Dec 072011
 

Check for the model number on the back of the PFD above the UL logo

Some models of personal flotation devices produced by Mustang Survival have been found to have an inflator installation inconsistency that may prevent some units from fully inflating with CO2 and are being recalled. The affected models are MD2010 and MD2012 model 22LB sold in the US in 2011. Alerts have been issued by the US Coast Guard and by Mustang Survival which had issued a voluntary recall notice.

Mustang products with white labels are not affected by the recall. Similarly, MD2010 or MD2012 PFDs with an “MIT” stamp are useable and do not need to be returned.

AnyMD2010/MD2012 missing the “MIT” stamp should be returned to Mustang

Mustang Survival has developed a solution that corrects any affected product and prevents re-occurrence of this issue. The inspection and repair can only be performed at a Mustang Survival factory.

See Mustang Alert here.

Sep 232011
 

Luminous Ace grounderd after losing power. Photo: USCG

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, based in Astoria, Ore., is monitoring a 584-foot cargo vessel that ran aground on the Columbia River, Thursday, at approximately 6:10 p.m.

No injuries were reported and an aerial inspection by an MH-60 Jayhawk helciopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, found no visibile signs of pollution.

The cargo vessel Luminous Ace grounded at mile marker 40 after an electrical outage caused the vessel to lose all steering capabilities. The vessel, which is not obstructing the navigable waterway, has dropped a shore side anchor to prevent any further movement while tugs transit to location.

While anchored, Luminous Ace regained power and propulsion. The tugs are planning to transit the vessel, at high tide, to an anchoring location near Astoria. Next high tide occurs on Friday at 1 a.m.

Jul 222011
 

Take care when switching fuels says USCG D11

District 11 of the US Coast Guard, which covers the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, the coastal and offshore waters out over thousand miles and the offshore waters of Mexico and Central America down to South America, has issued a safety alert regarding fuel switching in an effort to avoid loss of propulsion.Following a recent increase in incidents

“After a noted decrease, there has been a recent increase in the number of reported loss of propulsion incidents on deep draft vessels within the Eleventh Coast Guard District. Coast Guard studies and review of marine casualties indicate that lack of maintenance and testing of certain systems, including fuel oil systems, is one of the leading causes of propulsion failures. Advanced planning and careful fuel system management are critical to safely switching fuels. This is especially important if fuel switching is not routine practice.

Proper procedures, training, and maintenance are essential for vessels to safely switch between heavy/intermediate fuel oils and marine distillates. Additionally, vessel operators need to have a good understanding of their system requirements and limitations, and determine if any modifications may be necessary to safely switch between intended fuels.

Managing Risk
Extensive analysis of propulsion losses has revealed certain trends among vessels operating on marine distillates. In order to manage risk and improve safety, vessel owners and operators should:

  • Consult engine and boiler manufacturers for fuel switching guidance;
  • Consult manufacturers to determine if system modifications or additional safeguards are necessary for intended fuels;
  • Develop detailed fuel switching procedures;
  • Establish a fuel system inspection and maintenance schedule;
  • Ensure system pressure and temperature alarms, flow indicators, filter differential pressure transmitters, etc., are all operational;
  • Ensure system seals, gaskets, flanges, fittings, brackets and supports are maintained and in serviceable condition;
  • Ensure a detailed system diagram is available;
  • Conduct initial and periodic crew training;
  • Exercise tight control when possible over the quality of the fuel oils received;
  • Complete fuel switching well offshore prior to entering restricted waters or traffic lanes; and
  • Test main propulsion machinery, ahead and astern, while on marine distillates.

Additionally, the following guidance may assist vessel owners and operators in preventing propulsion losses when operating on marine distillates:

  • Monitor for accelerated wear of engine/fuel system components and evaluate maintenance period intervals;
  • Ensure fuel viscosity does not drop below engine manufacturer’s specifications;
  • Ensure proper heat management of fuel systems to maintain minimum viscosity values;
  • Make appropriate fuel rack adjustments to account for potential fuel pressure differentials between residual fuel oils and marine distillates;
  • Determine speed limitations for stopping the engine ahead and ordering an astern bell to ensure timely engine response; and
  • Ensure start air supply is sufficient and fully charged prior to maneuvering.
Jul 192011
 

NTSB says USCG has insufficient oversight of small boat ops

National Transportation Safety Board saya that the probable cause of a 2009 collision in San Diego Bay between a United States Coast Guard patrol boat and a recreational motorboat was due to the excessive speed of the Coast Guard boat in nighttime conditions in an area of high vessel density, and the Coast Guard’s ineffective oversight of its small boat operations nationally and at Coast Guard Station San Diego.

On December 20, 2009, at about 5:44 p.m. PST in San Diego Harbor, a 33-foot-long Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement, SPC-LE, Coast Guard vessel with five crewmembers aboard collided with a 24-foot-long Sea Ray recreational boat carrying 13 people. The collision occurred during an annual holiday boating event, the Parade of Lights. The Coast Guard boat, which was responding to a reported grounding which was considered a non-emergency, struck the Sea Ray from behind. As a result, an 8-year-old boy was killed and four other people were seriously injured. None of the crewmembers in the Coast Guard boat were injured.

The Coast Guard boat, when it struck the Sea Ray, was being operated at planing speed, which was at least 19 knots and possibly as high as 42 knots.

Continue reading »

May 112011
 

image: British Red Cross

Once you’ve got your unconscious casualty out of that confined space it is necessary to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) immediately there is simply no time to waste, says the US Coastguard in a new safety alert. Every second which passes affects the patient’s chance of survival.

Regardless of other CPR training requirements, such as basic safety training required by STCW-95 for certain mariners, the Coast Guard strongly recommends that all vessel owners and operators ensure each crew member is properly trained in CPR. Important changes to CPR procedures have taken place in late 2010. Continue reading »

Apr 112011
 

ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard is investigating an allision involving the tugboat Clarkston and the deep draft cargo vessel Genco Marine on the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash., Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, Ore., received a call at approximately 9:30 a.m., reporting the allision at Columbia River mile marker 102.5, near the Vancouver anchorage, with possible damage to the Clarkston.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., is currently investigating.

The Genco Marine was at anchor during the time of the allision.

Jan 312011
 

QCV blocked utilizing a wooden block to hold the valve in the open position.

US Coast Guard Port State Control Officers  are discovering Fuel Oil Quick-Closing Valves, QCVs, intentionally blocked, modified, and poorly maintained preventing them from operating as designed during an emergency.
QCVs are positive shutoff valves on fuel oil systems serving to isolate fuel tanks in the event of a fire and also prevent “fueling” of a fire in circumstances where system piping and components are compromised. In some circumstances they could be the only means of securing the fuel to a flammable liquid fire. These valves are designed to be remotely operated.

Inoperable QCVs create a very serious hazardous condition putting the vessel and its crew at greater risk in the event of a fire. Continue reading »

Dec 222010
 

(Mac understands that the CO2 safety alerts arise from the fire aboard Carnival Splendour. If it can happen to Carnival it can happen to you)

A machinery space fire onboard a relatively new vessel was effectively responded to and extinguished by the vessel’s quick response team firefighters using portable extinguishing equipment.

However, before it was declared completely extinguished and approximately five hours after the fire started, the master of the vessel made the decision to release CO2 from the vessel’s fixed firefighting system. It failed to operate as designed.

Subsequently, crewmembers were unable to activate it manually and CO2 was never directed into the machinery space.

The following issues pertaining to the CO2 system were discovered. Continue reading »

Dec 222010
 

A machinery space fire onboard a relatively new vessel was effectively responded to and extinguished by the vessel’s quick response team firefighters using portable extinguishing equipment.

However, before it was declared completely extinguished and approximately five hours after the fire started, the master of the vessel made the decision to release CO2 from the vessel’s fixed firefighting system. It failed to operate as designed.

Subsequently, crewmembers were unable to activate it manually and CO2 was never directed into the machinery space.

While the casualty investigation remains ongoing, the following issues were discovered that could have negatively affected the crew’s emergency response and may have contributed to the CO2 system failure.

• Shipyard commissioning test procedures appear to differ from procedures documented in the vessel’s Firefighting Instruction Manual (FIM). Commissioning procedures indicate that the discharge line selection to a specific protected zone should be made prior to releasing the gas contrary to the directions in the FIM.

• The FIM refers extensively to a Control Panel (left following image) that differs vastly from the one onboard the vessel (right following image). Continue reading »