Nov 062014
 
detroit2

detroit2Several Detroit Diesel engines have unique couplings which connect the heads on each side of the engine, a male-to-male threaded variable length couplingwhich lengthen when their ends are threaded into the heads. Following a fire aboard a passenger vessel the US Coastguard has issued a safety alert warning againstreplacing the couplings with ones which are not designed for use with the engines.

Recently, a fire occurred on a passenger vessel operating about a mile offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. A crewmember, while making a round in a machinery space, noticed that a small fuel spray fire had developed above one of the four propulsion engines. The crewmember vacated the space and informed the bridge watch. Subsequently, proper emergency procedures were followed, ventilation to the machinery space was secured, and the CO2 via the fixed fire fighting system was released. Fortunately for the 174 persons onboard, the fire was quickly extinguished without incident or additional complications. Although the investigation is not complete, USCG has issued an alert. Continue reading »

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Nov 052014
 
Ocean Way. Photo: MCA Orals

Investigations are underway to establish the cause of the sinking of the Fraserburgh-based trawler Ocean Way some 100 miles east of the Farne Islands in the North Sea on Sunday, 2 November, but already a sadly familiar issue has already surfaced: lifejackets were not worn.

Search and rescue efforts to locate two missing crewmembers have been suspended. Two survivors and the body of the deceased skipper were pulled from the water. Neither survivor, nor the body of the skipper wore lifejackets.

A vessel can come to grief with extraordinary swiftness. There may be little time to launch a liferaft or to find and don lifejackets. Without a flotation device the extra effort needed to keep afloat encourages the onset of hypothermia and prevents seafarers helping each other. Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 
safespace2

safespaceOGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.

Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.

Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.

Continue reading »

Jul 302014
 

anglegrinderMore than 4,000 Matabo brand angle grinders are being recalled because the power switch gets stuck in the ‘On’ position, presenting  a laceration hazard. This recall involves Metabo W14-150 Ergo series 6-inch medium angle grinders.

. The grinders measure about 16 inches long by 4 inches wide by 5 inches deep, have a 6-inch wheel capacity and weigh about eight pounds. Metabo is printed on the handle and Metabo 14-150 Ergo is printed on the side of the grinder. The grinders are used for grinding and cutting metal.  Model numbers include 06251421 and 06251441 and serial numbers include 3010000001 through 4020031488 for both models. The model and serial numbers are located on the rating plate on the right side of the tool. Continue reading »

Jul 292014
 

lifejacketgasAn autoinflating lifejacket that doesn’t auto-inflate when needed can ruin your whole day. It might be a good idea to check that the gas cylindre on yours is properly screwed in, says MarineSafe Australia Forum

On 7 June, 2014 a worker fell about four metres from the lower landing of an
offshore platform into the sea. He was retrieved from the water without delay by
the crew on a support transfer vessel and transferred to the site clinic for medical treatment.

The  Type 1 Inflatable Personal Flotation Device, PFD. the worker was wearing did not automatically inflate on contact with water despite being equipped with this capability. Inspection of the PFD after the incident identified that the gas canister was not fully screwed into the inflation tube fitting. Continue reading »

Jul 142014
 
epirbgmeStandard Communications Pty Ltd is recalling certain GME brand EPIRB units manufactured between January 2005 and February 2008. In some units a fault in the microprocessor may shut down the beacon and it may not work when required.
The affected units are the MT400, MT401 and MT403 beacons with serial numbers between 50101000 and 80250722. The serial number can be found on the left side of the beacon at the base of the identity panel.

Contact GME at recall@gme.net.au or your local distributor to arrange a replacement of your beacon at no extra charge.

GME EPIRB

Jul 142014
 
little

Failure occurred because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed

Little things, sometimes not included in routine maintenance, can cause big problems warns the US Coast Guard in a Safety Alert. A  worn drive belt and loose nuts that went unnoticed are among the example that led to close calls that could easily have become casualties.

One example concerns a two-decades-old bulker which was leaving port when its main engine throttle failed. It managed to drop anchor without incident.

It happened because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed. Movement of the throttle causes the potentiometer to move and creates a variable signal to other controls which manage engine speed. When the belt failed the control from the engine room console was lost. Fortunately, the vessel had a spare belt that the engineers replaced quickly.

The underside of the Bosch/Rexroth throttle was encased and the belt was not visible under normal circumstances. It was not routinely inspected.

Continue reading »

Jul 112014
 

pyroPyrotechnics: Think before you throw is the message from the Marine Safety Forum in its latest safety alert.

Says MSF: “Recently at a depot where ship’s garbage is sorted, a discarded marine flare ignited on the picking line. Fortunately on this occasion there was no injury to personnel involved but some damage has been done to the conveyor belt.

Investigations are currently underway, and with the help of other agencies it is hoped that the owner can be traced.

Mariners, Ship Owners, Agents and Chandlers are reminded that flares and other special wastes should not be disposed of within the ship’s waste receptacles provided by the port.

Disposal of Ship’s flares or any Marine pyrotechnic should only be arranged through an approved provider for such services.
Further information on safe disposal will be available through ships chandlers and suppliers of replacement/new pyrotechnic items.

Download the safety alert

Jul 102014
 

waterlightSinking lifebuoys have already appeared on MAC, now the US Coast Guard has issued an alert regarding replacement batteries on emergency equipment. In this case it was the floating water light attached to  lifebuoy that sank thanks to a replacement battery that was the wrong weight.

While conducting an annual inspection a Coast Guard inspector picked up a ring buoy’s water light and noticed that it felt heavier than usual. The master of the vessel was notified and he then agreed to perform a float test. When the ring buoy and its water light were tossed into the water, the water light instantly sank about 5’ to the end of its painter. Apparently, the last time the battery was replaced, a heavier battery than the manufacturer’s recommended battery was used. This occurred despite the water light’s labelled instructions regarding the correct battery type. Continue reading »