Jun 012015

Is there anything remotely ambiguous about the signage on this hatch-cover?  Why did three seafarers ignore them? Unfortunately the report from the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation on three confined space deaths aboard the German-flagged general cargo ship Suntis does not tell us. Key questions remain unanswered but the circumstances are all too familiar.

Says the report “MV Suntis left the port of Riga in Latvia on 19 May 2014 and reached the port of Goole in the United Kingdom on the evening of Saturday 24 May 2014. The crew was composed of a 67-year-old German master, a 60-year-old German chief officer, and three Philippine seamen (38, 33 and 30 years old). The ship was laden with timber. Continue reading »

May 022015

Since 2000, in South East Asia there have been 163 accidents in the region involving ferries, killing more than 17,000 people. Over the years there has been little effective action to reduce that toll among the countries with the most losses – the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Now, following a conference in Manila in late April, has adopted guidelines to aid the process of reducing the mounting toll of accidents involving such vessels by addressing the question of whether a ship is fit for purpose.

(Below, Stephanie Coutrix spoke with IMO’s Lee Adamson who was there for the conference.)

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Apr 272015

Explosions aboard bulkers loaded at Grande Do Sul, Brazil, are believed to have involved phosphine fumigants, warns the North of England P&I club, Nepia. Those vessels undergoing fumigation at Rio Grande Do Sul should contact the local agents or P&I correspondents for advice on the current situation with respect to fumigants.

Most incidents involving phosphine tablets, colloquially known in Latin America as ‘tablets of love‘,

One potential cause of a phosphine fumigant explosion may be contaminated tablets of aluminium phosphide or similar fumigants. Tablets react with moisture to produce phosphine gas, PH3, which has an autoignition temperature of 38 Celsius However, the presence of impurities, particularly diphosphine, often causes PH3 gas to ignite spontaneously at room temperature and to form explosive mixtures at concentrations greater than 1.8% by volume in air. The spontaneous ignition behaviour of PH 3 gas is very unpredictable. Continue reading »

Apr 082015

campaigncardThe Case of the Incurious Navigator is the second crowdfunded maritime safety video to be produced by the respected Maritime Accident Casebook. It is a unique initiative that gives you the chance to make navigation safer by encouraging seafarers to download, copy and share the video among their colleagues and friends.

In this video MAC looks at the improper use of ECDIS, inadequate training and other issues that lead to the grounding of the chemical tanker Ovit in September 2013.

Click here to discover more

Apr 082015

In an unprecedented move Maersk has released CCTV footage of an engineroom fire aboard Maersk Iowa to help determine the cause of the fire. The footage was posted on the gCaptain site.

A statement from Maersk, published by gCaptain says: “The video footage (posted on gCaptain today) depicts the mechanical failure of a main engine air start valve resulting in an explosion and fire in the engine room of the Maersk Iowa while underway on January 10th, 2015. No one was injured by this incident, and thanks to the quick and professional emergency response of the officers and crew, any potential further damage was contained with no harm to the environment. The Company has shared this particular video footage with the USCG, Lloyd’s Register and other internal and external stakeholders in an effort to understand its root cause for implementing corrective action across our fleet. The video has also been shared with our ships crews’ as a training aid.”

Video below
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Apr 082015

When it comes to safe navigation,
if you don’t ask a question right
you’re not asking the right question and
you won’t get the right answer.

Read the transcript

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Apr 082015

Two men were saved when the tug Asterix capsized while unberthing a chemical tanker at Fawley Refinery. The incident, currently under investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, is a reminder of the speed with which the enormous forces involved in ship handling can cause a tug to girt, giving crew little chance to escape, as the video below, from an incident investigated by Canada’s Transport Safety Board, shows.

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Apr 012015

Again, the US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB,  has released its annual  “Safer Seas: Lessons Learned From Marine Accident Investigations” report. Safer Seas is a compilation of accident investigations that were published in 2014, organized by vessel type with links to the more detailed accident reports. It’s a useful addition to a safety library.

The 43-page report contains a summary and the probable causes for 23 major marine accidents and features lessons learned from each of the accidents in an easy-to-use summary format. Issues include understanding vessel control systems, passenger safety during critical maneuvers, maintenance, and crew training.

Download Safer Seas 2014