Seastreak Investigation Updates

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Jan 262013
NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

Updates have been released by the US National Transportation Safety Board  on the investigation into the 9 January accident in New York City involving the Seastreak Wall Street ferry.

The engine manufacturer has arrived on-scene and investigators were able to download alarm and parametric data stored on engine control modules in each of the two engine compartments. In addition, investigators retrieved video from several onboard cameras. All of this information is being analyzed.

Investigators also tested the vessel’s steering systems and the tests were satisfactory.

The investigative team have started to conduct static testing of the main engines and control systems. Continue reading »


Ramona/Railway Bridge Contact: “Existing regulations and practices not adequate”

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Jan 152013
Damage to the bridge

Damage to the bridge

An investigation into a contact incident between the cargo ship Ramona and a railway bridge on 28 March 2012 has revealed a number of indications that existing regulations and practices are not adequate to ensure safe navigation through Danish bridges. Furthermore, there is a need for Rail Net Denmark and the relevant maritime bodies to have a dialogue on common issues says Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation board, DMAIB.

Says the report: “The cargo ship Ramona sailed into the Railway Bridge on 28 March 2012 at 2226 hours. There were no injuries, but very serious material damage to the bridge and minor damage to the ship.

It had been agreed between the ship and the bridge keeper that passage could take place at 2226 hours. The time matched the train traffic across the bridge and the ship’s speed was adjusted accordingly. The bridge keeper’s disposition of the timing up to the passage at 2226 hours was based on specific attention to a train crossing the Railway Bridge and his experience and routine with the typical timing in connection with bascule openings and ship passages. This led to a very narrow time margin from the train crossing the Railway Bridge to the immediately subsequent opening process for the vessel’s intended passage through the bridge.

The ship sailed faster than predicted by the bridge keeper and arrived at the Railway Bridge earlier than the bascule could be opened. When the bridge keeper noticed this and informed the ship that it had to stop, the ship was too close to the bridge to do so.
The light signals on the Railway Bridge had no effect on the master’s dispositions and manoeuvres as they were not turned on while there was still time and room to manoeuvre. Therefore the master decided to adhere to the verbal agreement on the time of passage”.

Download Report




NTSB To Investigate Overseas Reymar Contact

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Jan 082013

ntsbThe US National Transportation Safety Board today announced it is investigating a contact incident on Monday between the oil tanker Overseas Reymar and one of the supports of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while under pilotage.

The NTSB named Barry Strauch as the investigator-in-charge. Strauch will coordinate with the US Coast Guard, which classified the accident today as a “major marine casualty,” because the incident exceeded the threshold of more than $500,000 in property damage.

The NTSB investigated a similar accident in 2007, when the container ship Cosco Busan hit the Bay Bridge and spilled thousands of gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay. In the Cosco Busan accident, the NTSB determined that a medically unfit pilot, an ineffective master, and poor communications between the two were the cause of the accident. Investigators will be reviewing the circumstances of yesterday’s accident in light of the safety recommendations made following the Cosco Busan accident.


Grand Rodosi/Apollo S – Astern Warning

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Jan 072013
Nobody checked the engines were going astern

Nobody checked the engines were going astern

Keen darts players will envy the precision with which the Liberian-registered Grand Rodosi neatly speared the, fortunately unmanned, Australian-registered  tuna fishing boat Apollo S, crushed her against the berth and sank her in Port Lincoln on 8 October 2010. It happened because no-one on the bridge or in the engine control room was ensuring that the main engine was doing what they thought it was doing.

In this case, according to the recently released Australian Transport Safety Board, ATSB, report on the incident the chief engineer, who was operating the main engine start/fuel lever in the engine room control room, did not allow sufficient time for starting air to stop the ahead running engine. Consequently, when fuel was introduced into the engine, it continued to run ahead, despite the astern telegraph orders.

Orders had been given to set the main engine astern and the orders confirmed but just because an order is given and confirmed it doesn’t necessarily mean that the ship is doing what it’s expected to do. It’s wise to monitor that the ship is doing what you told it to do: An engineroom alarm complained that the main engine was still going ahead. A tachometer on the bridge also indicated that the engine was still running ahead.  Nobody saw them. Continue reading »


Collision: Aarsleff Jack III/ Johanna – Spuds and Manuals

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Jan 052013
An unexpected surprise

An unexpected surprise

Spud barge Aarsleff Jack III left a nasty pile behind while on an easterly course  in the South of Gedser Traffic Separation Scheme, TSS, in the western Baltic Sea. Three hours later a containership, Johanna, made contact with the piles, holing her above the waterline.

In the early afternoon of 18 December 2011, the tug Westsund was towing the barge.  During the tow operation one spud pile – barge leg – on the barge came loose, lowered itself, hit the seabed and broke off. Later that afternoon, another spud pile came loose and lowered itself to the seabed, resulting in the barge grounding. After an unsuccessful attempt to repair the jack-up unit holding the spud pile, the second spud pile including a pontoon broke off. Continue reading »


Contact: Pride of Calais – Misdiagnosis, Delayed Alert

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Jul 132012

Late alert left master with few options

“A delay in informing the bridge team about the loss of control air, denied the master valuable time in which to assess the alternative courses of action available. The investigation also identified that the applicable onboard emergency situation check cards contained insufficient detail, and that the machinery breakdown drills that had been conducted were unlikely to prepare the crew for the scenario which unfolded on the day of the accident” says the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigation into the heavy contact between the ferry Pride of Calais and the berth at Calais, France.

Pride of Calais lost propulsion when all three main engine clutches disengaged in very quick succession. The loss of propulsion came at a critical point as the vessel was still making good 4.3kts and was only about one ship’s length from her berth. Although letting go the starboard anchor reduced the vessel’s speed to 2.5kts, it did not prevent her striking the berth. Says the report: “The use of both anchors might have been more effective”.

The report highlights the importance of drills to build skills to deal with this sort of situation but recognised potential difficulties with doing so: “the opportunities to conduct  realistic machinery breakdown drills on board  Pride of Calais are severely restricted by the vessel’s operation in the congested waters of the
Dover Strait. Nonetheless, ‘hands on’ drills are unquestionably the best way to train crews to deal effectively with emergency situations and to verify the logic and usefulness of the check cards provided. Therefore, further consideration on how realistic drills can be achieved is warranted”.

Download the MAIB report on Pride of Calais

Feb 272012

Costa Concordia : IMO is watching

Preliminary results of the Italian administration’s investigation into the Cost Concordia are expected to be present at the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which meets for its 90th session from 16-25 May this year.

Italian authorities allowed the IMO to be represented as an observer on the body overseeing the casualty investigation in order to monitor progress closely and remain abreast of emerging issues, as they arise.

Italy provides for one central commission, the Marine Casualty Investigation Central Board which is under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, and a number of local commissions dealing with marine casualty investigation. The members of the local commissions are appointed by the harbour masters which, as members of the Coast Guard, are part of the maritime administration; the commission members are partly deployed by the maritime administration through the Coast Guard and partly by experts not necessarily of administrational background.

Italy has no full-time maritime casualty investors but does have four employees who have other duties as well as ad hoc investigators who can be appointed from outside.

Three days after the Costa Concordia tragedy ​IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu urged Italian authorities to “carry out the casualty investigation covering all aspects of this accident and provide the findings to the IMO under the provisions of SOLAS as soon as possible.”

He has included an additional item on “Passenger Ship Safety” on the agenda of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which meets for its 90th session from 16-25 May this year. This will provide an opportunity for IMO members in the MSC to consider any issues arising. Sekimizu has also urged all IMO Member States to ensure that their current national safety regulations and procedures are being implemented fully and effectively, including those aiming at ensuring safe operations on board.

Sekimizu also opened a channel of communication with passenger ship operators through the Cruise Lines International Association,CLIA, immediately following the Costa Concordia accident.

CLIA itself has launched a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review , the first outcome of which is a new emergency drill policy requiring mandatory musters for embarking passengers prior to departure from port.  This new muster drill policy, voluntarily initiated by the associations’ members, exceeds current legal requirements, which mandate a muster of passengers occur within 24 hours of passenger embarkation.
Mre recommendations are expected to follow.



CMA CGM Platon Contact: Pilot Had Port Too Late

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Dec 082011

Pilot applied port helm too late

CMA CGM Platon made hard contact with a quay because the well-experience pilot ordered port helm too late to prevent the vessel being taken to starboard by the tidal stream says a report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

The tug used during the unberthing operation was released shortly after the
vessel’s departure from the berth and, once control of the vessel had been
lost, there was little the pilot and bridge team could do, in the time available, to
prevent collision with the quay on the opposite riverbank.

The quay sustained superficial damage but the vessel suffered significant damage to her bow, and her forepeak tank was punctured. Fortunately there was no pollution and no-one was hurt.

An MAIB analysis concludes: “Although CMA CGM Platon’s speed through the water was about 8.5 knots, the flood tide acting on her port bow, coupled with the downdrain and wind acting on her starboard quarter, was sufficient to overcome the turning effect of the applied port helm. This resulted in the vessel unexpectedly turning to starboard.

“Although the engine was then set to ‘full astern’, the vessel’s stopping distance of 4 cables exceeded the available space ahead and she consequently made contact with the quay”. Continue reading »

Sep 242011

At 1524 (UTC) on 26 February 2011, the platform supply vessel (PSV) SBS Typhoon was undertaking functional trials of a newly installed dynamic positioning (DP) system while alongside in Aberdeen Harbour. Full ahead pitch was inadvertently applied to the port and
starboard controllable pitch propellers (CPP), causing the ship to move along the quay.

Contact was made with the standby safety vessel Vos Scout and the PSV Ocean Searcher, causing structural and deck equipment damage.

Ahead pitch was applied to the CPPs because an incorrect pitch command signal was generated by the DP system signal modules. The error was not identified during factory tests or during the pre-trial checks although the system documentation specified the correct
signal values. Actions taken on board to limit damage were hampered by a defective engine emergency stop and because a mode selector switch on the DP system was not moved to the correct position.

The following video appears to have been speeded up:

Continue reading »