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.

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Ireland Gets First Go With EMSA MAR-ICE

 container accident, containership, EMSA, publications  Comments Off on Ireland Gets First Go With EMSA MAR-ICE
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.

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Aurora – Simone Backender: Not Enough Lookout, Too Many Assumptions

 Accident, Accident report, collision, containership, fishing boat,  Comments Off on Aurora – Simone Backender: Not Enough Lookout, Too Many Assumptions
Jan 282010
 
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Aurora bridge team believe Simone was running parallel course

Officers aboard the 134.44 metre LOA containership Aurora saw the lights of the 12.02 metre fishing vessel Simone, assumed that the vessel was on a parallel northward course and that there was no threat of collision. They were as wrong as the skipper of Simone who looked past his deck lights, which were on, to the stern of his vessel saw only darkness, and assumed there was no threat. Those assumptions were proven wrong when Aurora ran into the stern of Simone.

It seems likely that the officers on Aurora saw the stern light of Simone, which was on auto pilot, forward to port but the glare of the fishing vessel’s deck lights may have hidden her navigation lights, leading to a perception that she was on a parallel course. They saw her on radar but did not plot her course. Simone’s starboard light was spotted shortly before the collision, it was assumed that she was turning across Aurora’s bow and avoiding action was taken but too late to avoid contact.

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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.

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Accident Report – Karin Schepers and the Stranger on the Bridge

 Accident report, alcohol, containership, fatigue, grounding  Comments Off on Accident Report – Karin Schepers and the Stranger on the Bridge
Aug 082009
 
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A stranger told him the vessel had grounded

“He first realized that the ship was aground when a man he did not know came on the bridge.”

So says the Danish Maritime Authority report on the grounding of the containership Karin Schepers on 22 March 2009. The only good news in the incident is, according to the report: “The passage planning was found to be conducted in a satisfactory manner.”

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MAIB: Boxer Missed Opportunity “Regrettable”

 boxship, containership  Comments Off on MAIB: Boxer Missed Opportunity “Regrettable”
Aug 052009
 
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MSC Napoli aft at Harland & Wolff

Britain’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has described as ‘regrettable’ the reluctance of the container industry to tackle what it believes is a ‘widespread fallacy’ that container vessels do not need to reduce speed for heavy weather. The comment is part of the MAIB annual report for 2008 which describes correcting the fallacy as ‘critical’ following the report on the structural failure and subsequent beaching in heavy weather of MSC Napoli in Branscombe Beach on 18 January 2007.

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Communication, Cosco Busan And Sex With A Duck

 allision, containership, maritime accidents, NTSB, Oakland, oil spill, pilotage  Comments Off on Communication, Cosco Busan And Sex With A Duck
May 092009
 

What, you might wonder, would bring together the NTSB, the IMO, the contact of  the Cosco Busan with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a senior loan officer at a bank in Spokane, Washington, having sexual relations with a Mallard duck?

The NTSB has just released the full report of the Cosco Busan incident and among the issues is that of communications, problems of which are involved in about one in five maritime incidents.

That’s why it is good practice to confirm that information has been understood and that its importance is appreciated.

On the Cosco Busan the voyage data recorder recorded the following conversation between the Pilot and the Master:

Pilot:  “What are these… ah… red [unintelligible]?”
The master responded, “This is on bridge.”

The pilot then said to the master, “I couldn’t figure out what the red light… red… red triangle was.”

The Pilot took this to mean that the red triangles marked the centre of the span when, in fact they indicated the buoys marking the bridge support which the ship later hit. The Master did not realise the importance of the question.

Later, as things unravelled:

Pilot: [unintelligible] you said this was the center of the bridge.
Master: Yes.
Pilot: No, this is the center. That’s the tower. This is the tower. That’s why we hit it. I thought that was the center.
Master: It’s a buoy. [unintelligible] the chart.
Pilot: Yeah, see. No, this is the tower. I asked you if that was [unintelligible]. . . .
Captain, you said it was the center.
Master: Cen… cen… cen… center.
Pilot: Yeah, that’s the bridge pier [expletive]. I thought it was the center.

Says the NTSB report “Shortly after this conversation, the master can be heard saying, in Mandarin, “He should have known—this is the center of the bridge, not the center of the channel.”

In many Asian cultures ‘yes’ does not necessarily mean an affirmative, oner can pick from a range of meanings that would not naturally occur to a Westerner.

(The curiosities and confusion of language are touched upon in Bob Couttie’s new, lighthearted book, Chew The Bones, which you can buy from Amazon and the proceed of which will help support MAC)

In a recommendation letter to US Coast Guard commander Thad Allen the NTSB wrote: “The Safety Board therefore recommends that the Coast Guard propose to the IMO that it include a segment on cultural and language differences and their possible influence on mariner performance in its bridge resource management curricula.”

It’s tempting to think that closely allied languages like English and American present less opportunity for confusion, but you would be wrong. Take this example from Snopes’ wonderful Urban Legend site:

“Armstrong proceeded to shag ducks…”

You can read the rest of the story here. While mallards are known to have a somewhat ‘out there’ sex life, sex acts between humans and 10 days old ducklings are further out than most would want to go.

Apparently ‘to shag’ in American means to catch baseballs, to us Brits it has a rather different connotation.

The lesson is clear: communication is transmitting information, receiving information and understanding information. It’s vital to double each each part of that process, that the communication is understood and verified.

Otherwise, you could end up being shagged by lawyers, and not like a duck.

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Cosco Busan Update

 accident reporting, allision, bridge, containership  Comments Off on Cosco Busan Update
Sep 202008
 

Our good feiwend John Konrad of the great gCaptain site sent us the following email. It’s certainly worth clicking the clicks:

It’s been a few months since I sent those interested in the Cosco Busan an email. My apologies, the incident in New Orleans has been time consuming. As you might have seen on our blog, we recently had the privilege to reprint an article Paul Drouin wrote for Seaways magazine. (LINK: http://gcaptain.com/maritime/blog/pilotage-paradox/ )

Our friend Professor Kurt Schwehr helped us with some of the initial AIS analysis and has compiled the radar images of the incident on his blog. Take a look:  http://schwehr.org/blog/archives/2008-09.html#e2008-09-19T10_39_48.txt

Meanwhile, John Upton of the San Francisco Examiner give us an update on the Cosco Busan detainees here:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Cosco_Busan_pilot_wants_Chinese_crew_members_kept_in_US.html

John is the only journalist - indeed the only person in 'liberal' San Francisco, taking an interest in the situation regarding the Cosco Busan detainees, who haven't been charged but are being held as 'material witnesses' contrary to the IMO's upcoming code of conduct and internationally recognised fair treatment of seafarers.

Maybe the detainees have reason to wonder why 'freedom fries' are so called.
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