Indian Iron Ore Warnings Continue

 maritime safety news, safety alert, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Indian Iron Ore Warnings Continue
Dec 162010

image North of English P&I Club, Nepia, has issued and alert regarding post-monsoon loading iron ore cargoes in India. Liquefaction of cargo is, unfortunately a common cause of ships foundering.

Warns Nepia: “The risks of loss of life, damage to the environment and loss of property are only too apparent, but if a Member fails to comply with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code and / or local regulations they should also be aware that they might be prejudicing Club cover. All of the Group Clubs have similar Rules which in essence exclude cover for liabilities, costs and expenses arising from unsafe or unduly hazardous trades or voyages.

Among the problems encountered are:

Continue reading »


Most Easterly Somali Pirate Attack Reported – Possible Mothership

 piracy, Somalia  Comments Off on Most Easterly Somali Pirate Attack Reported – Possible Mothership
Oct 292010

image In what is believed to to be the most easterly attack of its kind alleged Somali pirates attempted to seize the Hong Kong-registered  crude oil tanker, Star Light Venture while underway at about 340 nm west of Mangalore, India (13°16′ N, 068° 59’E) on 28 October at or about 0030 hrs.

two small craft with an unknown number of pirates onboard approached the vessel from the starboard quarter. Armed with guns, the pirates fired at the vessel which resulted in about 50 bullet holes found on the accommodation doors and broken foremast light fixtures. The ship took evasive action and increased speed to 16 knots, and finally managed to shake off the pirates.

The crew was not injured.

The Indian Coast Guard which is also the ReCAAP Focal Point (India) has despatched an aircraft to the area to locate the pirates’ crafts.

This is the furthest incident east of Somalia suspected to be carried out by east African pirates.

Says ReCAAP: “Considering the involvement of two small crafts in the reported incident and the distance between the incident and the east African coast, the presence of a mother ship is not ruled out. Vessels are advised to exercise extreme caution when navigating within 100 nautical miles of the position given in this report and maintain maximum CPA with any ship acting suspiciously.

ReCAAP ISC advises mariners transiting the area to exercise vigilance at all times and adopt adequate boarding protection measures as described in the BMPs.

Ship masters are also advised to report all actual and attempted incidents in this
vicinity to the MRCC Mumbai immediately at the following contact numbers:

MRCC (Mumbai)
Coast Guard Region (West)
Mumbai – India
Telephone :
Fax :


Beware of Any Old Indian Iron

 maritime safety, publications, Sinking  Comments Off on Beware of Any Old Indian Iron
Jul 252010

imageAs the Indian monsoon season starts, the shipping industry once again faces the practical
challenges associated with the export of iron ore fines from Indian ports, says the London P&I Club in its latest Stoploss Bulletin. New guidelines from the Indian government, however, may take the pressure off of shippers to provide certification that a cargo is safe.

Liquefaction of iron ore fines was implicated in the sinking of MV Black Rose in September 2009 with the death of the ship’s chief engineer as he desperately tried to save the vessel. MV Asian Forest, which sank in July 2009 off Mangalore and remains off the Indian coast, was another victim of the same phenomenon. Continue reading »


Maritime Safety & Security News – 7 September 2009

 Accident, capsize, capsize,heavy weather,overloading,stability, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 7 September 2009
Sep 072009

15 Filipinos, 4 Koreans rescued from troubled cargo ship
Philippine Star
A Hong Kong maritime accident monitoring center asked the local coast guard to start a search and rescue after receiving a distress call from the Hera,

Turkish bulk carrier Gulser Ana aground off Madagascar
Madagascar, 7 September – The Turkish bulk carrier GULSER ANA (23,602-gt, built 1985) went aground off the Madagascan coast at Faux Cap, the ship’s operator has announced.
According to the operator, Mardeniz Denizcilik of Istanbul, all 23 seafarers on board have been safely rescued by the Madagascan coast guard and taken ashore uninjured.

Dramatic rescue of fishermen off southern Cape coast
In a dramatic rescue off the Cape south coast on Sunday the National Sea Rescue Institute was involved in a search and rescue operation after two eye-witnesses noticed a single red distress flare out at sea off Riebok, which is approximately halfway between Mossel Bay and Glentana.

More headlines:

Continue reading »

Aug 312009

NOAA worker falls overboard under Skyway, critically injured
Tampa Tribune
The incident occurred at 11:15 am as a crewman aboard a 28-foot NOAA vessel was doing maintenance work on equipment that was on top of a cluster of pilings

Ships collide near Haldia port
Times of India
Even as it was negotiating the shallow waters of Jellingham, it rammed into the 120-ft-long Dredge 16, a Dredging Corporation of India vessel.

Death toll reaches 21 in S. Kalimantan boat accident
Jakarta Post
The Search and Rescue Team has found two more bodies of passenger ship KM Sari Mulia, increasing its death toll to 21 as of Monday afternoon.

Continue reading »


Panama – Rezzak disappearance may be fraud

 casualties, maritime crime  Comments Off on Panama – Rezzak disappearance may be fraud
Jul 042008

Senior officials in the maritime accident investigation department of the Panama Maritime Authority have told Maritime Accident Casebook that fraud is still being considered in the disappearance of the general cargo carrier M/V Rezzak earlier this year. Panama and other states involved in the case including India, Russia and Turkey are planning a $1.3 underwater search for the missing vessel.

Nothing has been heard from the 26-year old, 3009 tonne M/V Rezzak or her 25-strong Indian crew since she disappeared following her departure from the Russian port of Novorossiysk on February 17 with a cargo of 2,800 tonnes of steel billets, bound for Bartin Lamani in Turkey. Several members of the crew’s family believe they may still be alive and held against their will and some claim that the crews’ cellphone were working for sometime after her disappearance.

Another ship, the tug Jupiter 6, with the same manning agent, Pelican, and an Indian crew disappeared in September 2005. The EPIRB of the Jupiter 6 was manually activated some 33 days after radio contacts was lost. In that case, too, there were odd cellphone issues.

The Indian government says that the incident has “shaken”the government’s confidence in its maritime training policy. Kiran Dhinga, India’s Director General of Shipping, asked for a re-investigation of the incident at an IMO meeting last month. She is quoted in the Indian press as saying that following her criticism of the ‘the fundamental safety mechanism of IMO and every safety mechanism ever put in place by it’ : “The secretary general (IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos of IMO organised a meeting in his chambers with the delegation of the concerned states and the substantially interested state (India), requesting them to work in close cooperation in tracing the missing ship as soon as possible.”

Engineer Gerardo Varela, chief maritime investigator for Panama’s Maritime Authority arrived in Turkey this week to join another investigator who has been there since February co-operating with the Turkish government. Piracy has been ruled out due to the weather conditions at the time of the disappearance but the possibility of fraud is still being considered.

One of the investigators involved told MAC: “We have not discarded the possibility of fraude, as there is so much information collected which lead us to that hypothesis. For example, a life raft was found with the vessel’s previous name written in the raft’s plastic and not on the outside, where the current vessel’s name must be written. Also, if the Captain knew that there was bad weather in that area, why did he continue to sail in that same area?”

The seaworthiness of M/V Rezzak has been questioned but the investigator says that although a number of deficiencies originally led to the detention of the Rezzak for two weeks, the relevant Port State Control authorised the vessel’s departure after the deficiencies were rectified and verified by its classification society, NKK, a member of the International Association of Classification Societies. Among the items replaced on the vessel was its EPIRB unit, which was not triggered during the disappearance.

Currently, an eight-day underwater search for the Rezzak is planned costing $1.3 and funding for the project is being sought from the four involved countries, India, Turkey, Russia and Panama.

See Also: “Ghostly Goings On – The Rezzak Mystery”

Mar 052008

On 29th February the wife of Indian sailor Afroze Ahmed called the cellphone of electrical engineer Pritam Singh. The phone was answered and immediately went silent. An Indian called Udaynarayan rang his brother Hridaynarayan’s cellphone on the evening of Wednesday 26th February. A voice replied “Hello” then the cellphone went dead. The previous Sunday, the 23rd, an SMS text had been successfully delivered to the cellphone of a ship’s engineer and the cost of the roaming SMS facility been charged to his account.

Not especially remarkable except that Ahmed, Hridaynarayan and the ship’s engineer are three of the 25 Indian crew still missing in the Black Sea, along with their vessel MV Rezzak since 17th February.

Suspicions were enhanced by the fact that Turkish search and rescue efforts produced several items of survival equipment, lifebouys, lifeboats and the like together with an oil slick. The equipment was marked Asean Energy, a name the ship had not carried for around a decade.

That no bodies or personal effect were found is not particularly suspicious. When the British trawler Gaul vanished in a storm the only debris was a single lifejacket found the following year.

When the Bow Mariner exploded and sank off the coast of Virginia (See The Case Of The Unfamiliar Mariner) the majority of bodies were never found even though search and rescue personnel were on site within hours.

It didn’t help allay suspicions, that the ship’s manning agent, Pelican Marine, was also responsible for supplying crew, who came from the same place as those aboard the Rezzak, to the Jupiter 6 which disappeared with all hands in 2005. Then, too, there was an electronic anomaly – 32 days after its disappearance the Jupiter 6’s EPIRB briefly burst into life.

In that case, too, Pelican Marine exhibited a less than enthusiastic interest in helping the families of the vanished crew members.

Like any other piece of equipment, EPIRBS require maintenance that is often not carried out so the lack of an activated EPIRB on the Rezzak may be down to depressingly common lack of attention to life-critical systems aboard ship. Yes, batteries can suddenly, briefly, come back to life for no apparent reason.

No distress call was sent from the Rezzak, but massive structural failure or over overwhelming of the vessel in the bad weather at the time can happen too fast to send a distress call. Even if the failure did not lead to loss of the vessel immediately it may simply be that in the onboard panic the thought of sending such a call fell by the wayside under stress, as it did to the master of the Bow Mariner.

There has been much talk of piracy. Some have dismissed it because there has been no ransom demand, but piracy for ransom is more a feature of the Somalia coast. Most piracy is little more than maritime mugging – grab the cash, valuables and supplies and run – the curse of south easian waters like the Strait of Malacca, in which case there would still be a ship and crew. The third strand of piracy, in which a ship and its cargo is seized and sold, involves international gangs and big business for whom the $3m worth of steel billets and the scrap value of the vessel itself would be small potatoes indeed, although a ready market could be found in China, whose economy is driving much of the current shipping boom and newbuilds. It would be difficult to conduct such an operation under the weather conditions at the time.

Before the Rezzak left the Russian port of Novorossisk she was detained for 37 deficiencies, which included 11 problems related to stability, structure and related equipment, five related to life-saving equipment, and five related to fire safety. There were three deficiencies relted to propulsion and auxiliary equipment., four more related to navigational safety and one related to radio communications.

The ships class society apparently allowed it to sail to Bartin, Turkey, because three deficiencies could not be resolved in Novorossisk.

The Black Sea is a small inland sea. It wouldn’t be particularly easy for a vessel to vanish but still be floating. However, more advanced pirates will weld and cut the ship’s superstructure, paint it, and give it new documentation, typically from an FOC. Nevertheless, piracy, while possible, appears unlikely.

Fraud is a more significant likelihood – scuttling a ship and its cargo and claiming insurance. It is not unknown in the Mediterranean or the Baltic. One would expect the crew to have ‘miraculously’ escaped before the vessel was lost. It is a possibility being explored by the Turkish authorities and the Director General Of Shipping in India has asked the International Maritime Bureau, a private maritime crime organisation attached to the International Chamber of Commerce, for help, and sent an investigator to Turkey on March 6.

One element of the story would appear to make fraud difficult to hide: crew would have had to be involved. There is no history of the entire extermination of a ship’s crew in such cases, which doesn’t mean it can’t happen or hasn’t happened. A very large percentage of the crew, 10 out of 25, came from one tiny dot of an island, part of the Maldives, the only inhabited island in the Maliku Atoll and the most southerly island in the Lakshadweep archipelago, under Indian administration, Minicoy.

Minicoy boasts little more than coconut trees, a lighthouse and a population of a little less than 10,000. The 10 men who have vanished were almost certainly related to just about everyone else in the community. It is hard to believe that the necessary secrecy for fraud could be maintained in that community.

It is difficult to accept that one’s loved ones, relatives, husbands, sons, lovers have vanish so completely, and entirely understandable that there is a reluctance to believe that the Rezzak went to the bottom taking them with it, to cling to the thought that its crew is still alive. But the sea often takes its own in silence.

To put context into the loss, it is as if 300,000 Americans or Europeans suddenly ceased to exist. For Minicoy it is the equivalent of 10 9/11s, or triple the combined losses of Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined in the dropping of the atomic bomb in World War 2.

Its ‘sexy’ to talk about piracy and fraud, and it’s a convenient excuse to with-hold compensation for the seafarer’s families until the insurance companies pay up, but the chances are that the Rezzak went down with all hands in a storm, a great tragedy for that community, a community that, at this moment, is seeing little help or support.

Seafarers are a community bound together by the risk of work and water. The loss of the Rezzak crew is a loss to us all.


Maritime Safety News Today, 8 September 2007

 Den Den, EPIRB, India, Liberia, Mangalore, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today, 8 September 2007
Sep 082007

Liberia: Delta Impex Begins Removing Sinking Vessel – Washington,USA
The firm identified as Delta Impex Incorporated has begun inserting plastic materials on parts of the vessel; with rubber pipes attached in order to use

Ship in trouble after leaving Mangalore port
Hindu – Chennai,India
News spread around 3 pm that another ship was sinking off Tannirbhavi, where mv Den Den, an Eritrean ship, sank, killing three members of the crew on June

Ship’s automatic beacon didn’t send distress call
Seattle Post Intelligencer – USA
The problem with the emergency beacon is just one question still to be answered, and the sinking itself remains under investigation.

Ferries could share fate of runaway vessel: report
Vancouver Sun – British Columbia, Canada
The collision sank or damaged 28 pleasure crafts tied up in the marina but no one was injured either on the ferry or in the marina.

GL Holds Ship Stability Workshop

Posted 09/07/07 at 10:34 AM

More than 70 experts from the international maritime industry met at Germanischer Lloyd headquarters to discuss the current status of the development and research in ship stability. The two day workshop dealt with the probabilistic assessment of intact stability, showed trends in progressive flooding prediction, presented new cognitions of investigations.


Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
Shortage of over 10000 seafarers were predicted in 2005 BIMCO/ISF manpower study. He said: “The warnings fell on deaf ears in most cases.

Sailors protest against extra training
Manila Standard Today – Philippines
The Professional Regulation Commission has come under fire from the Senate for requiring seafarers to take an additional academic course if they wish to get

HELCOM fleet stages live disaster exercise off Estonia
Newsdesk – Stockholm,Sweden
Poland, Sweden – and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), supported by helicopters, took part in this annual operational exercise designed to 

India thanks China for rescuing Indian sailor
Hindu – Chennai,India
Interestingly, an Indian ship had saved 11 Chinese crew members from a sinking cargo vessel on March 21 this year, about 90 miles west of Luzon, Philippines