Jan 272016
 

Accidents are often a team effort in which if one part of the team is on the ball the accident does not happen. So it was with the collision between the UK containership Ever Smart and the Marshall Islands registered oil tanker Alexandra 1 at Jebel Ali.

Says the report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch. MAIB: “The collision resulted from several factors. In particular, a passing arrangement was not agreed or promulgated and the actions of both masters were based on assumptions.

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Jan 202016
 

Agatha Christie would have been proud of it:  On the morning of 23 July 2015 the chemical-Product tanker Selandia Swan was on passage from Scheveningen, Netherlands to Ust-Luga, Russia through the North Sea with the Third Officer on watch without a lookout. During the 1000 crew break for coffee and tea and AB went to the bridge to make an internet phone call to speak to his family.

On the bridge the AB went to the port side of the centre console to use the cordless telephone. He did note the third officer. There was no answer when the AB called out that he was using the phone but assumed the officer was at the chart table or in the toilet.  As he spoke he walked around the bridge and realised the third officer was not there.

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Jan 192016
 

Simple, straight-forward jobs often become dangerous ones when safety procedures are overlooked or inadequate. In the case of the ore-carrier Hyundai Dangjin a second mate died after falling into the water from a rope ladder while the vessel was alongside at at Port Walcott, Western Australia.

It was 4.50am and the chief mate and surveyor were on the wharf checking the draught marks. Unable to see the midships draught mark the chief called the second mate by radio and told him to check the mark on the outboard, port side where a rope ladder had already been rigged. Mates are trained to read draught marks.

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Jan 192016
 

Exactly why the Eire registered MFV Iúda Naofa suddenly flooded and sank off the Butt of Lewis is unknown, says the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB. report, but there are still lessons to be learned.

On the 17th January 2015, the Irish fishing vessel MFV Iúda Naofa departed with five crew from Rossaveal in the company of another vessel MFV Star of Hope. By the night of the 19th January 2015 the vessels were 50 miles North of the Hebrides.
On the morning of the 20th January 2015 with full holds the vessels were proceeding towards the Minches with the intention of returning to Lough Foyle. At approximately 09.00 hrs to 09.30 hrs on 20th January 2015, at position 59°16’N 009°34’W, the forepeak bilge alarm sounded on the MFV Iúda Naofa and water was observed in the bilge.

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Jan 102016
 

Perhaps the most important part if the viral video of the Carnival Ecstasy tragedy in which an electrician was crushed to death in an elevator is not the sheet of blood running down the elevator doors but the final image of the barriers in place outside the elevator doors. That is the image that should be burned into our memories because had the elevator been isolated and inoperable then 66-year old Italian crewmember Jose Sandoval Opazo may not have died in such horrific circumstances.

Investigations are underway which will certainly examine onboard procedures for elevator maintenance, the vessel’s SMS, the design of the elevators and why the elevator was not isolated in such a way as to prevent its mechanism being energised accidentally or deliberately. It is, however, just the latest tragedy of its kind in both the maritime and offshore industries. Continue reading »

Apr 272015
 

Explosions aboard bulkers loaded at Grande Do Sul, Brazil, are believed to have involved phosphine fumigants, warns the North of England P&I club, Nepia. Those vessels undergoing fumigation at Rio Grande Do Sul should contact the local agents or P&I correspondents for advice on the current situation with respect to fumigants.

Most incidents involving phosphine tablets, colloquially known in Latin America as ‘tablets of love‘,

One potential cause of a phosphine fumigant explosion may be contaminated tablets of aluminium phosphide or similar fumigants. Tablets react with moisture to produce phosphine gas, PH3, which has an autoignition temperature of 38 Celsius However, the presence of impurities, particularly diphosphine, often causes PH3 gas to ignite spontaneously at room temperature and to form explosive mixtures at concentrations greater than 1.8% by volume in air. The spontaneous ignition behaviour of PH 3 gas is very unpredictable. Continue reading »

Apr 032015
 

Safety Digest from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, frequently covers the more unusual ways of causing grief aboard ship and the latest issue is no disappointment: It reports and incident in which a vessel was flooded by own freshwater tank.
Says MAIB: “Poor planning and lack of procedures led to approximately 100 cubic metres of fresh water flooding accommodation and machinery compartments on board a large cargo ship.”
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Apr 022015
 

Two men, a Russian chief officer and a Ukrainian chief engineer have died in a hold containing timber while a third,  a Filipino second officer who attempted to rescue them collapsed by survived. The incident is under investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch while the report will not be available for some time the incident does highlight the confined space hazards of timber in cargo holds  and the continuing problem of would-be rescuers being overcome while attempting to recover victims. Continue reading »

Apr 012015
 

Again, the US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB,  has released its annual  “Safer Seas: Lessons Learned From Marine Accident Investigations” report. Safer Seas is a compilation of accident investigations that were published in 2014, organized by vessel type with links to the more detailed accident reports. It’s a useful addition to a safety library.

The 43-page report contains a summary and the probable causes for 23 major marine accidents and features lessons learned from each of the accidents in an easy-to-use summary format. Issues include understanding vessel control systems, passenger safety during critical maneuvers, maintenance, and crew training.

Download Safer Seas 2014