Apr 032017
 

Often, when vessels capsizes, there is not enough time to say “Oh, f*&k”. Stellar Daisy, a 24-year old Very Large Ore Carrier vanished with minutes of sending a standard daily report. At this time, only two of the ship’s 24 officers and crew have been found alive. Two empty lifeboats and a liferaft, ship’s debris and surface fuel oil are reported to have been found in the vicinity of her last known position. SAR efforts continue with the help of four merchant vessels.

The vessel was carrying iron ore from Brazil to China when it disappeared at about 02.52 GMT, 11.53 local time, on 31 March some 350 nautical north-west off Tristan Da Cunha reportedly under fine weather conditions.

It is understood that liquefaction played a key role in the capsize, investigations are at a very early stage but the suddenness of the disappearance, the lack of survivors and the empty LSAs are typical of liquefaction-induced capsize. Port State Control examinations suggest that the 24-year-old vessel had a fairly clean bill of health with no detentions although Chinese PSC authorities identified two deficiencies related to water-tight doors, which investigators will be studying.

Liquefaction is the phenomenon by which, under certain circumstances, a dry bulk cargo typically an ore, and often iron ore fines, behaves like a liquid. When the vessel rolls to one side the liquefied cargo moves to the lower side of the vessel, then lock in place as a mass, producing a list. An opposite roll can re-liquefy the cargo.  One may have as little as 90 seconds to identify and mitigate the problem before it becomes irrecoverable.

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Apr 032017
 

Rather like Britain’s excellent NHS we had hoped to make MAC available free at the point of delivery. It was a business model that depended on financial support from the industry. It is not a practical business model for the maritime industry, although it has been successful elsewhere.

From 15 May MAC will only be available on a paid subscription basis.

Thank you for your understanding and feel free to take advantage of MAC until then.

Mar 022016
 

Murders at sea may be the stuff of seafarers tales but they do happen. When three mysterious deaths occur in just a few weeks aboard a ship under the command of a self-confessed gun-runner and allegedly physically abusive master trying to prevent complaints by his crew reaching the authorities it is inevitable that the possibility of murder is taken seriously.

Like any other random event, accidents can and do happen in clusters that suggest a pattern even when there is no common link between them. Such may be so in the case of the fatalities aboard Sage Sagittarius, a Panama-flagged bulker of 73,430 gross tonnes built in 2001. It will be up to a New South Wales Coroners Court to determine whether the deaths need further investigation by police authorities.

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Feb 292016
 

Chinese general cargo ship sinks fishing boat, five dead five missing

Chinese cargo ship Xin Ri 6 collided with a fishing boat off Qingdao on the Yellow over the weekend, leading to the sinking of the fishing boat with ten …

One Person Missing After Historic Ship Sinks in Fields Landing

The Dennis Gayle, an old wooden vessel that is believed to have been the last surviving whaling ship to have worked out of Humboldt Bay, sank at its …

Car Shipping Vessel Sunk in the Channel After Collision with Another Boat

A car shipping vessel loaded with over 2,800 brand new cars sunk into the depths of the fog bound English Channel after it collided with another boat

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Feb 292016
 

Slavery at sea is coming under attack in the US. reports the New York Times as President Obama signs laws that will ban of fish caught by slave labour in South East Asia, one of several measures being taken to protect seafarers forced to work under abominable and dangerous conditions.

A Port State Measures Agreement, will empower officials to stop foreign vessels suspected of illegal fishing from receiving port services and access. The United States became the 20th country to ratify the pact.

In addition the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA has announced plans to improve how seafood is tracked from catch to market, with new reporting requirements for American importers.

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Feb 292016
 

Do not rely on Kannad Safelink EPIRBs for search and rescue, warns the manufacturer following concerns that they may not work when needed. The issue appears to be due to the plastic body ageing prematurely.

Orolia Limited, owner of Kannad Marine says it has become aware of an issue affecting Kannad Safelink EPIRBs which could result in the beacon not operating in an emergency.

The Safelink EPIRB’s yellow body plastic may prematurely age when subjected to specific environmental conditions which has the potential to impact on its long term effectiveness in the field. The Kannad Safelink EPIRB model is the only Kannad Marine product affected.

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Feb 282016
 

Bad design costs lives and ships and sealing wax, as many accident events show (See below). What is often lacking is design fo people to use, human-centred design, That applies as much to electronics equipment as it does to anything else aboard ship so an initiative by the Nautical Institute and marine electronics manufacturer organisation Comité International Radio-Maritime, CIRM, is to be welcomed.

The initiative aims to improve the usability of navigation and communication technology on board ships by getting mariners’ input, which brings together willing seafarers and interested manufacturers to ensure that designs are validated using human-centred design principles.

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