Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB.

While it was proceeding home the vessel’s bilge alarm sounded and after pumping out the bilge it sounded again shortly afterwards. The skipper went into the fish hold and lifted the covering boards over the bilge containing the pump and the propeller shaft.

The engine was not stopped or put into neutral and the shaft was turning. The skipper put his foot into the bilge beside the turning shaft in order to reach down to clear debris from the bilge pump.

Continue reading »

Feb 142013
 

dp2Single fault failures should not be possible in safety critical systems. However, a recent incident in which dynamic positioning failed while divers were underwater show that they can and do happen in ways that, with 20/20 hindsight, are not surprising.

A serious incident occurred in which a diving support vessel’s dynamic positioning (DP) system, designated as IMO class 2, failed resulting in the vessel drifting off position while divers were deployed subsea. Investigations have shown that a probable cause of the DP failure was a single fault which caused blocking of the DP system’s internal data communications. Continue reading »

Feb 132013
 
Open hatch - a shortcut to etertity

Open hatch – a shortcut to etertity

Walking across open hatches can be an invitation to tragedy. When the hatch cover is icy then the chances for disaster are even greater, as a new report from the UK Maritime Accident Investigation Branch makes very clear.

On 17 December 2011, an able bodied seaman (AB) fell approximately 25m into a partially open hold on the container vessel Tempanos while it was berthed in the port of Felixstowe. The AB, Jose Gonzalez, died of multiple injuries.

There were no witnesses to the accident, but the available evidence indicated that he probably slipped on a patch of ice while walking across a hatch cover that was partially covering an open hold.

The investigation found that it was occasional practice for some crew members on Tempanos to walk across hatch covers above partly open holds. Although there was clear guidance available regarding safe cargo operations on container ships, it was not always communicated to vessels calling at Felixstowe.

Tempanos’s safety management system did not contain sufficient guidance or instructions to the crew about the hazards of walking on partially open hatch covers. A recommendation has been made to the ship’s management company to
review its safe working procedures. The container terminal’s managers have also been recommended to conduct safety meetings with the crews of container vessels prior to commencing cargo work.

Says the MAIB report: “The disparity between the container terminal staff’s understanding of safe working practices and that of the vessel’s crew, illustrates the need for closer co-operation. It is accepted that the container trade relies on fast turnaround times, but achieving the necessary level of co-operation need not be an onerous burden. It was normal practice for container terminal staff to visit the vessel in order to discuss cargo work, and an additional discussion on safe working practices would not add significantly to the turnaround time. Such a discussion should focus on the behaviour expected of the crew and the demarcation of responsibilities.

Download the report

See Also

Hanjin Sydney Fatality: Fix It Before The Fall

Accident Report: BBC Atlantic – Poor Safety Culture Kills CO

Hatch Fatality – Watch Others On Your ship

When One Hand Doesn’t Know What The Other Is Doing It Could Go Down The Hatch.

 

Feb 122013
 

crankHolding on to something that revolves at high speed is not conducive to a long life but inattention and a lack of safety instincts can result in the sorts of  incidents covered in Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation report on a fatality aboard the Nicolai Maersk on 26 April 2012.

Nicolai Maersk arrived at Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Shortly after arrival at 1515 hours the ship began loading and unloading containers.

During the stay in Jebel Ali, the ship was to receive lubricating oil both in bulk and in drums. The drums were to be hoisted on board by means of the aft stores crane. The lubricating oil in bulk was to arrive by truck and be pumped on board at the bunker station on the upper deck close to the gangway. Continue reading »

Feb 112013
 
A Fuguro Oceanor Wavescan Bouy - hydrogen led to explosion

A Fugro Oceanor Wavescan Bouy – hydrogen led to explosion

Fugro Oceanor has issued a safety alert warning of the dangers of hydrogen-build up inside Oceanor Wavescan buoys following and explosion and fatality off the coast of Malaysia. The buoy exploded while a member of Fugro’s staff was attempting to open it with an angle grinder.

The buoy in question was deployed in August 2010, and visited for cleaning in November 2010. It was reported that the buoy was soiled with bird droppings. At some point after this, the maintenance program for the buoy was suspended. The program was re-established in 2012, and the accident took place on the initial maintenance cruise.

After retrieval onto the service vessel, the buoy was cleaned, and the task of opening the instrument compartment started. This compartment also holds the lead-acid battery packs of the buoy. Access to the instruments is gained by removing a circular lid which is secured by 16 bolts. The removal of the bolts had been completed, except for the last bolt which proved to be seized. The decision was made to free this bolt using an angle grinder. Only moments after applying the grinder, an explosion took place which resulted in the lid blowing open and the instrument modules and their mounting plate being projected outwards with great force. These items struck the Fugro employee, thus causing the fatal injuries. Continue reading »