Feb 242016
 
By Foodista - originally posted to Flickr as Photo of Hickory Smoked Cajun Baby Back Ribs, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7677929

Barbecues are  great way to encourage crew bonding, boost morale, and improve shipboard atmosphere but it’s a good idea to make sure that it’s only the burgers that get burned and not you fellow crew, suggests Singapore’s Maritime & Port Authority, MPSA. The warning was triggered by several recent incidents.

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Jan 202016
 
gpshack

Do you know what equipment relies upon the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) signal?  How would you respond if you lost the signal? asks an advisory from the US Coast Guard.

This past summer, multiple outbound vessels from a non-U.S. port suddenly lost GPS signal reception.  The net effect was various alarms and a loss of GPS input to the ship’s surface search radar, gyro units and Electronic Chart Display & Information System ECDIS, resulting in no GPS data for position fixing, radar over ground speed inputs, gyro speed input and loss of collision avoidance capabilities on the radar display.

“Fortunately, the vessels were able to safely continue their voyage using radar in heads up display, magnetic compass and terrestrial navigation.  Approximately 6nm later, the vessels’ GPS units resumed operation.  Although the vessels had back-up systems to allow a safe transit, the consequences could have been severe.”
These types of events highlight the potential detrimental impact to navigation caused by GPS interference or jamming and the importance in understanding how your vessel’s or facility’s equipment could be impacted by a loss of GPS signal.

Positioning signals may be impacted by interference from both natural and human-made sources.  The most common types of interference are reception issues, usually due to bad installations, poor antenna positioning or faulty equipment.  Jamming devices (https://transition.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement/fccdhssj.pdf), while illegal in the U.S. and a threat to safety, have been used for nefarious or deceptive purposes.

Interference can also be unintentionally caused when operating GNSS in close proximity to other radiating devices,
such as amplified TV antennas (see our Safety Alert 11-02).  Therefore, it is important to remember to use all available means for navigation and maintain proficiency so you can still navigate should your primary GPS fail.

Indicators of positioning systems interference include an intermittent signal, no signal, or an incorrect signal. Suspected or suspicious disruptions should be reported immediately.  Critical information to take note of during a disruption event includes location, time, and period of outage.

Commercial operators are reminded, should your navigation or other equipment onboard, such as AIS, be impaired as a result of a disruption or interference, this should be reported to the nearest U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port,
District Commander or Vessel Traffic Center as soon as possible; and, await
further directions (per 33 CFR 164.53).

All operators should be aware, vigilant, and immediately report GPS disruptions to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN).  The report will be disseminated to the U.S. Air Force GPS Operations Center and the Federal Aviation Administration in an attempt to identify the problem and correlate with any other GPS incidents in the same general geographic location.  Depending on the severity of the report, NAVCEN may refer it to
law enforcement and/or other federal agencies for further investigation.

Download safety advisory

See Also

Jul 292015
 
HRU

If you can read the label on your liferaft hydrostatic release unit without standing on your head then it may be incorrectly installed, suggests a warning from Marine Safety Forum. Worth noting that the problem was identified onboard a vessel during an internal inspection only two days after a flag state safety equipment survey.

The discovery concerned Thanner 4 Year Hydrostatic Release Units which comprise a hydrostatic bolt within a frame. When the release operates, the bracket comes free of the bolt, allowing the raft to float free. At this point the painter should remain attached to the ship via a small wire weak link; the same would apply if the raft had been released manually. If the release unit has been fitted upside down, as has been found recently as shown below left, the weak link is not connected to the ship. Therefore, upon release, the raft would be allowed to float free without inflating, which could result in an evacuating crew having a very bad day.

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Apr 272015
 
phosphine

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 022015
 
sallyannc

Two men, a Russian chief officer and a Ukrainian chief engineer have died in a hold containing timber while a third,  a Filipino second officer who attempted to rescue them collapsed by survived. The incident is under investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch while the report will not be available for some time the incident does highlight the confined space hazards of timber in cargo holds  and the continuing problem of would-be rescuers being overcome while attempting to recover victims. Continue reading »

Apr 012015
 
fpd

Given the enthusiasm displayed by lifeboats to fall off their hooks with depressing regularity one would hope that fitting a fall prevention device, FPD, to a lifeboat during drills is regarded as good seamanship these days. On the other hand one that is not properly arranged is not going to do its job, as a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, explains.

An MSF member reports that during hoisting of a starboard lifeboat, it reached the upper deck, it was noticed that the FPD was not properly secured or attached to the lifeboat. Continue reading »

Mar 312015
 
ferryrope

As always CHIRP’s latest Maritime Feedback, provides a rich crop of incidents, hazardous conditions and poor practice that haven’t yet caused a accident but which could if left unreported and unresolved. Over the years MAC has become well aware that major accidents are often long preceded by small, unreported events and conditions that no-one thought very important, often a symptom of larger safety issues.

MAC does have to declare an interest – he is on of 15 Ambassadors for the CHIRP/NI MARS Joint reporting programme despite the risk that reporting appropriate cases to CHIRP may reduce the number of accidents we have to report.

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Mar 172015
 
capstan

Ensure that the safe working load, SWL, of a capstan is greater than the rated pull of the capstan, says a safety alert from the International Marine Contractors Association, IMCA, following an incident aboard one of its members’ vessels. If the capstan does not stall before the wire fails the resulting parting of the wires can cause horrifying injuries.

Due to the company’s clear deck policy nobody was at risk but similar policies may not be in force, or practical, under other circumstances.

Says the IMCA:

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Mar 162015
 
insignia

Investigations into the 11 December 2014 engine room fire aboard Oceania Insignia continue into the engine room fire aboard the cruiseship Oceania Insignia which cost three lives but the US Coast Guard has already issued a safety alert. It highlights maintenance issues and the important of having a personal evacuation plan.

Marshall Islands-flagged, the 50,000 gt Insignia was built in 1998. The vessel was refurbished in 2014 and, says Oceania: “has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship”.

Says the USCG safety alert:

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