Jan 202016
 

Agatha Christie would have been proud of it:  On the morning of 23 July 2015 the chemical-Product tanker Selandia Swan was on passage from Scheveningen, Netherlands to Ust-Luga, Russia through the North Sea with the Third Officer on watch without a lookout. During the 1000 crew break for coffee and tea and AB went to the bridge to make an internet phone call to speak to his family.

On the bridge the AB went to the port side of the centre console to use the cordless telephone. He did note the third officer. There was no answer when the AB called out that he was using the phone but assumed the officer was at the chart table or in the toilet.  As he spoke he walked around the bridge and realised the third officer was not there.

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Nov 072014
 

…Not yet, except in the imagination of researchers at Tehran-based RTS Ideas which had developed and claims to have tested a search and rescue drone in the Caspian Sea. Equipped with deployable lifebouys, cameras and infra-red sensors for night time use, the drone in development appears to be targetted at coastal areas but shipboard and offshore utilisation could become possible.

Presently the device has a range of 4.5 kilometres and is operated by a lifeguard using radio control.

Says the company: “Pars is an Aerial robot designed and made for saving human lives. The first purpose of building the robot is the relief of people drowning near coastlines. By developing its applications, it can be used in ships and off shore reliefs. It can also be used in other applications such as monitoring of marine and off shore structures, recording films and pictures from dangerous path ways for rescue missions, precise positioning. One of the features of this robot is Ability to save more than one life in a mission it can also track its path by GPS positioning and at the end of its mission it can come back home without the need of user guidance.”

(Video below)

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Jul 012014
 

SeaMelodyWe’ve all had them: Those moments of thoughtlessness when knowledge, experience and even reason seem to take a holiday and we get hurt and kick ourselves for doing something we knew to be unsafe but didn’t think about it and wonder why we did so. Sergey Gaponov will not be wondering why he stepped on a bight of rope: He was pulled overboard and has not be found.

Sergey was a crewman on the general cargo ship Sea Melody. He was a 40 year old Russian able seaman and had obtained a Certificate of Competency as a rating, forming part of a navigational watch, in 2002. This was his third consecutive tour of duty on Sea Melody which he had re-joined in November 2013. He was well regarded by his shipmates and had received positive reports on his conduct and ability during his time on the ship.

Sea Melody had discharged her cargo of steel products at Groveport on the River Trent and was required to move to another berth to load another cargo. At the time mandatory pilotage was not required for vessels moving from one berth to another.  letter of guidance to the master from the port operator did not cover berth-to-berth movement.

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Jul 012014
 

MOBGuidelines to help shipowners comply with a new International Maritime Organization regulation requiring ship-specific plans and procedures for the recovery of persons from the water, have been launched today by the International Chamber of Shipping.

Under the new SOLAS Regulation, from 1 July 2014 all ships are now required to develop plans and procedures identifying both equipment to be used for recovery purposes and measures to minimise the risk to shipboard personnel involved in recovery operations.

ICS Marine Director, John Murray, says: “This guidance outlines practical steps that shipowners and  may wish to consider when developing the necessary plans and procedures, including advice that existing on board equipment may be identified as suitable for the recovery of persons from the water.  In the majority of cases, the carriage of additional dedicated equipment will probably be unnecessary.” Continue reading »

Jan 242013
 
Position of when the wave hit.

Position of Nikolai Nedoliz when the wave hit.

A dangerous work practice, lack of knowledge of how to recover a man in the water and no life jacket meant that 35 year-old Nikolai Nedoliz had little chance to survive when a wave swamped the stern of the fishing vessel Zenith i29 miles south east of Kilkeel,

Says the MAIB in its analysis: “Nikolai Nedoliz lost his life while carrying out an intrinsically unsafe task which had become custom and practice on board Zenith over time. The task of manually spreading the bridles and net wings apart during hauling was only carried out to speed up the following shooting process and did not need to be carried out at all”.

The practice of working from the top rail was clearly unsafe, and it was only a matter of time before it led to an accident. Falling from the rail into the sea or onto the deck was not the only danger this task presented; the act of manually pushing bridle wires and net wings apart as they wound on to the net drum could also have resulted in being dragged into the revolving drums.

Other crew members saw the wave approaching from the stern they shouted forcefully to Mr Nedoliz several times to get down from the top rail. However, Mr Nedoliz looked uncomprehendingly at his colleagues and remained in position. The wave swamped the vessel’s stern and carried Mr Nedoliz from the top rail and into the sea.

Mr Nedoliz demonstrated a severe lack of self-preservation by standing on the top rail and ignoring his colleagues’ warning shouts.

A life-ring was thrown into the sea. It landed about 2m from the man in the water, whose face was blue and was swimming weakly was unable to reach it. The vessel was manoeuvred alongside Mr Nedolitz and an attached was made to assist him using a prawn rake. The attempt failed and Mr. Nedolitz sank under the water and did not reappear.

Historically, very few skippers have complied with the regulations regarding onboard emergency training and, as a result, a very small number of fishermen have experienced the benefit of dedicated training and emergency drills on their own vessels. Zenith was no exception to this, and no training or drills for emergencies had been carried out on board the vessel.

MOB retrieval equipment was onboard that might have made the casualty’s recovery easier and quicker, and had been for eight years, but no-one aboard knew it was there. No lanyard was attached to the life ring thrown towards the casualty so he could not have been pulled back on board even if he had reached the ring.

The vessel was not equipped with a boat hook or any other means of holding an incapacitated casualty alongside nor was there plan for the recovery of either a conscious or an incapacitated casualty from the water.

Inevitably, Mr. Nedolitz was no wearing a lifejacket that might not only have kept him afloat the MAIB report: “long enough for rescue but may also have reduced the effects of cold shock on his heart.

Says MAIB: “Although the provision of lifejackets or other PFDs on board Zenith was mandatory, legislatively there was no requirement for the crew to wear one when working on deck. However, that did not prevent the owners from identifying such need under their duty of care, and insisting that PFDs were worn on board their vessels. Zenith’s owners did make inflatable lifejackets available, but made no obligation upon crew members to wear them”.

The MAIB has investigated numerous fatal accidents involving crew going overboard from fishing vessels. A common theme in many of these accidents has been the difficulty the crew experienced in recovering the casualty back on board. A few of the accidents bearing similarities to the one that occurred on Zenith include:

• 9 October 2010, a crewman was dragged overboard by fishing gear from Flying Cloud2. His colleagues had great difficulty in recovering him back on board although he was still alive when initially retrieved alongside the vessel.
• 11 November 2009, a crewman was dragged overboard from Osprey III3. His colleagues were unable to recover him on board despite him being alive alongside the vessel for several minutes.
• 6 November 2009, a crewman standing on a catch sorting tray almost level with the bulwark top rail, fell overboard from Korenbloem4. Two crewmen jumped overboard in rough sea conditions and, with the help of colleagues, recovered the casualty back on board. However, the casualty did not survive.
• 12 February 2009, a crewman was lost from the fishing vessel Maggie Ann5 when he went overboard while standing on a bulwark top rail during a routine hauling operation.
• 13 September 2007, a crewman was dragged overboard from Apollo6. The crew had great difficulty in recovering him back on board despite him being alive when initially taken alongside the vessel.

No form of PFD was worn by any of the casualties in these accidents.

During the period 2000-2011 (inclusive) 34 fatal MOB accidents occurred from UK registered fishing vessels during normal deck working operations7 where the casualties were not wearing any form of PFD.

Read the report

See Also

Wear That Lifejacket, Save Your Family Some Grief

Fishing Fatalities: Time To Stop Shrugging Shoulders

Too Proud To Wear A Lifejacket? Here’s What It Means For Your Family

MFV Janireh Another No-lifejacket Fatality

MCA Urges ‘Wear Lifejackets’

Deadly Bights Are Deadlier Without Lifejackets

MCIB: MOB Mystery, Wasn’t Wearing Lifejacket

Lessons from Bantry Bay fishing tragedy

Patriot: Dead Seafarers Did Not Wear Lifejackets

Ever Elite MOB Fatality – Lessons From A Systemic Death

BSU Releases MOB Report – No Lifejacket, Again

Safety Alert – MOB, Lifejackets, Hazard Assessment and Wear

Will Your PFD Snag?

Does Scottish trawler tragedy highlight call for life jacket redesign?

Flying Cloud MOB Fatality, Separation, Knives and Lifejacket Might Have Saved Life

Booze, Lack of PPE Led To Fatal MOB

 

 

 

Jan 142013
 
Galley/mess area looking aft (Photo:MAIB)

Galley/mess area looking aft (Photo:MAIB)

Poor sanitation conditions and an ignored recommendation after a previous man-overboard incident led to the loss of a crewmember aboard the British-registered scalloper St Amanti, suggests a new report from the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch. A number of deficiencies identified by the Maritime And Coastguard Agency prior to the incident had not been confirmed rectified.

Says MAIB:”The condition and the standard of housekeeping on board St Amant at the time of the accident were found to be poor. The large number of deficiencies that were identified during various Maritime and Coastguard Agency surveys and inspections indicated that St Amant’s owner, skipper and crewmen had an extremely poor attitude to establishing and maintaining a safe working environment on board the vessel. The written risk assessments for the operation of the vessel were also found
to be inadequate; precautions which might have prevented this accident were not put into practice”. Continue reading »

Dec 222012
 
Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board has released reports on two separate incidents of note: A fatal accident in which a fisherman became separated from his lifejacket after his small boat came to grief in Lough Corrib, County Galway and the sinking of MFV Jeanette Roberta off Glandore Harbour, County Cork.

In the first case  on 19th March 2012 two men, who were both wearing life jackets, went angling in an 18ft open boat on Lough Corrib. During the afternoon the boat was struck by a large wave and both men were thrown into the water and were separated from the boat. One man swam to an island and eventually raised the alarm. The other man became separated from his lifejacket.

Both men were airlifted to Galway University Hospital by helicopter, one man was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other was reported suffering from hypothermia. Continue reading »

Nov 242011
 

Permanent searail installed after the incident

Auto-inflating lifejackets had been abandoned on the seiner Erika because water ondeck repeatedly caused them to inflate. As a result, when a seafarer was swept overboard between a sea rail and a gunwhale  by a sliding seine net at night in cold seas, he stood little chance of survival.

A manually-operated lifejacket might have given him the edge.

Equally important, the incident highlights the need to properly assess the safety impact of changes made to vessels.

The Danish Marine Accident Investigation Board, which had recently released its investigation into the incidents says: “On 27 February 2011, the seiner Erika was fishing for capelin on the fishing grounds west of Iceland. At 21.00 LT, while securing the third throw of the seine for the day, one fisherman fell overboard. The remaining crew were able to recover the fisherman, but he was uconscious, and it was not possible to resuscitate him. A doctor was hoisted on board Erika from a rescue helicopter, and the doctor declared the fisherman dead”.

The report concludes: Continue reading »

Nov 072011
 

Discovery - unsafe practices cost lives and put her on the rocks

Safety issues on single operator fishing boats have been highlighted by the release of a joint report on MOB accidents involving two such vessels.

The single-handed skippers of FV Discovery and FV Breadwinner were lost overboard in October 2010 and January 2011. Risks were not adequately accounted for in either case.

While there were differences in the circumstances that led to each of these fatal
accidents, both occurred as a direct result of the working practices that were being
used.

There have been 13 recorded fatalities on UK creel fishing vessels since the beginning of 2007, 9 of which were a result of either falling or being dragged overboard with the gear.

Of these 9 fatalities, 7 were single-handed fishing operations, with no one to witness the accident or provide assistance.
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