Cold Transits Heat Up

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Jun 112014

arcticOver the past four years annual Polar transits have increased from a mere four to more than 60, says the Swedish Club,  and there is no sign it will slacken off. While the shipping industry is taking climate change in its stride even minor incidents while have potentially major impacts, both on the environment and politically,  yet there is no internationally agreed polar code, or regime, for ice navigation.

Ice navigation requires a very special skills set to avoid accidents and help and incident mitigation will be difficult given polar conditions. Navigation equipment such as compasses and charts can be unreliable at these latitudes and radar returns may be misleading – aircraft have crashed when relying on radar to determine height, for instance.  Yet as longer ice-free summers and increased offshore operations focus attention on the polar regions, transits to and from the Arctic ports are set to increase significantly.

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International P&I Issues Calcium Hypochlorite Warning

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May 282011

Watch what it says on the tin. Photo: The Swedish Club

Several cargo fires have apparently been caused by self-ignition of Calcium Hypochlorite, a powerful oxidising agent, including Hanjin Pennsylvania, CMA Djakarta, DG Harmony, Sea Elegance and last year’s Charlotte Maersk incident. Now the International Group of P&I Clubs has issued a Frequency Asked Questions, FAQ, on the chemical through its members.

Says Det Norsk Veritas: “Container fires have received a lot of press coverage in recent years. Huge fires have caused big ships to be abandoned and lost, such as the Hanjin Pennsylvania in November 2002, and the Hyundai Fortune in 2006. The fires are often associated with problem cargoes like calcium hypochlorite, an oxidizing agent that will self ignite under given conditions. Extinguishing such fires can be a real problem as oxygen is released by the substance when burning, making the fire self sustaining”. Continue reading »

Egypt unrest update

 Egypt  Comments Off on Egypt unrest update
Feb 032011

Suez Canal

Members of the Swedish Club have been advised: “The present situation in Egypt is not predictable due to communication disruptions. The Swedish Club monitors the situation and advise members to do the same.

“There is a nationwide curfew from 17:00 to 08:00 local time which can have a negative affect on port and Suez Canal operation.

“Selected port terminals are closed which mainly disrupt container and bulk operations while oil and gas terminals are operating normally. It has been reported that the only open port is Port Said where the military is present, but there are also reports that Damietta are operating but with disruptions. It is difficult to confirm this information.

“The Suez Canal remains open to traffic as the military control the operation of the canal. Pilots are given military protection to be able to carry out their duties and are exempted from the curfew.

“The above information is from several different sources”.

Swedish Club Advisory

Ivory Coast Situation For Shipping

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Dec 032010

image As the situation in the Ivory Coast continuing to be uncertain following last Sunday’s polls, the country’s Constitutional Council has overturned earlier poll results and declared President Laurent Gbagbo the winner. The Swedish Club’s correspondent ther, IVORY P&I has provided the following official briefing:

“This is an official notice to advise of the evolution of the situation in IVORY COAST.

As you probably already know, the second round of the ongoing Presidential elections was held last Sunday. The results disclosed yesterday afternoon, 02.12.10, by the Independent Electoral Commission announcing former Prime Minister Mr OUATTARA as the winner are now being challenged by his opponent, current President Laurent BAGBO.

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Swedish Club – Contact incidents getting worse

 collision, grounding, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Swedish Club – Contact incidents getting worse
Sep 052007

Göteborg: August 29th, 2007 – Release from The Swedish Club

Study of major accidents highlights “Competence erosion”

Serious marine accidents are on the increase, according to The Swedish Club. Commenting on the findings of a new Club report on collisions and contact damage, Managing Director Frans Malmros says: “We saw fewer major accidents in the 1990s, but we are now experiencing a disturbing reversal of that positive trend.“The truth is unpalatable. The most likely explanation for an increase in the serious accident rate is a fall in crew experience and, thus, lower competence levels, exacerbated by stress and fatigue.”

These conclusions are contained in a review of collision and contact cases dealt with by the Club in the two years to end-2006. The accidents include collision and contact damages in port approaches, coastal waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone. The study focused on the causal factors linked to failure to follow standard operating procedures, instructions for critical shipboard operations (where an error might immediately cause an accident threatening people, the environment and the ship) and emergency response actions.

Frans Malmros warns: “Since 2000 there has been an increase in the number of new recruits to shipping, but this is coupled with lower retention and faster promotion. People now have less time to get to know their ship. Meanwhile, the paperwork and inspection-related workload continues to mushroom, but the average crew size is static.

“Around half of all accidents at sea can be traced back to fundamental navigation bridge system failures – leading to collisions, groundings and contact damages. The problem is not necessarily attributable to crew size, but there is certainly a direct correlation with a generic loss of experience.

“This is a significant stress factor, in its own right, for those more experienced seafarers who face the constant challenge of training the inexperienced. Clearly, this state of affairs is unsatisfactory and the implications of our findings offer sufficient grounds for the launch of a new joint industry initiative. The tanker shipping and cruise sectors are in an excellent position to take the lead here, as operating requirements in these areas are especially stringent. Meanwhile, The Swedish Club continues to make a significant global contribution, through the Maritime Resource Management (MRM) training programme. This is now available at 24 training providers in 15 countries around the world.”

The co-pilot system; the ‘co-pilot’ monitors the pilot’s actions being ready, at all times, to take over the controls.

The Swedish Club’s report includes recommendations for positive change. They include:

• Longer periods of introduction for new recruits.

• More effective time management by Deck Officers, who should have the flexibility to defer non-essential/non-urgent administrative tasks, in the interests of avoiding fatigue.

• Recognition that officers responsible for shipboard training need sufficient time to carry out these important training duties.

• Close monitoring of crew competence levels, especially the competence of personnel responsible for critical shipboard operations.

• More emphasis on pre-planning (e.g. reinforcing bridge manning when reaching critical areas).

• Steps to eliminate the risk that an error on the part of a single individual could result in a disastrous situation.

• Encourage the use of all means of establishing the ship’s position, so that if one method is no longer reliable, others are immediately accessible.

• Make use of passage planning and navigational systems which allow continuous monitoring and detection of deviation from track when in coastal waters.

• Ensure that junior bridge team members understand that they must never hesitate to question a decision from a higher ranking officer, should doubt arise.

• The report strongly advocates the adoption of the “co-pilot” principle. Frans Malmros adds: “Under this system the ‘pilot’ has control of the vessel and the ‘co-pilot’ monitors the pilot’s actions and keeps a lookout. The success of this system depends on a free flow of information between the two and a rigorous procedure requiring the positive reporting of actions and intended actions. The ‘co-pilot’ should be ready, at all times, to question the actions and intentions of the ‘pilot’.

The Swedish Club
The Swedish Club was founded in 1872. It is a leading mutual marine insurance company, owned and controlled by its members. The Club writes Hull & Machinery, War Risks, Protection & Indemnity, Loss of Hire, Freight Demurrage & Defence and any additional insurance required by shipowners. The head office is located in Göteborg, Sweden, and branch offices are located in Piraeus, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

As at August 29th the Club covered 1,923 vessels for Hull & Machinery, 837 vessels for P&I and 509 vessels for FD&D.

More information about the Club is available at:

Maritime Safety News Today, September 5, 2007

 alert, collision, device, distress, fatality, Pollution, Sinking, training  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today, September 5, 2007
Sep 052007

Investigators eye water pump in deadly sinking
KOMO – Seattle,WA,USA
“That may have lead to the sinking of the vessel.” Investigators are still working to determine exactly what went wrong. The Papa George operated out of

Marine Pollution in the Wake of Haifa Boat Collision
Israel Ministry of the Environment – Jerusalem,Israel
The collision and subsequent sinking of the ship led to the spill of large quantities of diesel oil, which settled on the shores of Kiryat Haim and Kiryat

Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
Meanwhile, The Swedish Club continues to make a significant global contribution, through the Maritime Resource Management (MRM) training programme.

Coast Guard Issues New Oil Barge Regulations

Posted 08/31/07 at 02:15 PM

According to reports, the Coast Guard has issued new rules governing the transportation of oil through Buzzards Bay that require single-hulled tankers and oil barges to be escorted by a second tugboat…

APL-Developed Automatic Device Could Indicate Boats in Distress
Johns Hopkins Gazette – Baltimore,MD,USA
A former naval architect with the Coast Guard, Borlase has conducted many maritime accident investigations. His inspiration for AIDD came after

Calls to share cost of Malacca Straits safety IMO urges users and stakeholders to share the cost of funding projects aimed at boosting safety in the strait.

Six missing after collision off east China