Nov 262014
 
Ovit

All the key ingredients for a navigational accident were in place long before the Malta-flagged oil and chemical tanker Ovit grounded on the Varne Bank in the Dover Strait in the early morning darkness of 18 September 2013. The report on the incident from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, identifies several layers of factors, not all of them on the bridge of the Ovit, that led to the grounding without which it would not have occurred.

The vessel was equipped with a Maris 900 ECDIS supplied and installed by STT Marine Electronics in Istanbul. An installation certificate issued on 1 April 2011 indicates that all systems had been properly configured and tested. They had not.

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Nov 242014
 
bowmariner1

This week the first of a two parter on the explosion aboard the chemical tanker Bow Mariner 


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…90 minutes after Third Officer Lugen Ortilano sent that distress call, the 174 metre long chemical tanker Bow Mariner was 77 metres down on the bottom of the Atlantic, 53.5 nautical miles off the Virginia coast. Twenty one of her 27 crew were dead or dying. More than thirteen and a half million litres of ethyl alcohol, 864 thousand litres of heavy fuel oil and 216 thousand litres of diesel had entered the ecosystem leaving a trail of pollution two and a half kilometres by 56 kilometres.

The Bow Mariner and three quarters of her crew met their end because of mismanagement, ignorance, incompetence, intolerance and fraud.

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Nov 232014
 
Resceue operations underway following MTM Westport incident.

One seafarer died and two were injured on Friday, 21 November in an incident involving what appears to have been  a fast rescue   craft. It is the fourth lifeboat/FRC fatality in the past two months.

Details of the incident remain sketchy. German-language newspaper Spiegel says that the boat fell 11 metres, 30 feet, into the water from the chemical tanker MTM Westport resulting in the death of a 57 year old seafarer and injuries to two others who were thrown out of the boat on impact. The Hong-Kong-flagged vessel with officers and crew from Myanmar, Ukraine and Russia,  was at anchor in the North Sea off the Elbe estuary.

In May 2014 MTM Westport was detained in Argentine due to nine deficiencies, none involving lifeboat or FRC equipment.

 

Nov 202014
 
FVliberty

Sooner or later the chances were that someone was going to be killed aboard the 13.32 metre Irish registered FV Liberty. Given the long list of safety issues uncovered by Ireland’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB, and the fact that an earlier incident involving an injury went unreported so the conditions that resulted in the death of a seafarer on 14 February 2013 went undetected, tragedy was inevitable and preventable.

In port at Dunmore East prior to the voyage, one of the trawl nets on the vessel, supplied by the owner, was swapped for a used net supplied by the skipper. The skipper’s net had been kept in storage and had not been used since October 2012. The net was apparently changed because
it was deemed to be more suitable for the intended fishing grounds  where the vessel was going to fish. Continue reading »

Nov 172014
 
ffg

If you don’t look after your lifeboat

It won’t look after you

We want to adapt this for a seven minute video and mobile app to be distributed free of charge to seafarers. PSC surveys to hand out or show during their visits, shipping companies to their fleets, P&I Clubs to their members, seafarers organisations to their members. Video will undoubtedly be more effective at getting the messages across, however, it does cost a lot more to make to a professional standard. We need to raise a modest $5,000 to cover the cost of producing the video. If you’d like to help save seafarers lives, and address a leading cause if seafarer fatalities then check out the project here.

 

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ist engineeros.jpg

We’ll call them Paul and Butch. Not their real names but they were real people. They can no longer tell you their story.

Paul was Third Engineer and Butch was an Ordinary Seaman aboard the Lowlands Grace when she anchored in ballast nearly 12 miles off Port Hedland, Australia on the morning of the 6th of October, 2004 to wait for a cargo of iron ore for China. Continue reading »

Nov 102014
 
windcat9

November 2012 saw Michael Gallagher, master of the workboat catamaran Windcat 9 with 15 people on board when it hit a large floating military target in Donna Nook Air Weapons Range on 21 November 2012, fined £1,500 and told to pay £8,082 in costs plus a victim surcharge of £120. It was a familiar situation, with the magistrate commenting that Gallagher “should have kept a proper lookout at all times using all available means and be competent in using all his electronic navigational equipment” but i raises an issue and opportunity to get safety culture right in a new, fast-developing industry.

At the time the collision Windcat 9 was estimated to travelling around 23 knots. The hull of the Windcat 9 was badly damaged, causing extensive flooding. Luckily no one was hurt, but there could have been multiple fatalities as a result of this high speed collision which threw several passengers from their seats. Continue reading »

Nov 102014
 
bridge

Dropped objects don’t come much bigger than the Jefferson Avenue Bridge over the Rouge River about 10 kilometres southwest of Detroit, Michigan. It is not especially unusual for ships to hit bridges but fairly rare for bridges to hit ships,only fairly rare because it has happened before under similar circumstances – an impaired bridge operator.

About 0212 on May 12, 2013, the bulk carrier Herbert C. Jackson was en route to deliver a load of taconite pellets, a type of iron ore, to the Severstal ore processing terminal in Dearborn, Michigan. As the vessel approached the Jefferson Avenue Bridge, the master slowed and sounded one long and one short blast of the ship’s whistle to notify the bridge tender of the approach and request a bridge opening. While waiting, the master brought the vessel to a near-complete stop. About 0205, the master saw the bridge begin to open, and when the drawbridge was fully open and green lights were visible on each bridge section, he increased speed.

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Nov 102014
 
timingpinion

Bosun Jack was dead. His body lay under the worklights beside a pool of blood. The instrument of his death was a short distance away. One thing is certain, his killer still hunts seafarers.

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thirdofficer.jpgbosunblue.jpgabblue.jpgabblue.jpgabblue.jpg

The Bosun We’ll call him Jack. Not his real name but he was a real person. He was 56, and had been at sea for 30 years. On January 11, 2007 he was the boatswain aboard the Tasman Resolution. He knew the ship well, he’d been aboard for six weeks this time but he’d served out three previous contracts aboard her and a sister ship. Along with the chief officer he’d taught the third officer how to handle the ship’s gantry crane. The third officer, we’ll call him Charlie, was 26. He’d been aboard for 10 weeks. It was his second contract since getting his certificate of competency. There were also three ABs working with Charlie and Jack that night, Dave, Ed and Frank.

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Nov 062014
 
scorpio

At 1521 on 3 January 2014 the Liberia registered liquefied gas carrier, Navigator Scorpio, ran aground on Haisborough Sand in the North Sea. The vessel was undamaged by the grounding and there were no injuries or pollution; 2.5 hours later, it refloated on the rising tide. The investigation found that the vessel ran aground in restricted waters after the officer of the watch had become distracted and lost positional awareness. The passage plan was incomplete and the significant effects of wind and strong tidal streams had not been properly taken into account.

Given the proximity to danger, appropriate navigational techniques were not applied and the bridge manning was insufficient. Additionally, weaknesses in the crew’s navigation capability had been identified during an audit of the vessel, however, follow up actions were not sufficient to prevent the grounding.

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