Piracy Targets Getting Harder

 piracy, Sinking, Somalia, Ukraine  Comments Off on Piracy Targets Getting Harder
Oct 302008

Five ships beat off pirate attacks Five ships, two under gunfire, deterred attacks by Puntland pirates in the Gulf Of Aden in one day alone. Lessons, it seems, are being learned.

Evasive manoeuvering and fire hoses were used to defend the vessels, which have not been named, on 28 October. No injuries were reported among the ships’ crews. Their success may add further weight to arguments against arming ships’ crews, already an unpopular suggestion.

For such tactics to work, however, it’s vital that ships have sufficient manpower to mount effective watches, and that the crew be disciplined, drilled and trained and understand what to do.

Piracy resources:

Lessons From The Danica White

Piracy Commentary – Pirates In The Bow, Seafarers on the Front Lines

Ince & Co Article on Law and piracy

Piracy, Where’s The Love, Where Are The Bikinis?

Good News: Pirates Aren’t Terrorists, Bad News: Pirates Aren’t Terrorists

Getting French and Personal With Pirates

Don’t Keep Mum On Pirate Mothers

Piracy Needs A SASSy Response

The Danica White and The Pirates – All That Was Missing Was A Welcome Mat

Piracy Update – Svitzer Korsakov

Danish Maritime Authority Report On The Danica White (English)

Thomas Timlen’s worrying paper on SSAS

International Maritime Bureau

Rand Piracy Report

UK House of Commons Report

Maritime Piracy In The Modern World (American Bar Association Insights)

15 Reasons: Piracy Attack of a Ship is Different from Hijacking of Aircraft

Danica White, pirates and safe manning

Does LRAD Work?

Pirates, A Doom With A Q?

Piling Pineapples On Pirates The Russian Way

Piracy – MARAD Advisory

A Victim’s Story

BIMCO Push For Fair Seafarer Treatment

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Oct 302008

From Bimco:
BIMCO representatives attended the 94th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Legal Committee held in London from 20 – 24 October 2008. Among the items on the agenda was the development of a draft protocol to the 1996 International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (the HNS Convention), a possible instrument for the provision of financial security in cases of abandonment of seafarers and the fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident.

Fair Treatment of Seafarers and the Hebei Spirit
The issue which most occupied the various delegation was the Hebei Spirit incident. Debate on the fair treatment of seafarers was initially sidetracked following an emotive plea from India to the Government of the Republic of Korea to release Captain Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan, who remain in Korea under a so-called “exit-ban”, which was supported by a statement by China. An overwhelming number of the various IMO Member States participating in the Legal Committee Meeting seconded the plea, as did a number of shipping industry representatives.

BIMCO joined forces with the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Shipping Federation, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, the International Group of P&I Clubs and the International Transport Workers’ Federation in urging the Government of the Republic of Korea to take all necessary to allow the two detained seafarers to return home to their families.

Draft protocol to the HNS Convention
The HNS Convention will, when it enters into force, provide compensation for damage resulting from the maritime transport of hazardous and noxious substances (HNS).  However, 12 years on it is still not in force.

With the aim of facilitating the rapid entry into force of the HNS Convention, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (The IOPC Fund) established a HNS Focus Group to examine some of the underlying causes for inhibiting its entry into force.  Those issues were identified as:

Contributions to the LNG Account
The concept of ‘receiver’, and
The non-submission of contributing cargo reports (upon ratification of the HNS Convention and annually thereafter)

A draft protocol reflecting these issues was prepared by the HNS Focus Group and presented to the Legal Committee Meeting for a detailed and lengthy discussion, with several states voicing support for the draft protocol. However, no consensus was reached ultimately and the issue was tabled for further discussion at the next Legal Committee Meeting, with a view to holding a Diplomatic Conference in late 2009.

Abandonment of seafarers
There was overwhelming support for a mandatory instrument on liability and compensation for claims for death, personal injury and the abandonment of seafarers, however there was a lack of consensus as to which form such an instrument should take, i.e. whether it should be included as an amendment to the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention, or whether it should be a separate IMO or International Labour Organisation instrument. The Joint IMO/ILO Ad Hoc Working Group on Liability and Compensation for Claims for Death, Personal Injury and the Abandonment of Seafarers is charged with considering the options and preparing a draft instrument for discussion at the next meeting.

Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand
Oct 302008

The Ann RousingHaving your eyes open isn’t much good unless they’re pointing in the right direction. That’s a lesson learned the hard way by an OS aboard the Danish registered general cargo ship Ann Rousing in August at El Ferrol, Spain.

The ship is equipped with heavy metal folding hatch covers that roll along a coaming and are controlled by a lever in a box around 30cm to 40cxm above the deck. When the lever is released the hatch coivers stop moving automatically.

With his foot an OS was operating a lever to close a folding hatch cover, supporting himself with a hand on the hatch coaming. Another OS was working nearby. As he operated the lever, the OS took his eyes of his job and looked over to his crewmate.

It was then that the hatch cover rolled over his hand, inflicting an undoubtedly painful fracture that required hospital treatment.

Where not to put your hand

A moment of distraction that could have happened to almost anyone, true, but the incident highlights the need for procedures to be followed properly.

At the time of the incident, the injured OS had been aboard for 10 days but had worked a previous contract for four weeks. Shipboard familiarisation was given and a check list, with a box for ‘Deck cranes/derricks and
‘, was completed. He wasn’t instructed in hatch cover operations ands was just told to go away and read them. Among the written instructions was the warning “Injuries of hands if You are holding to the hatch coaming while operating…” (sic).

That, frankly, is not a good way of emphasising safety issues and the Danish investigators have recommended that the shipowner include instructions in its ship board familiarisation process.

Placement of lever set a trap for the unwary

So, perhaps the first lesson: ensure that safety related instructions are given, and demonstrated, during shipboard familiarisation, don’t rely on the seafarer to read up on them.

Placement of the lever wasn’t thought through very well. When operated with a foot it was a natural, and dangerous, act to put a hand on the hatch coaming for support. If there’s one like it on your ship, it’s a trap waiting to snap at the unwary. Recommendations from the investigators include moving the lever to a location at which hands can’t rest on hatch coamings or installing screening arrangements at control stations. You might take a look at arrangements on your ship.

The official report also notes that no safety watch was kept with someone standing by to press the emergency stop button. When moving heavy equipment, which includes hefty metal hatch covers, it’s wise to set up a safety watch – it could save more than your hand.

Not specifically mentioned in the report is a Job Safety Assessment,JSA, and toolbox talk. The warning in the written instructions suggests that a JSA had been done and the hazards known. It’s seems fairly obvious that there was no toolbox talk prior to the job being carried out. A toolbox talk, which need only take a couple of minutes, involves clarifying who is going to do what, the equipment available, the hazards and the safety procedures to mitigate those hazards.

Chances are that that if there had been a toolbox talk, the injured OS would have kept his eye on the job and his hand off the coaming.

Official Report here

Lookout Below – Jerome H On The Way!

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Lookout Below – Jerome H On The Way!
Oct 302008

Your starter for 10: Where is the best place for a designated lookout at night on route between Dagenham,Essex and Belfast? A) The bridge (B) the messroom?

The answer, aboard the Antigua and Barbuda registered Jerome H in the early hours of the morning of 27th February 2007 was the messroom. Meanwhile the mate was doing paperwork at an aft-facing desk, so he didn’t see the East Goodwin Light vessel before the Jerome H hit it.

Jerome H didn’t have the right charts aboard, either.

The lightship was badly damaged and had to be removed from its station in one of the UK’s busiest shipping lanes, for repairs.

Folkestone Magistrates Court fined the ship’s owner, Wilhelmhaven-based Helms Reederai “Jerome H” KG around $7,000 and ordered them to pay costs of some $26,000.

Paul Coley, MCA Assistant Director, Seafarers and Ships, says: “This collision was caused by the failure to keep a good lookout. It resulted in a major navigation aid being severely damaged. The Mate was alone on the bridge of this vessel in contravention of UK, Flag state and International requirements. The regulations are clear that a lookout is required on the bridge at night.”

Helms Reederai “Jerome H” KG sent out a ship that was so dangerously undermanned it didn’t have enough crew to maintain a proper lookout and comply with regulations regarding working hours onboard with no regard for the crew or the ship. It’s a disgraceful and far too common practice.

Will the Antigua and Barbuda maritime authorities give them a rap on the knuckle? Don’t hold your breath

MAC In Your Lingo

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on MAC In Your Lingo
Oct 302008

English isn’t the first language for many of our readers, and not for the majority of seafarers, so MAC has implemented a translation capability to make life easier. At the bootm of each post and page you’ll see some small national flags. Click one of them – more languages are available, and follow he instructions.

It’s a smart as a computer translation might be 🙂 so we don’t make claim to being especially accurate but the system may be helpful.

Maritime Safety News – 30th October 2008

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Oct 302008

Ships collide in English Channel
BBC News – UK
and the British-registered cargo vessel, Scot Isles, was injured in the incident. A Dover Coastguard spokesman said the collision caused minor damage

Cargoship runs aground above Tay gas pipeline
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
Dover coastguard has reported the collision of an Egyptian-flag handysize bulk carrier WadiHalfa and a British-flag general cargo/training ship Scot Isles

MMA investigating small fire on Maltese-flagged ship
The Malta Maritime Authority is investigating a small fire onboard the Malta-registered ship, Azamara Quest, which occurred earlier today whilst the ship was berthed in the Port of Chios, Greece. No one was injured.

Posted 10/29/08 at 10:39 AM

Netherlands-based towage and salvage specialist, Multraship, and Belgian salvage operator, URS Salvage Maritime Contracting, have refloated the 39,900gt, Singapore-flag containership Kota Lagu, which grounded in the River Scheldt with hazardous cargo on board on October 25.

UK draws up plans to give Navy extra powers
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
The move – which comes mainly in response to the growing problem of piracy in Somalia – will be widely welcomed in the shipping industry.

Surge in piracy prompts demand for broader cover
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
to meet the costs of recovering crews and vessels. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) describes the increase in piracy incidents as unprecedented.

Kenya receives UN approval on rescue of hijacked ship
Mareeg – London,England,UK
The disclosure by Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula came as Britain indicated willingness to combat piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa to

BHP Says One of Four Iron Ore Dumpers Damaged at Port (Update1)
Bloomberg – USA
BHP plans to ship 137 million tons of iron ore this year. Ore is unloaded from the trains at Port Hedland into the car dumpers, screened and crushed,

EU Expects Anti-Piracy Mission to Somalia to Last a Year
Deutsche Welle – Germany
The EU statement said that the bloc’s new flotilla would include four to six ships backed by three or four maritime patrol aircraft, and would be led by

New vessel standard buoys requirements for stability after flooding
YachtAndBoat.com.au – Sydney,Australia
specific safety requirements such as reducing the risk of water entering the vessel due to swamping by waves or a breach of the hull caused by grounding

Maritime Safety News – 29th October 2008

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News – 29th October 2008
Oct 292008

Falmouth coastguards in international rescue
Falmouth Penryn Packet – Falmouth,UK
Falmouth coastguards helped co-ordinate a rescue west of the Cape Verde Islands which involved a vessel sinking. Den Helder received an Inmarsat distress

Somali govt allows Russian warships fight pirates off Somalia
ITAR-TASS – Moscow,Russia
The pirates have threatened to kill the hostages and set the ship on fire if no ransom is paid within 24 hours, Somali radio said on Monday.

Aberdeen oilman killed in accident
Aberdeen Evening Express – Aberdeen,Scotland,UK
The helicopter was carrying workers to a rig operated by oilfield service provider Petrofac. The Aberdeen granddad, from the Tillydrone area, was brought up

Katmai captain describes struggle to save the boat

Seattle Times – United States
While Blake was out of the wheelhouse, he said, the vessel appeared to suddenly shift from neutral to forward gear. The stern was sinking, with perhaps five

UK. Ship owner pleads guilty following Jerome H collision with
At a hearing today in Folkestone Magistrates Court, the owner of a coaster pleaded guilty to three Merchant Shipping safety offences following a collision with the East Goodwin Light Vessel on 27th February 2007.

Liberia-Maritime-Center Liberia soon to host regional maritime center

African Press Agency – Dakar,Senegal
Eight years ago, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conference on Search and Rescue and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System

British Safety Services holds conference in Doha
AME Info – United Arab Emirates
The conference is being sponsored by and held at Enertech Aviation and Maritime Academy in Doha and delegates will have the opportunity to see the

Magdeburg vs Yamashiro Maru – Plots and Clots

 capsize, collision, collision regulations, colregs  Comments Off on Magdeburg vs Yamashiro Maru – Plots and Clots
Oct 292008

MAC’s eye for mystery was caught by a recent report in the Observer retailing claims that the CIA was responsible for a collision of two vessels on the Thames in 1964. Real sea mysteries are fascinating, one of these days we’ll nose around the tale of the Mary Celeste, non-mysteries like the fraudulent ‘Bermuda Triangle’ we don’t have time for. Are tales of the CIA sinking ships in the Thames evidence of a plot, or the tales by a clot?

To set the scene for younger readers, 1964 was the height of the Cold War between capitalism, led by the US, and Communism, led by countries mainly belonging to the Soviet Bloc. Five years earlier, the corrupt Cuban regime of Fulgencio Batista was overthrown in a revolt lead by Fidel Castro, not a communist at the time, who appealed to the US for help rebuilding his country, was turned down and who turned to the Soviets for h only announcing two years after the revolution that Cuba was to be developed as a Soviet-style state. Subsequently, US President John Kennedy authorised an invasion of Cuba, a fiasco now know as the Bay Of Pigs, for which the Cubans have never been forgiven. The Cuban missile crisis didn’t improve their temper either.

Continue reading »

Keeping Afloat On Rubber Rings

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Keeping Afloat On Rubber Rings
Oct 292008

Long before he became president of the US and while practicing as a lawyer Abraham Lincoln was late for an appointment because the paddle steamer he was travelling on ran aground. So miffed was he that he invented inflatable bags that could be fixed to the side of the vessels to make them more buoyancy and lift them over sand bars. Abe’s idea didn’t catch on, otherwise he might have made enough money to buy a president rather than be one but if an Egyptian engineer living in Dubai gets his way one might see ships equipped with rubber rings in much the same manner.

Saeed Mohammad Abbas has invented a device involving inflatable rubber bags laid in a channel running around the hull behind watertight doors. Pressing button releases gas into the bags to provide extra bouyancy when losing stability in an emergency.

MAC has his doubts about the practicality of the idea but you never know.