Aug 142014
 

eldfiskNorway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA, says that it is going to carry out its own investigation into a hydrogen incident early on the morning of Thursday 7 August, which led to the discharge of stabilised oil to the sea from the Eldfisk FTP field terminal platform.

PSA says its decision to launch its own investigation “reflects the seriousness of the incident and the information received about it. Among other goals, the inquiry will seek to establish the course of events, identify the direct and underlying causes, and follow up ConocoPhillips’ own investigations of the ESD and leak”.

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Aug 142014
 

safespaceThree men died after entering a confined space aboard the German-flagged general cargo ship Suntis at Goole docks, Humberside.  Initial investigations by the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, show that signs were ignored, safety procedures were not followed and during the recovery of the three unconscious crewmen, safety equipment was used incorrectly and inappropriately.

MAIB has issued the following Safety Bulletin:

At approximately 0645 (UTC+1) on 26 May 2014, three crew members on board the cargo ship, Suntis, were found unconscious in the main cargo hold forward access compartment, which was sited in the vessel’s forecastle. The crew members were recovered from the compartment but, despite intensive resuscitation efforts by their rescuers, they did not survive.

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Aug 132014
 

glacierGiving your passengers a close look at a glacier calving may satisfy them but get too close can be fatal. But how close is too close and how far is safe asks Norway’s Accident Investigation Board, AIBN, in its report on the death of a tourist in Ymerbukten Bay in the Isfjord on Svalbard.

AIBN suggests three key issues: Tour guides may have responded to expectations raised by photographs in the tour company’s brochure; it was difficult for tour guides to estimate their distance from the glacier; safe distances set by the local authority did not take into account the circumstances of this particular calving.

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Aug 112014
 

safespaceOGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.

Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.

Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.

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Aug 072014
 

safetyrunnerTowing vessel Safety Runner tied up on the Mobile River next to two Kirby barges at the Oil Recovery Company Gas Freeing Terminal, ORC, unaware that the barges were being cleaned of residual diesel. Shortly afterwards the engines aboard Safety Runner began racing and could not be shut down, there was a fire which spread to the to the barges, resulting in explosions.

Three people sustained serious burn injuries. The total damage to the vessel and barge was estimated at $5.7 million.

Poor operations manuals and uncertified personnel played a key role in the incident. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 
Morning-Midas

Morning Midas. Photo: Eukor Car Carriers Inc.

Overboard is not the place for discarded mooring lines as  Lombard Corporate Finance Ltd., owner of the Eukor car carrier Morning Midas, discovered in an Australian courtroom. As Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA. points out wandering mooring lines are a hazard to other vessels, which is how this case came to light.

The errant 30 to 25 metre line was discovered the hard way by the pilot

launch Wyuna III in the early hours ofAugust 1, 2012 near the pilot boarding station outside Port Phillip Heads when it became entangled in the propellers of the launch and stalled its engines.
An AMSA investigation found charts linking two GPS locations from the Morning Midas deck log book and the site of the collision of the Wyuna III with the mooring line. Morning Midas  failed to report a danger to navigation posed by the mooring line.

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Jul 212014
 

coronaseawaysOnce upon a time they were called ‘second-hand’ but today it’s fashionable to call them ‘pre-loved’ – old cars and trucks. Unfortunately they come with an increased risk of fire when being transported to their last resting place as the fire aboard the DFDS ro-ro ferry Corona Seaways.

At 0215 on 4 December 2013, a fire was discovered on the main deck of  Corona Seaways while the vessel was on passage from Fredericia to Copenhagen, Denmark. The crew mustered, closed the ventilation louvres, established boundary cooling and operated the fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing system.

Although smoke continued to escape from the louvres, steady temperatures in the vicinity of the fire indicated that the CO2 had been effective in controlling it. At 0640, the vessel entered the Swedish port of Helsingborg, where assistance was provided
by the local Fire and Rescue Service.

The vessel suffered light structural damage and the loss of some minor electrical supplies. Three vehicles and six trailers were severely fire-damaged and other vehicles suffered minor radiant heat damage. The fire was caused by an electrical
defect on one of the vehicles’ engine starting system.

A Renault Premium 250.18 truck had been driven about 240km before arriving at Fredericia and then onto the vessel. Neither the drivers nor stevedores reported any mechanical, electrical or instrumentation issues. However, the truck had not been driven for the previous 11 months and there was no evidence that any checks had been carried out to prove its roadworthiness or general safety, including the integrity of its electrical and mechanical systems.

Existing damage to a battery cable meant that even though the vehicle was parked with the key in the ignition in the Stop/Park position an electrical short, with resultant heating, could still occur, as seems to have happened in this case.

MAIB’s report on the incident says: “The carriage of used vehicles and equipment that do not have appropriate road worthiness certification and whose history and condition are unknown,  brings increased risks when compared with the carriage of well maintained vehicles that are in regular use“.

Although DFDS has fire risk control systems in place that might have prevented such a vehicle fire these oly applied to dedicated car transporters not to ro-ro ferries. Says MAIB: “Contrary to the spirit of the MCA’s Code of Practice and the master’s ‘Unsafe Cargo’  notice, there was no evidence that the vessel’s crew carried out vehicle safety  checks. Neither the SSMM nor the onboard risk assessments covered the carriage of used vehicles and equipment”.

MAIB also noted: Injection of CO2 into the main deck was delayed, allowing the fire to develop, because it took time to establish the fitter’s whereabouts during the crew muster.  The reason why the CO2 fire-extinguishing system apparently failed to discharge the   allotted quantity of CO2 as designed remains unexplained.  The main deck ventilation louvres were not fully closed and some of the crew were   unaware how to correctly operate them. This allowed air (oxygen) to feed the fire and potentially affected the CO2 concentration levels needed to extinguish the fire.  The cargo deck ventilation fans were not operated as required by the current regulations. This increased the fire risk due to the potential build-up of flammable
vapours from vehicles.

Download report

See Also:

Accident Report – Stena Voyager

Green Car Caused Pearl Fire

 

 

Jul 102014
 

pachucoConflicting goals and poor communications with unseen crewmembers are not conducive to safe handling of mooring lines, as a recent investigation by Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation Board, DMAIB, shows. The deck arrangements probably didn’t help much either, producing uncertainty at a critical time when crews are under pressure and mooring lines under extreme tension.

Pachuca, an Antigua & Barbuda flagged containership was engaged in regular trade between ports in Northern Europe and called at some six ports a week. The master and crew had been in Esbjerg several times before and were therefore familiar with the harbour area and mooring conditions The port stay was planned to last a few hours.
After discharging was complete at 0445, loading commenced and was completed at 0615. Shortly after the ship was ready for departure. The chief officer and the master were on the bridge and on the enclosed forecastle were the bosun, one ordinary seaman and one able seaman. Continue reading »

Jul 082014
 
tundra

A man apart: Fatigue and both physical and cultural differences played key roles in the grounding of the bulker Tundra.

Take one fatigued pilot, add cultural power distance, loss of situational awareness, a dash of unimplemented Bridge Resource Management , inadequate master-pilot exchange and passage planning and there’s a very good change of something unpleasant happening. TSB Canada’s investigation report into grounding of the bulker Tundra off Sainte Anne-de-Sorel, Quebec, is an interesting collection of what-not-to-does.

Groundings in which pilots are involved are among the most expensive. A study by the International Group of P&I Clubs estimated that although groundings only account for 3 per cent of incidents resulting insurance claims of more than $100,000 they accounted for 35 per cent of the cost of claims at a cost of $7.85m for each incident. That compares with collisions, which accounted for 24 per cent of incidents and costs, and fixed and floating object claims which accounted for 64 per cent of incidents but 33 per cent of claims.

There’s money in them thar ills.

When the pilot boarded the Tundra he did not have up-to-date information regarding the buoys he intended to use for navigation. One buoy has been removed, which was not necessarily going to be problem since the next buoy had distinctly different characteristics than the missing device and the pilot would have recognised the situation and adjusted accordingly. He did not have a documented passage plan – his was in his laptop. Continue reading »