Feb 172016
 

At 2215 local time on 12 August, 2014, the outbound bulk carrier Flag Gangos collided with the berthed oil tanker Pamisos on the Mississippi River at Gretna, Louisiana. Flag Gangos then made contact with a pier at the facility where the Pamisos was berthed, and the pier struck and damaged a fuel barge, WEB235, berthed behind the Pamisos. No one was injured, but about 1,200 gallons of oil that was being transferred at the time spilled from the transfer lines, and some of the oil entered the river. Damage amounts were reported as $16 million for the terminal, more than $500,000 each for the Flag Gangos and the Pamisos, and about $418,000 for the fuel barge.

Yet moments before the steering vanished it appeared to be working fine.

US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, investigators discovered the dirty secret of the Flag Gangos,

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Apr 082015
 

When it comes to safe navigation,
if you don’t ask a question right
you’re not asking the right question and
you won’t get the right answer.


Read the transcript

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Feb 182015
 

At about midnight on the evening of 7/8 July 2014 the ro-ro ferry Stena Nautica with 155 passengers onboard suddenly decided it wanted to go hard starboard while departing from Grenaa Port, Denmark. Since she had not cleared the breakwater the result was a contact incident which put holes in her hull below the waterline and much denting. No-one was hurt but to go by the accident investigation by Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation Board, DMAIB, it appears to have been another design-assisted accident.

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Dec 162014
 

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.
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Nov 102014
 

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 »

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Nov 102014
 

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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Oct 062014
 

Untitled Much bandwidth has been expended on social media, including MAC’s Maritime Investigation group on LinkedIn, following the collision between the German-flagged Hapag-Lloyd Colombo Express and the Singapore-flagged Maersk Tanjong at the northern end of the Suez Canal on 29 September. Captured on a mobile phone, the incident caused serious disruption to canal operations, dunked several containers overboard, and put a 20 metre dent in the port side of Colombo Express.

No-one was hurt there was no environmental impact and both vessels were able to continue on to an anchorage to await recovery of the lost containers and investigators from the Suez Canal Authority.

Even at this early stage there may be lessons to be learned.

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Jun 302014
 

MSFAs the incidents listed below show, this light touch, outlined in the latest safety alert from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, could have been far, far worse. A too-hard thrust astern fortunately led to nothing more serious than a few scratches on paintwork, but the dynamic situation that the chief officer concerned was facing might have deserved a second look eve when other safety procedures have been checked out..

Says the alert from an MSF member: ” We have recently had an incident where one of our vessels made very slight contact with an installation. The vessel was called in to carry out cargo operations.

“All company and client 500 metre checks were completed and they were then given permission to enter the 500 metre zone. The chief officer was going to be driving during this operation, and he carried out the required 10 minute set up period.

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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 »

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