Apr 172014

NTSB Investigators Morgan Turrell and Christopher Babcock examine propulsion and steering controls on the bridge of Seastreak Wall Street.

By the time the captain of Seastreak Wall Street realised he’d lost control of the vessel it was too late to prevent the vessel colliding with a Manhattan pier at about 12 knots on the morning of January 9, 2013. Of the 331 people on board, 79 passengers and one crewmember were injured, four of them seriously, in the third significant ferry accident to occur in the New York Harbor area in the last 10 years.

The intended maneouvre was a common one among those commanding the Seastreak fleet: Reduce speed and transfer control from one bridge station to another better visibility less than a minute before reaching Pier 11/Wall Street on the East River. However, it left little opportunity to correct a loss of control at a critical moment.

The incident had been waiting to happen since July 2012 when a controllable pitch propulsion system was installed to replace the existing water-jet propulsion along with a poorly designed control panel and alert system, “The available visual and audible cues to indicate mode and control transfer status were ambiguous” says the NTSB. Continue reading »

Apr 142014

DMADenmark’s Maritime Authority, DMA, invites shipping companies’ employees on land and on board ships to meetings about Port State Control, PSC, to enhance safety on board at a series of meetings to be held in May

Says DMA: “The meetings will provide an opportunity to share experiences of Port State Control, for example best practice examples of how a company can improve safety and, thereby, avoid defects and detentions and of how the land-based organization can best support its crew during Port State Control inspections. Continue reading »

Apr 142014

UntitledToday marks 102 years since the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg at night and sank three hours later. It seems an appropriate moment for MAC to return to the fray from its extended sabbatical and review the relevant lessons for today’s seafarers but the estimable Dennis L. Bryant does it so well that we’re taking the liberty of quoting his latest newsletter:

Late on the night of 14 April 1912, the “unsinkable” passenger ship RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, struck an iceberg.  It sank about three hours later, at about 2:20 a.m. on 15 April 1912.  Of the 2,224 persons on board, 1,514 lost their lives. 

In the century that followed, ships are better-constructed.  They carry more lifeboat capacity than there are persons on board.  They have radios for instant communication with shore and with other ships.  They have radar, fathometers, and other devices to warn of danger.  Continue reading »

Mar 022013
A still from Lifejacket:

A still from Lifejacket: A Fisherman’s Friend

Two Bridlington fishermen have made a short film to encourage their fellow fishermen to wear lifejackets whilst at sea. The two minute film, entitled “Lifejacket: a fisherman’s friend” is available on Youtube and may be watched below.

The decision to make the film came after a panel of experts* concluded that 26 fishermen could still be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket when they were involved in an incident at sea (2007-11 figures). The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), were so alarmed by the new statistic that they put the idea of a short film forward to fishermen Dylan Silverwood and Christopher Stewart. They then made the film, with some help from FISG members. Continue reading »

Feb 232013
Two skiffs attempt to escape

Two skiffs attempt to escape

On 19 February HNLMS De Ruyter stopped the activities of a group of suspected pirates approximately 200 nautical miles north east of Eyl off the coast of Somalia. Nine suspected pirates were apprehended and taken on board the De Ruyter for further investigations.

The Dutch frigate that is deployed with the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta, was tasked this morning to find a suspect pirate group that was reported by a Panama flagged merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia. The helicopter of De Ruyter located two high powered skiffs. As the helicopter approached, material was seen being thrown overboard and the two skiffs split up in an attempt to escape. The first skiff was stopped in the water by the helicopter and boarding teams of the Dutch frigate. The second skiff was located by the Spanish EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA), which kept it under continuous surveillance until it was stopped in the water by the helicopter from the EU Naval Force flagship ESPS Mendez Nunez. Continue reading »

Feb 162013
Badly corroded CO2 bottle

Badly corroded CO2 bottle

MAC is sometimes inclined to the believe that the most used piece of personal protective equipment is a pair of crossed fingers. It’s hard enough to get some seafarers, especially those in the fishing industry, to wear lifejackets at all, looking after them is another matter as service company Seasafe Systems reveals on its website.

Pictures on Seasafe’s rogues gallery shows the sorry state of some of the lifejackets the company has come across. They are quite disturbing.

That said, the attention paid to lifesaving equipment of all kinds is often not what it should be, from lifejackets to survival suits to lifeboats and liferafts.

Might be a good idea to check yours.



Feb 162013
John Collins - prop shaft chewed skipper

John Collins – prop shaft chewed skipper

Jonathan O’Donnell, skipper of the fishing Vessel John Collins is currently recovering from injuries to his foot sustained in an incident which could have led to amputation. Unsafe working practices and lack of effect safeguards led to him being caught up in a rotating propeller shaft says a newly released accident investigation report from Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB.

While it was proceeding home the vessel’s bilge alarm sounded and after pumping out the bilge it sounded again shortly afterwards. The skipper went into the fish hold and lifted the covering boards over the bilge containing the pump and the propeller shaft.

The engine was not stopped or put into neutral and the shaft was turning. The skipper put his foot into the bilge beside the turning shaft in order to reach down to clear debris from the bilge pump.

Continue reading »

Feb 152013

swireSwire Oilfield Services has warned of potential door hinge failure on its AMF Mini containers AMF 651 to AMF 1104. The wrong grade of steel was used in the hinge assembly which could result in hinge pin failure.

Users have been advised to quarantine units and Swire is recalling them for repair where necessary.

For more information download the safety alert

Feb 152013

handcuffsA Cornish fisherman has pleaded guilty to breaches of the Fraud Act 2006 and Safety Training Regulations, and has been made to pay a total of £14,528 in fines and costs.

44-year-old Alan Fairless, of St. Austell, is the owner and operator of the lobster boat “Flying Spray IV” based in Charlestown. In January 2012, the boat was inspected by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) but Fairless failed to produce evidence of completion of the mandatory safety courses in Sea Survival, Fire Fighting, First Aid and Safety Awareness. He was asked to produce the required certificates within 14 days.

He told the MCA he could not find the certificates, and was then requested to provide evidence of dates booked to attend the required courses. In May, he was issued with an Improvement Notice to complete the safety courses. Despite saying he had to cancel one course to attend a funeral, Fairless then contacted the MCA at the end of June to say he had found his certificates. Checks on the documents found them to be fakes. Continue reading »