Feb 092016
 

As yet MAC has not tracked down an investigation report on this incident. It understood to have involved the German-flagged chemical/products tanker Jana and the Antigua and Barbuda flagged containership Herm Kiepe in 2011 on the Kiel Canal. Herme Kiepe has since changed its name to Leone P as of August 2013.

What do you think happened? Let us know in the comments section below.

Nov 182014
 

Over the past few years the industry has tried to bring order to the problem of misdeclared container weights, and issue that presets seriosu hazardous to the lives of seafarers and their ships but that doesn’t stop attempts to fraudulently change indicators of container weight, as the   the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau, IMB, has revealed. It’s worth keeping an eye on those boxes.

The incident uncovered by IMB concerned a container of aluminium scrap in which the information outside the box was tampered with to show false weight and size. An IMB member highlighted the case after being notified of a significant weight shortage on the container, which arrived in the Far East from the Middle East.

During the investigation that followed, the member noted that the tare weight of the container, as shown on its door – and used by the shipper – was 3,680kg. The cube, also shown on the door, was 2,700 cubic feet.

The numbers displayed were entirely acceptable for a 40 foot container. However the box in question was a 20 foot one. Continue reading »

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.

Continue reading »

Jul 012014
 

lostcontainersBy and large container shippers like their boxes to arrive at their destinations, so do shipping lines, it isn’t just a matter of financial loss and inconvenience. Boxes that fall off ships can remain afloat for six months, a hazard to navigation and potential threats to the environment. But how many boxes are actually out there?

Nobody seems to know for sure. Although the Through Transport Club says that less than two thousand boxes are lost every year a figure of 10,000 is often cited in the press and elsewhere, a number which the World Shipping Council strongly disputes.

Given the ever increasing size of containerships the chances are that while the number of vessels losing boxes may get smaller the number lost in single incidents, like that of MOL Comfort and MSC Napoli could increase. The biggest single loss so far is that of the Svendborg Maersk which lost 520 containers in storms in the Bay of Biscay in February this year. Continue reading »

Jun 302014
 

EUGEN MÆRSKDid it fall or was it pushed? Investigators are not sure whether a fire in collapsed containers aboard the 11,000 teu Eugene Maersk on 18 June 2013 was a result of friction heat during the collapse or whether there was an existing smaller fire in a container before the collapse. They are certain that in both scenarios the collapse of containers was considered a major contributing factor to the fire.

Fighting the fire might have been easier if the available equipment was appropriate to the job. In the crew’s opinion there was no doubt about the importance of getting water inside the burning containers but  the special
equipment provided on board for this purpose proved to be of little or no use.

Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation Board, DMAIB, says: “The reason for the collapse of containers leading up to the fire was most likely a combination of multiple factors, including the structural integrity of the containers, the weather conditions, the stack weights, the lashings and dynamic forces acting on the ship.

Continue reading »

Jun 162014
 
rimac

Assumptions led to collision

Merely responding “Okay” isn’t the best way of ensuring that the other vessel actually understands your intentions. And, as Germany’s Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung, BSU report into the collision between xontainerships CMV CCNI Rimac and CMV CSAV Petorca near the port of Yangshan, China, shows:  Assume nothing.

Under conditions of reduced visibility at 1148, on 21 June 2011, VTS Yangshan, told the Petorca that she was outside the fairway and that a vessel in the fairway was approaching her. Petorca  acknowledged the information and told the traffic centre that she intended to return to the northern part of the fairway immediately after the outbound ship  passed. She did not mention the ship by name but was referring to the Rimac. VTS Yangshan repeated the information from the Petorca and acknowledged her intentions.

Rimac called VTS Yangshan about 15 seconds later and asked about the oncoming vessel now some 1.5 nm away. The Petorca heard this query and requested the Rimac to maintain her course at 1150. Petorca intended to alter her course a  little further to port. Continue reading »

Jun 142014
 
Image courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

Image courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

At long last the IMO Safety Committee is expected to adopt new regulations demanding container weighing at its Autumn session this year despite much opposition from some quarters. Mis-declared weights and uncertainty have led to a variety of serious accidents, ranging from stack collapse and loss of containers overboard to bringing ships to grief.

Denmark’s Maritime Agency says: ” It is a milestone that the IMO has now approved international SOLAS regulations. The regulations ensure that a container is not loaded without its weight having been verified in accordance with specific regulations and without the shipper having informed the ship and the loading terminal about this”.

Incidents such as the foundering of the MSC Napoli and the MOL Comfort, the collapse of container stacks on the Husky Racer and Annabella have all helped drive the new regulations.

At the same time, container ships are getting larger and larger it has become of even greater importance to the ship’s stability and hull integrity that exact weight data are available about the cargo.

It is possible to determine the correct weight of a container in two ways. Either by weighing the loaded container at an approved weighing station, or by ensuring that the individual elements in the container are weighed and added to the container’s own weight.

Relevant Podcasts

The Case of the Bendy Boxer

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Container Shifters To Get Bloody Knuckles For Napoli Grounding?

Husky Racer: Toppled Boxes Top Heavy Due to Software Glitch

Container Scanning – EU Urges the Starbucks Strategy

Smelly Containers and Dodgy Engines

 

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 »

Jan 292011
 

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 »