Mar 082012
 

At about 1918 on 28 March 2010, a stevedore was crushed between two containers during loading operations on board the container ship Vega Gotland, while it was berthed at the Patrick Terminals’ Port Botany terminal. The stevedore, who was the lashing team leader, died instantly from the injuries he received in the accident.

The ATSB investigation found that the lashing team leader had placed himself in a position of danger and that when a twistlock foundation unexpectedly failed during the repositioning of the container, he was unable to get clear of the swinging container.

The investigation also found that the failure of the twistlock foundation was brought about by an attempt to reposition the container and was consistent with its exposure to gross overstress conditions as a result of the leverage forces applied to it by the container and the unsecured hatch cover.

The investigation identified that while the dangers of working between a moving container and a fixed object were taught to Patrick Terminals’ new employees during their induction training, the issue was not specifically covered or reinforced in the company’s safe work instructions, the hazard identification and associated risk control processes nor, in some instances, followed in practice by stevedores on board the ships in the terminal. Continue reading »

Apr 112011
 
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MSC Napoli: Stuffed by the stuffers

Overweight containers continue to present a hazard to seafarers and their ships long after the problem was brought out into open when MSC Napoli foundered. Crass excuses continue to made for what BIMCO’s Watchkeeper calls “cavalier behaviour that remains unacceptable” and what MAC would describe as venial greed.

In his latest article Watchkeeper cites a case from the Nautical Institute’s Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme:

Aboard what was described as a “large” container ship loading at its final port before an oceanic voyage, it was determined by the vessel that there had been “substantial under-declaration” in the manifested container weights being loaded at this port, which was later estimated to average out over the 350 boxes loaded at 12%. Because of this, the ship was judged to be in serious danger of grounding in the draught restricted channel on the way to the open sea.

At the last minute some 850 tons of ballast were temporarily discharged from the vessel’s heeling tanks to enable the ship to sail safely. But it was also discovered that stack weight limits had been exceeded in many of the deck stacks, as so many of these overweight containers had been loaded on the deck stowage“.

Those stuffing these containers are uninterested in the effect this overage will have on the vessel’s arrangements and terminals are reluctant to play their part in resolving it, fearing, possibly, the loss of business to more forgiving ports with less concern for the welfare of ships and their crew.

Says Watchkeeper:

…all too often container terminals seem unable or unwilling to make an issue about overweight boxes, even when these are discovered at the gate or in the terminal. Insufficient effort is made in many countries to persuade those stuffing containers that weights can be critical and should not be exceeded. But all too often the attitude of those who have hired the container is that they can keep loading it until the doors are just able to close. It is just not good enough in 2011.

Absolutely.

Read Watchkeeper

Relevant podcasts:

The Case Of The Bendy Boxer

Relevant Posts:

Dodgy Containers Put Masters, Shipowners At Sea

MAIB: Boxer Missed Opportunity “Regrettable”

Napoli – And There She Was Gone

Container Scams Endanger Seafarers

Napoli – Time To Box Clever

Container Shifters To Get Bloody Knuckles For Napoli Grounding?

MAIB hits container dangers

MAIB Report On The Napoli

MAIB Report On The Annabella


Mar 092011
 
container-end-330

This shipping container was discovered upside down on the seafloor by MBARI researchers in June 2004, four months after it was lost at sea. Researchers will revisit this site during the upcoming cruise. Image: © 2004 MBARI

Chances are that you’ve forgotten the walloping $3.25 million settlement the owners and operators of the container vessel Med Taipei paid to the United States to resolve allegations that the 15 containers lost overboard in 2004 resulted in long-term damage to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The container that was central to that settlement is still at the bottom of the bay, doing its thin at the service of science.

In February 2004, 15 containers fell overboard from the Med Taipei when the vessel was traveling on rough seas from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The containers carrieda variety of cargo – furniture, thousands of tires, several hundred thousand plastic items, miles of cyclone fencing, hospital beds, wheel chairs, recycled cardboard and clothing items. A US Coast Guard report revealed the containers were inappropriately loaded on board the vessel – there were faulty welds on anchor points for the containers, as well as missing d-rings from the deck of the vessel. Continue reading »

Jan 292011
 
Hull damage caused by oberboard containers

Hull damage caused by oberboard containers

Australia’s Transport Safety Board has released its report into the lost of containers from the containership Pacific Adventurer, the subsequent holing of the hull and subsequent pollution.

The ATSB investigation found that the most plausible explanation for Pacific
Adventurer
’s severe, and at times violent, rolling motions was synchronous rolling, as a result of the ship’s natural roll period matching that of the encounter period of the waves experienced.

While the master took action to avoid the rolling, in accordance with the guidance in the ship’s safety management system, this action was not sufficient. The option of altering the ship’s stability by adjusting the seawater ballast in its tanks, and therefore its natural roll period, as the ship made its way up the Queensland coast, was not considered.
Much of the ship’s fixed and loose lashing equipment was in a poor condition. Continue reading »

Jul 062010
 
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Martyn Haines - warns of container danger

Not infrequently, shippers are a little less than entirely forthcoming about what’s in their boxes, whether it’s how much it weighs or what’s actually inside. It puts masters and ship owners at risk but it’s a tough nut to crack, says Martyn Haines, Senior Claims Director, UK P&I Club.

The huge liabilities which can be incurred by ship owners when containers are lost overboard are frequently compounded by the problems of establishing the circumstances surrounding a particular incident and incomplete knowledge of the containers’ contents.

Continue reading »

Feb 162010
 

imageGermany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Accident Investigation, BSU, has issued its report into the collision between the containerships Marfeeder and APL Turquoise in the Wesser Estuary. The incident occured outside Bremerhaven on the morning of 1 June 2008.

The report is currently available only in German at the BSU website. Key issues are electronic navigation and bridge team management.

Feb 082010
 

BG Dublin - What was in the lost box?

Ireland became the first to use the MAR ICE system in a real-life incident last month, says the latest newsletter of the European Maritime Safety Agency.

On 12 January, the container ship BG Dublin lost seven containers in a force 10 storm off Ireland.

Debris was washed up on the southern Irish coast, with one container including the hazardous material sodium bromate. On 14 January the Irish Coastguard requested info on the substance through EMSA’s MAR-ICE service. Information was provided within less than an hour.

Continue reading »

Jan 072010
 
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System shortfall lead to top-heavy stacks

Due to ‘system shortcomings’ inaccurate container weights on a loading plan resulted in supposedly empty boxes on top of stacks aboard the 10,000 gt container feeder Husky Racer weighing as much as 30 tonnes. During discharging operations at Bremerhaven several stacks toppled over, with 18 containers going over the side from the Magellan Charter Services – owned vessel.

Maersk Line is running trials on an upgraded software package that will provide cargo planners with the declared weights of the containers. This is scheduled to be introduced in the first weeks of January 2010.

Continue reading »