Safety Alert – Is Your Life Worth $16? Fix your EPIRB

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Mar 142010

Six seafarers might still be alive but for the sake of a $100 optional extra for an EPIRB and correct registration. In the wake of investigations into the sinking of the scalloper Lady Mary with six lives lost the US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, has called for EPIRBS to be fixed with a GPS receiver, currently an optional extra costing about $100.

Lady Mary sank on 23 March, 2009, at about 0510. A geostationary SARSAT satellite picked up the vessel’s EPIRB distress signal at 0540. Because the EPIRB was not equipped with a GPS receiver there was no accurate position information. A LEO satellite, which could have detected the vessel’s position passed overhead shortly before Lady May sank and it was not until 0707 that the LEO satellite returned and 0715 when NOAA could determine the precise position of the EPIRB.

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Unfair Treatment of Seafarers – The Outlook

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Mar 142010

Cynics might suggest, with cause, that unfair treatment of seafarers is becoming mandatory in an increasingly anti-seafarer global atmosphere. Indeed,the United States has reserved to itself the right to treat seafarers unfairly and deprive them rights provided under the incoming code for maritime casualty investigation. Recent court actions in Hong Kong and South Africa increase the urgency of the debate.

In recent weeks BIMCO has published three key articles on these an other issues, which MAC is publishing with BIMBCO’s permission, edited only for style. They are a valuable summary of the issues faced by seafarers in trouble:


In a this three article series, republished with permission, BIMCO focuses on unfair treatment of seafarers, including the general trends observed in recent cases, as well as the implications for the seafarers involved. The series, published to mark the International Maritime Organization’s Year of the Seafarer, concludes with an overview of the international rules and guidelines dealing with fair treatment of seafarers

Recent cases of unfair treatment of seafarers appear to demonstrate a drift towards a stricter liability regime. Also, the cases observed have serious implications for the seafarers involved, notably in terms of long periods of detention and a number of “side-effects” of a more practical nature, as well as for the shipping sector as a whole. The shipping industry, as well as the international community, is aware of the potential implications and a number of measures have been taken to counter these problems.

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Tizzardlee On Teener Should Have Looked Out For The Tiddlers

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Mar 112010

Tizzardlee On. Photo courtesy of Paul Watts Cornish Picture Library

At a hearing in Bodmin Youth Court, Jake Gilbert, 17 years old, from Newquay, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Merchant Shipping Act.

On Saturday 12th September 2009, while crowds watched the Ladies Gig racing from the harbour wall, Jake Gilbert took his father’s fishing vessel, Tizzardlee On out of the harbour with a number of his friends on board. At the same time a small rowing dinghy containing a father and his 8 year old son were returning to shore after having moored their vessel in deeper water.

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 12 March 2010

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Mar 112010

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imageNews Headlines

Crew Members Dead from Possible Food Poisoning
Master of the Arionas tanker informed authorities of the deaths of three crew members last Thursday.
Operated by Evangelos Marinakis-led Capital Product Partners and Marshall Islands-flagged Greek tanker was en route from Cyrpus to Rotterdam with over 27,000 tonnes of fuel when the incident occured.

Two missing after boat with 92 passengers sank in the Amazon
People’s Daily Online
Brazil’s Navy said that a patrol ship and a boat were sent to the accident site to search for the missing persons with the help of a team of divers.

Ship Loses Propulsion in Strait of Juan de Fuca
A container ship in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in transit to Washington state from Alaska, was shut down after crew noticed smoke coming from the number one engine’s turbocharger.

Oil Tanker Carrying Contaminated Fuel Held at Dar es Salaam Port

The oil tanker that arrived at Dar es Salaam two weeks ago with contaminated oil has still not left the port and will be restricted from sailing until the dispute is settled. Continue reading »

Portland Port’s Bomb Surprise

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Mar 112010


A routine shoreline survey found an unexpected hazard to navigation when its sonar found something chunky on the bottom in the middle of Portland Habour: A one-tonne parachute mine dropped by the German Luftwaffe in World War 2.

They only realised what it was when they lifted it to the surface “but carefully replaced once it was realised what the item was” says the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency. As well they would.

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Chile: Don’t Touch Your Bottom

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Mar 112010

imageFellow Blogista Dennis Bryant warns: “There are unofficial reports that the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile last month has moved parts of the nation. The city of Conception may have moved as much as ten feet to the west, while Santiago may have moved eleven inches to the west-southwest. Even areas outside Chile, including the Falkland Islands and Brazil, may have been affected. As yet, there are no reports of elevation changes, but mariners navigating waters in and around Chile should exercise caution until definitive new surveys are done. The 1964 earthquake in Alaska caused significant elevation changes, particularly at Kodiak Island, and resulted in a number of groundings until charts could be updated.”

It’s worth remembering that earthquake can, and do, change seabed profiles significantly enough to invalidate chart data. This will happen more often in geologically unstable areas such as on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Maritime Safety & Security News – 10/11 March 2009

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Mar 112010

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imageNews Headlines

Skipper denies not being at helm when boat crashed
Herald Sun
A TRAWLER skipper who says he only saw another boat just before they fatally collided has denied failing to see the vessel because he was not at the helm.

AGL Resources Exec Likely Fell In Mississippi River-Police
Wall Street Journal
But it shows him walking around the vessel at about 2:40 am Friday and then leaving the camera’s view, Defillo said. Schantz never reappears in sight and

Little kayaks big danger to Manly ferries
The Manly Daily
AFTER a Coroner’s inquest last month found “failure of seamanship” led to a fatal collision between a Sydney Ferry vessel and a private boat, Continue reading »

Some technical downtime

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Mar 102010

We are currently resolvig a hardware issue which has affected delivery of Maritime Safety & Security News and other up dating items.

Bob Couttie

Hydrographic Survey for Straits of Malacca and Singapore Underway

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Mar 102010

image A key hydrographic survey within the Traffic Separation Scheme, TSS, of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore is now underway, as part of the Marine Electronic Highway Demonstration Project, a regional project that IMO is carrying out for the Global Environment Facility World Bank. The purpose is to produce an updated electronic navigation chart of the area.

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