Apr 182014

greaseGreasing palms is not unknown in the maritime industry but greasing a little finger is somewhat rarer. Although this warning from Marine Safety Forum, MSF concerns a non-maritime incident there may still be the potential for it.

The operator was using a handheld grease gun to lubricate various grease points on earth-moving plant when he felt a sharp prick to his right little finger and on inspection noticed a small hole. On squeezing the finger about a teaspoon of grease was ejected.

He had not been wearing gloves.

Medical attention was sought resulting in a lengthy operation and removal of a vein in the forearm. This was replaced with an artificial vein.

MSF says: “At this time the operation appears successful however constant medical monitoring and surgery care is paramount to a successful rehabilitation.” Continue reading »

Apr 162014

fireextWill your handheld fire extinguisher go off with a satisfying, throaty whoosh when it’s needed or will you be greeted by a rather disappointing, geriatric dribble? It might if the fire extinguisher is getting on a bit and has been serviced with the wrong components suggests a United States Coastguard safety alert.

Issued this month the alert says: During a fire-fighting event, a crewmember attempted to use a 15 lb CO2 extinguisher,
but the extinguisher failed to properly discharge and only seeped from the neck of the extinguisher.
The fire was extinguished by another crewmember using a dry-chemical fire extinguisher.”

Continue reading »

Apr 152014


Fire and a fatality following the ejection of a gland nut and lockscrew assembly from a wellhead while under pressure shortly before starting tubing installation has highlighted the need to ensure manufacturers procedures are always followed suggests a safety alert from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.

Lockscrews are commonly used in surface wellhead equipment to mechanically energize or retain internal wellhead components. Lockscrews are not standardized across the industry, so manufacturers’ procedures should always be used for operations that may require manipulation of lockscrews. Work involving gland nut and lockscrew assemblies should be done under the supervision of qualified service personnel from the wellhead equipment provider who have access to the operational procedures, key dimensions, and torque ratings necessary for correct use.

Operators should consider working with their wellhead equipment and service providers to validate the integrity of gland nut and lockscrew assemblies that are exposed to wellbore pressure in the field by taking the following steps: Continue reading »

Feb 272013
Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire

Forward Davit Arm Showing Parted Wire. Photo: Maritime Safety Investigation Unit

Malta’s Maritime Safety Investigation Unit has issued a safety alert following the discovery of significant corrosion on inner strands of a fall wire involved in the falling of of a lifeboat on 10 February 2013. Five seafarers died in the incident which occurred aboard Thomson Majesty while berthed alongside in Santa Crux de La Palma.

Says the safety alert: ” The wire rope had parted approximately where it rested over the topmost sheave, when the davit was in a stowed position.

“The fore and aft davit’s falls were replaced on 22 August 2010 and the next scheduled replacement was August 2014.
 “The launching appliance had been dynamically tested in May 2012.
“Initial results of the tests carried out on the parted ends of the wire indicate significant corrosion damage to the inner strands of the wire”. Continue reading »
Feb 232013

The third officer on CCNI Guayas was less lucky.

Heavy weather does not have to be extreme to lead to injuries on the bridge – it’s enough to lack handrails and have improperly stowed equipment. The latest example comes from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, in a safety alert.

Recently on a vessel it was reported that a crewman had taken a fall in the bridge during heavy weather. He suffered only minor injuries.
The incident occurred whilst on sea passage as the vessel was in the process of altering course, the weather although heavy could not be described as extreme and the vessel would have encountered similar conditions on a regular basis. Continue reading »
Feb 192013
On the left, a counterfeit product and on the right, an official Admiralty publication.

On the left, a counterfeit product and on the right, an official Admiralty publication.

Counterfeits are everywhere. The UK Hydrographic Office, UKHO, has issued a warning that fake Admiralty charts are in circulation which, because they are not official publications, do not meet carriage requirements of the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (see Chapter V, Regulations 2.2 and of the Convention). Likewise their carriage may not satisfy the requirements of (and may be contrary to) the local laws of Flag State Authorities and Port State Controls.

Says UKHO: “Counterfeit products have not undergone the rigorous checking procedures which take place for official products and they cannot be trusted in the same way. Their use may increase the safety risk to vessels, crews and cargoes”. Continue reading »

Feb 162013
One charger too many?

One charger too many?

Check your battery charging setup if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises is the message in a safety alert issued by Marine Safety Forum. In this case two chargers were at work simultaneously, evaporating electrolyte and leading to an explosion.

As part of his weekly routine, the Engineer was carrying out planned maintenance of emergency generator. When the Engineer started the generator, he heard a loud bang from the battery container.

He stopped the process and investigated the noise which was when he discovered that one of the starter batteries had fragmented with the top of the battery detaching from body.

The battery was safely removed and switched over to hydraulic starting mode. 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 142013

Marine Safety Forum has warned of an increase in incidents when manoeuvring in port or berthed alongside including contact with vessels during river transits; contact with vessels whilst berthing; damage to moorings and gangways whilst alongside in port.

Says MSF: “A critical factor relating to these incidents has been seasonal weather or a lack of understanding of actual conditions. All of the above could have been avoided if good seamanship practices and forward planning had been conducted.

“At this time of the year we see an increase of flow in rivers due to the surrounding areas flooding
and the rivers in spate. This has a massive effect on the flow experienced in port entrances, turning basins and river berths. There also seems to be a tendency due to the weather that moorings and gangways are not physically monitored and tended due to a reluctance to go outside in the cold.

It is imperative that bridge teams monitor all weather, with particular attention to seasonal tidal changes. All information should be passed onto the relevant persons, including deck watchman, to ensure they are fully aware of the expected conditions.
Prior to manoeuvring in port, checks must be conducted and recorded as if the vessel was departing to sea. The Bridge Team must discuss with local services i.e. VTS, any relevant harbour information, this should also include tidal information as well as any local anomalies likely to be experienced.

During a recent incident investigation, Aberdeen VTS confirmed that it is are more than willing to share and provide local information on harbour conditions on request. Likewise, if any vessels have experienced problems, then this information should be shared with VTS to prevent incidents to other vessels.

Listed below are some common problems experienced whilst manoeuvring / berthed in port.

  • Poor vessel positioning prior to and during transit
  • Interaction during transit
  • Insufficient vessel way / speed during transit
  • Altering Azimuth propulsion with applied power set on
  • Thruster capability reduction, due to strong tidal flows
  • Insufficient understanding of equipment limitations / capability
  • Insufficient equipment availability
  • Unaware of traffic movements
  • Failure to communicate concerns
  • Vessel congestion (limited manoeuvring berthing space)
  • Ship Handler inexperience
  • Weather (strong winds, tide’s and poor visibility)
  • Lack of monitoring of mooring and gangways (2 man operation required for tendering)
  • Insufficient moorings deployed for weather conditions
  • Incorrect position of gangways

Says MSF: “We would like all Bridge Teams to take time out to discuss the points raised, and provide any feedback on concerns or learning’s they can provide”.

Download safety alert