Bad, confusing design is a hazard we don’t hear about very much but in an emergency the difference between good design and bad design may be the narrow gap between success and tragedy. Take a look at the picture at the top of this page: Can you immediately tell which tags to pull to cut off fuel and which to pull to activate the CO2 fire suppression system? In the dark? In rough weather? In a hurry?
Three men lay more than a hundred yards from the thick torn metal that once covered the top forward ballast tank, they were dead.
In the gathering darkness, in the roughening seas around the ship, the bodies of four other men were being carried away on the current, three of them never to be found. Inside the gray powder-coated ballast tank, burned and injured one man lived. He would not survive his injuries.
The last sound he heard, if he heard it, before the massive explosion may have been the quiet pop of a light-bulb breaking…
Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority is investigation the fall of an umanned lifeboat from the rig Maersk Giant during a test in which a wire rope broke, dropping the lfeboat which then drifted underneath the facility. Later the lifeboat drifted away from Mærsk Giant with an emergency vessel as escort.
She’s powerful, unpredictable and pushy. If you don’t keep a firm hold it could mean a rocky relationship gets very deadly.
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Let’s talk about Chandra. That’s not his real name but he was a real master, 44 years old with 27 years seafaring experience and seven years as a master.
The Coop Venture His vessel was the Coop Venture, a Panamanian registered Panamax bulk carrier of 36,080 gross tones witha crew of four Indians and 15 Filipinos. She carried a cargo of
40,280 metric tones of corn from New Orleans, United States, to Shibushi Bay in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan.
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 review.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.