Jan 282016
 

Jetlag and fatigue may have led to a fire aboard the French-flagged cableship Ile De Sein, suggests France’s maritime accident investigation agency, BEAmer. Long-haul flights can lead to mistakes with serious consequences if efforts are not made to reduce their effects.

In the case of Ile De Sein, bunkering operations were underway in Honolulu. The engineering team carrying out the operation had arrived the previous day on a flight from France. By 1930 on 5 May 2015 the marine diesel oil tank nu,ber two was nearly full. After sounding, the cadet closed the ball-valve actuated by a counterweight but omitted to close the cap.

Soon after an engineer was preparing, from the control cabin, the shifting of the filling from the MDO tank number two starboard to the MDO tank number one centre. An operator error during the filling valve opening – closing sequence on the tanks, resulted in the tank venting pipe and sounding circuit overpressure.

Without the cap fuel vapour was able to escape through the sounding tube and, as flammable vapours will, found an amenable source of ignition.

A well-drilled firefighting team tackled the blaze appropriately and extinguished it. Says BEAmer: “The most important damages were located on electrical bunched cables (6600 volts), control organs and cabinets for DA1 and 2. Restarting of the mooring generating set after repair of its power supply.”

Although BEAmer says: “The engineer team who was coordinating the bunkering operation joined at Honolulu on the day before. The fatigue, due to the joining travel from France and to the jet lag, had probably contributed to the operating error in controlling the MDO tank filling valves” it offers no recommendation regarding mitigation of the effect of jetlag and travel fatigue and limits itself to “The crew’s attention should be drawn to the fact that the closure of a fuel tank sounding pipe, only by the ball-valve, do not provide vapour tightness.”

Unfortunately, the report does not determine whether a checklist was required by onboard procedures. Checklists, although much derided, are a tool designed to reduce the chances of error in sequential tasks.

Honolulu is 11 hours behind France and the more than 15 hour flight crosses a dozen time zones. Such long flights disrupt the body and brain’s natural cycle, the circadian rhythm, and the engineers’ bodies would still have been operating on ‘Paris time’. Such long flights incur fatigue, even if one sleeps during the flight.

To put that into context it would take between five and ten days to recover from jetlag and travel fatigue. Some recommendations say allow a day’s rest for each time zone crossed, but this may not be possible in a real world setting. The engineers aboard Ile De Sein had, at most, 24 hours.

Nevertheless, it is important for shipping companies to take account of it in their schedules.

So, work in advance if you can, here are some recommendations:

  • Be fully rested before you travel. Don’t make the mistake of making your self tired so you’ll sleep on the flight.
  • If you can, gradually adjust your meal and sleep patterns to fit those of your destination. Often this may not be a practical option for a seafarer but if you can do it will help.
  • Your travel arrangements may not be yours to decide but if you can, try and arrive in daylight. On arrival stay awake until until your normal sleep time local time.
  • Once on the plane set your watch to the time at your destination, it’s a psychological trick that may help.
  • Stay well hydrated during the flight and avoid alcohol or coffee if you can.
  • Stretch your legs, walk up and down, exercise during the flight. This is good practice anyway because it will help reduce the chances of deep vein thrombosis.
  • If the flight is long enough sleep on the plane at the same time as you would sleep at your destination.
  • On arrival, get as much daylight as possible and get some exercise.
  • Taking doses of melatonin, the so-called ‘sleep hormone’, may help but it does have some risk so only take it under medical supervision.
  • Do not take sleeping pills for the flight.

How do you deal with jetlag? What does your company do to reduce it effects on seafarers?Tel us in the comments section below.

BEAmer Report

See Also

The Fatigue Factor

Seaway: Fatigue and Jet Lag: In Search of Sound Sleep

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Canada – New Safety Regs, More Realistic Drills

 maritime safety  Comments Off on Canada – New Safety Regs, More Realistic Drills
May 192010
 

Canada’s government has announced new regulations that will enhance safety and better ensure that passengers and crew of vessels, including passenger ferries, understand what to do during emergencies.

“Our government has taken decisive action to help improve the safety of passengers and crew on board vessels at all times,” said Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird. “These new regulations set the highest standards Canada has ever had for safety on vessels.”
The Fire and Boat Drills Regulations enhance safety through regulations requiring that an accurate count of persons on board a vessel be available for search and rescue workers. They also require passengers and crew to know when to abandon a vessel, and how to react safely and efficiently to an onboard emergency.

Continue reading »

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 7 August 2009

 collision, Ferry, fire, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 7 August 2009
Aug 062009
 

Tonga sinking leaves 33 missing
BBC News
The first ship on the scene rescued 42 people from the sea, according to the New Zealand Press Association. Other ships and a New Zealand air force plane

Blast rocks offshore Texas gas platform, fire out
Reuters
All 39 persons aboard the platform were evacuated safely by a nearby supply vessel, the Coast Guard said. “Crew members reported that the plant’s emergency .

Team finds two bodies from ship accident
Jakarta Post
“We found them not far from where the ship sank. Some parts of their bodies were missing and we could identify them only by the clothes they were wearing,” Continue reading »

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Maritime Safety News – 29 May 2009

 maritime accidents, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News – 29 May 2009
May 302009
 

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Got News? Send it to news@maritimeaccident.org

Two dead, one rescued in gas poisoning accident on Chinese ship
Xinhua – China
The navy ship was alerted for help because local maritime rescue ships could not approach Zheyuyu 1616 on the rough sea. Six hours later the navy reached .

2 hospitalized in La. after explosion on vessel
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two crew members have been flown to a hospital after an explosion aboard a supply vessel off the Louisiana coast.

Fire breaks out on Italian ferry, all safe
The Associated Press
The cause of the fire was still being investigated. The ship, which belongs to the Italian ferry company Tirrenia di Navigazione SpA, was being towed

Ship runs aground in Bosporus strait
eTaiwan News – Taiwan
AP A maritime official says a St.-Vincent and Grenadines-flagged ship has run aground in Istanbul’s Bosporus. Salih Orakci, head of Turkey’s coast security,

Australian officials consider quarantine to keep cruise ship
USA Today – USA
The Brisbane Times reports only passengers who live in Brisbane or the surrounding state of Queensland will be allowed to leave the ship

Dead skipper’s family to sue trawler owners
New Ross Standard – Wexford,Ireland
However, a stability investigation to understand the stability profile of the vessel prior to the sinking was carried out by the MCIB

Harbour crash inquest witness admits to lie
ABC Online – Australia
In the statement she said she did not see or hear the HarbourCat, the Pam Burridge, prior to the collision.

Refrigerated cargo, indeed

A RUSSIAN ship captain has been charged with illegally transporting 56 passengers for four days, with a prosecutor alleging that they were essentially trapped in the refrigerated hold.

MCA publishes ‘Our Plans for 2009-10’

Maritime Journal – Fareham,UK
As part of its work towards tackling seafarer fatigue, MCA surveyors will be taking a critical look at the hours of work/rest records during surveys

Newcastle harbour chain secrets revealed
Newcastle Herald – Newcastle,Australia
Safety Bureau’s investigation into the Pasha Bulker grounding on Nobbys Beach for refit and another ship will take over the rest of the operation.

Eyes on the ocean
Times-Standard – Eureka,CA,USA
The system can be used to track oil spills — it helped during the massive spill from the Cosco Busan in San Francisco Bay — and to determine the direction

NOAA Says Changes in Vessel Operations May Reduce Risk of Endangered Whale Shipstrikes

Years of study and effort by NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard will pay off this summer when two changes to shipping lanes into Boston

NTSB: Expanded Release of Accident Investigations to Begin Next Week

Washington, DC (May 28th 2009): The National Transportation Safety Board today announced that it will begin to release all accident investigation public .

Piracy

Kadhafi wants Somali exclusion zone to fight piracy
AFP
such as Frontex — the EU agency specialised in border security — to protect “our maritime wealth” and warned against the spread of piracy.

G8 discuss cooperation on organised crime and piracy
Reuters UK – UK
closer cooperation in fighting organised crime and greater aid to African states to tackle drug trafficking cartels and rising maritime piracy.

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New Podcast – The Case Of The Church Bell

 collision, collision regulations, fire, maritime accidents  Comments Off on New Podcast – The Case Of The Church Bell
Oct 272008
 

Why is this ship's bell in London's oldest church?

Mariner’s Chapel in London’s oldest church displays the bell of the BP tanker British Trent, a memorial to the nine seafarers who died in a collision and fire off Belgium in 1993. Maritime Accident Casebook”s latest podcast explores why the lessons of the British Trent tragedy remain relevant fifteen years later and tests attitudes towards the criminalisation of seafarers.

Korean bulker carrier Western Winner powered into the port side of British Trent, which had a full cargo of 24,000 tones of gasoline, in thick fog on the morning of 3rd June, 1993. Western Winner holed British Trent’s hull, spilling gasoline which caught fire. Firefighting on British Trent was hampered by a fire main damaged by the impact. Nine seafarers died of smoke inhalation and heat, no casualties were suffered by Western Winner.

Western Winner’s owners attempted to hamper the subsequent investigation. Belgian officials at first laid criminal charges against Western Winner’s master, but later withdrew them.

Says Bob Couttie, writer and narrator of the episode: “One comes away with a sense that even after all this time, there hasn’t been closure for those who lost friends and loved ones on British Trent, nor, perhaps for the survivors. If not for the courage and discipline aboard, the toll could have been far higher. That alone is an important lesson: Training, drills and discipline save lives.”

An investigation by Britain’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch on behalf of Bermuda identified the cause of the incident as failure to comply with the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea. Western Winner proceeded at an unsafe speed in restricted visibility, did not keep an adequate watch, and there appears to have been no passage plan. There was also a failure to keep an adequate continuous radar watch on the bridge of British Trent.

“This case is a classic example of why colregs are so important to understand and implement,” says Couttie, “It’s also a warning not to make assumptions about what another vessel is going to do.”

Also touched on is the issue of the criminalisation of seafarers. An inquest in the UK found that the death of the victims was an “unlawful killing” by those in command of the Western Winner.

Says Couttie: ”There has to be considerable doubt about the competency of the master of the Western Winner. Some comments about the case suggest that the master should have been tried on criminal charges and punished. The fact is that a certificate of competency doesn’t mean that someone can do the job. I would ask whether those who put him in command without ensuring that he was capable of safe navigation should bear responsibility, too.”

Like all MAC podcasts, The Case Of The Church Bell reveals the circumstance around a real event through an audio podcast and online materials available for free at the Maritime Accident Casebook website, http://maritimeaccident.org.

As with the preceding episodes, the podcast is backed by an illustrated online transcript that seafarers can read, discuss and share with their crewmates and other seafarers. Those with training and safety responsibilities can use the broadcasts and the transcripts freely.

Maritime Accident Casebook, MAC, is a unique, free, informal educational resource, supported by donations, for seafarers and maritime trainers which seeks to empower seafarers through knowledge to keep themselves alive and their ships safe. MAC encourages seafarers to discuss lessons learned from real-life events and apply them to their own vessels and working practices to create a safety-conscious community.

The Case Of The Church Bell

For further information about Maritime Accident Casebook see the website at http://maritimeaccident.org email mac@maritimeaccident.org

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Cutty Sark Murder Investigation

 fire  Comments Off on Cutty Sark Murder Investigation
Oct 192008
 

Inquiries into last year’s fire aboard the historic Cutty Sark on the Thames “had to be made to the standard of a murder investigation” says police inspector Dave Garwood, who announced ther findings to journalists. According to the police report the fire aboard the 19th century three-masted tea clipper was set off by an overheated vacuum cleaner.

Fortunately, less than two per cent of the vessel was destroyed in the blaze which took two hours to extinguish. Cutty Sark is the only surviving example of her class of what is regarded as the ultimate development of the sailing ship, their classic speed making them a precursor to the fast modern containership.

It is believed that a vacuum cleaner accidentally left running over a weekend during restoration work, or overheated electrical wiring triggered the fire.

The vessel is administered by the Cutty Sark Trust and the fire added £18m ($36m) to the cost of the project, which is currently £5.4m short of funds needed.

Lessons? Switch off electrical equipment when not in use and check that it is switched off before leaving the area.

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Finns Fight Sock Fire To The Finish

 accident reporting, fire, fire safety, funny  Comments Off on Finns Fight Sock Fire To The Finish
Aug 042008
 

We don’t normally cover incidents on military vessels but a fire aboard a Finnish minelayer, Pohjanmaa may yet have lessons for civilian merchant vessels, mainly, watch where you dry your socks.

Pohjanmaa, the biggest ship in the Finnish navy, caught fire on 1st August. According to Finnish news agency STT the fire was quickly extinguished and there was minimal damage.

According to the ship’s captain, Lieutenant Commander Jon von Weissenberg, “Conscripts had left their gear in the wrong place.” Those things being wet socks, the wrong place being too close to a radiator used for drying said socks.

MAC is well aware of cases in which oil-contaminated clothing has caught fire when near a source of heat (And of course, oil-soaked rags spontaneously combusting), but socks are a new one, although given the occasional lapse of personal hygiene a self-combusting sock might not be too impossible.

Anyway, beware of Finnish sailors with blazing socks.

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Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008

 grounding, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008
Jul 092008
 

Fatal accident at Savannah ports
WTOC – Savannah,GA,USA
They say an International Longshoremen was working with the Stevedore Society of America near or on the vessel, The Saga Journey when the accident occurred.

The Spirit of Nantucket runs aground – again
The Virginian-Pilot – Norfolk,VA,USA
After about nine hours, the ship was refloated. Passengers were taken to an airport. A Coast Guard spokesman said it’s not clear whether the grounding was

Crew rescued from sinking ship
News24 – South Africa
Johannesburg – Thirty six crew members were rescued after a Spanish fishing vessel caught fire and sank off the east coast of southern Africa, the Cape Town


Crews still monitoring Miami cargo ship fire
Associated Press – July 8, 2008 10:24 AM ET MIAMI (AP) – Firefighters are still at the scene of a massive cargo ship fire that is smoldering on the Miami River.

14 boat migrants missing off Spain
International Herald Tribune – France
Maritime rescue official Miguel Zea said planes, boats and helicopters were searching the area, but there was very little chance of finding anyone alive,

Coast Guard OKs return of cruise ship to Juneau after grounding
International Herald Tribune – France
However, the ship does have structural damage which must be corrected before it can again carry passengers. Officials say the cause of the grounding remains

Ship Mona Lisa’s costly evacuation

RIGA- The freeing of the stranded ship Mona Lisa and evacuation of passengers cost Latvia 135,000 lats (EUR 192,000).

Ieva Aile, head of the governmental press service, told the Baltic News Service that Latvian lawyers are still negotiating with the insurer two financial positions that will decide whether value added tax is included in the total sum to be paid to Latvia.

2 BMI probers quit with guns blazing
Inquirer.net – Philippines
But veteran ship captains Rear Adm. Benjamin Mata and Commodore Amado Romillo went out with guns blazing against Sulpicio Lines Inc., owners of the

Philippineferry,Princess of the Stars,capsize,sinking, BMI, Savannah,port,fatality,death,Saga Journey,Atlantic,fire,Miami,

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