Dec 022014
 

Curiosity is a much underused tool for improving safety. From the commissioning of the 93m chemical tanker Key Bora in 2005 no-one wondered why the astern response of its controllable pitch propeller, CPP, was four times slower than its forward response, it was accepted with a shrug as just one of the quirks of this particular vessel. It had not gone unnoticed, it had just gone unquestioned until she rammed a jetty in Hull putting a 90cm hole in her bulbous bow just above the waterline.

It is a good example of how something Not Quite Right, NQR, can lead to a close call and when both go unremarked sooner or later there will be a hit. In the old days of naval warfare the first shot rarely hit the target, it would either overshoot or under shoot the target. A range adjustment would be made and a second shot fired. If that didn’t hit the target it still enabled the gun crew to get a more accurate range, to bracket it, and the next shot would hit the target. A wise commander on the target vessel would take avoiding action to prevent the aggressor bracketing his vessel. Continue reading »

Share
Jan 132010
 

image Last summer the almost 30-year old, Georgian-registered MV Aspet limped into the French port of St. Nazaire with flooding in her hold. The shipowner couldn’t be bothered to pay for repairs, which isn’t surprising because the crew hadn’t been paid for months. The ship remains in drydock in detention.

Norton Maritime Corporation owns Aspet, the ship manager is BAF Denizcilik Ve Ticaret Ltd, who share offices in Istanbul. No strangers to detention: In mid-2009 the vessel spent 115 days in detention at Hull following 57 deficiences,  in the UK, just before being detained in St. Nazaire,  four days in Rostov in 2008 for 13 deficiencies and, in 2007, 132 days detention for  23 deficiencies in Thessalonika.

image It’s just as well the ship made it into St. Nazaire because had she been lost at sea it’s doubtful that her crew would have survived the lifeboats, as these photographs, courtesy of the Apostolship Of The Sea and sent to us by Yann Chauty of Ceps-Survie, the French non-profit maritime training association, who saw conditions on the vessel himself.

Says Yann: “I was very surprised by the portside lifeboat” as well he might have been. Continue reading »

Share
Jun 252007
 

An exhausted Captain; single watch-keeping; a warm, cozy bridge at night; the heavy traffic of the Kiel Canal, and pirated navigational software. If you think that sounds like a recipe for disaster, you’d be absolutely right.

The Case of the Cozy Captain

Listen to the podcast and read the transcript here

Share