Mar 312011
 

Mugwop: Never found

Rigid inflatable Boats, RIBs, often seem to give users a false sense of security and complacency. It is a dangerous attitude, as the loss of two crew, untrained in handling a RIB just hours after another passenger had suffered head injuries.

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission renetly published its findings into the fatality. It makes uncomfortable reading. Continue reading »

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Jul 082010
 
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Compliant but not safe

Korean-registered fishing vessel Pantas No.1, “was fully compliant” with a New Zealand safe ship management system but that did not prevent a fatality caused by poor on-board safety practices.

The bosun, who was directing hatch operations while unloading cargo operations from inside a rigged safety line at number 3 fish hold, was catapulted forward by the safety rope and fell down the hold when a load that was being hoisted caught on the safety rope, pulling it taught and displacing one of the securing points to which it was attached. The bosun later died from his injuries. Continue reading »

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May 032010
 

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Maritime New Zealand has released its report into the collision between the
Auckland Coastguard vessel Rescue Alpha and a recreational personal water craft PWC 911, also known as a jet ski, on 13 June 2009. As a result of the collision the rider of the PWC 911 fractured her ankle and several ribs.

The PWC 911 was extensively damaged and has been “written off” as being uneconomical to repair.

Says Maritime New Zealand: “The overarching causation was determined as being the way the master of the Rescue Alpha applied the ‘stand on’ requirements contained in Maritime Rule 22.17. It was also determined that the lookout maintained by the rider of PWC 911 was not adequate to account for vessels not involved in the race event that were approaching side on, abeam.

Continue reading »

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Sep 152009
 
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Devprayag's killer spring

Allowing poor maintenance of mooring lines may be a way for cheapskates to save money but it kills seafarers and, as in this case, linemen ashore. Maritime New Zealand makes the point in its latest issue of Lookout!. It also highlights a murderous level of negligence and poor seamanship aboard the Indian-flagged bulker Devprayag.

A synthetic aft spring, worn, damaged, contaminated with grease and paint – which degrade synthetic materials, and unrecorded in the ship’s documentation and certificates, was apparently felt appropriate by the shipowner and the vessel’s officers to handle the enormous forces it was subject to. It was not. It snapped, seriously injuring a crewmember, who was so badly hurt he was unable to give information to investigators, and hitting a lineman ashore who was flung over a steel railing and killed.

Continue reading »

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Aug 202009
 

Maritime New Zealand has issued a guidance note, June 2008, Issue 8:  Use of electronic charts, ECDIS and ENCs in New Zealand, targetted at New Zealand shipping companies, International SOLAS, vessels visiting New Zealand, Classification societies in New Zealand, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) safety inspectors, auditors and accident investigators.

The notice details the technical requirements relating to Maritime Rule Part 25, the different types of chart display systems and the need to maintain and use paper charts. The notice was first issued in June 2008, and the information on the availability of ENCs (electronic navigation charts) from land Information New Zealand has been updated.

Download [PDF: 134Kb, 8 pages]

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Dec 122007
 

Maritime New Zealand’s December issue of Look Out (download here) is as always, full of maritime accident reports and hair-raising close calls with lessons worth learning. We noted two in particular:

A containership crane jib collapsed without warning and fell onto the wharf close to several workers. Fortunately no-one was injured. Exactly what caused the collapse remains a mystery. The crane topping lift wire rope had parted, yet undamaged parts of the rope appeared to be in condition, it was the correct spec and appropriate maintenance and inspection had been carried out

A microscope revealed that the parting was caused by severe abrasive wear, mainly of the crown wires of the outer strands and there was considerable wear on the wires below the surface of outer strands  and on inner core strand wires.

So watch out even cranes in apparently good condition can fail without warning.

What is also worrying is that this particular crane design failed to unsafe – the failure of a single wire rope results in a major accident.

In a second incident a 60,000 tonnes car carrier came within 20 metres of a fishing trawler in Force 7 winds and 3 metres waves.

The skipper of the bright orange, highly visible trawler saw the car carrier in his 12 mile radar about five miles out bearing almost directly astern and was obviously overtaking. He wnt below to check the engine and cll the other two crewmen to pull in the nets. Returning to the wheelhouse he noticed the carrier was two or three miles astern, he wasn’t worried, it had happened before and he assumed someone on the carrier was keeping a proper lookout. Then his cellphone rang and he answered it for a few minutes.

When he finished his cellphone chat he turned around to find the carrier just 200 to 300 metres away. This got his immediate attention but by the time he’d grabbed his VHF Radio the carrier was roaring past starboard with about 20 metres.

There is no reference in the report regarding the status of the skipper’s underpants at this point.

As it happened, the carrier’s third officer was alone on the bridge, wasn’t looking ahead with binoculars and had set the radar anti-sea clutter in a way that he thought would differentiate between false and real targets but it didn’t spot the trawler and the automatic target acquisition wasn’t being used. The carrier was on automatic steering. He only saw the trawler when it was around 300 metres away.

There’s no reference in the report to the state of his underpants at that moment, either.

The lesson: Complacency is dangerous, don’t just assume that another vessel will do what you expect it to do.

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