Apr 082015

When it comes to safe navigation,
if you don’t ask a question right
you’re not asking the right question and
you won’t get the right answer.

Read the transcript

Continue reading »

Apr 172014

NTSB Investigators Morgan Turrell and Christopher Babcock examine propulsion and steering controls on the bridge of Seastreak Wall Street.

By the time the captain of Seastreak Wall Street realised he’d lost control of the vessel it was too late to prevent the vessel colliding with a Manhattan pier at about 12 knots on the morning of January 9, 2013. Of the 331 people on board, 79 passengers and one crewmember were injured, four of them seriously, in the third significant ferry accident to occur in the New York Harbor area in the last 10 years.

The intended maneouvre was a common one among those commanding the Seastreak fleet: Reduce speed and transfer control from one bridge station to another better visibility less than a minute before reaching Pier 11/Wall Street on the East River. However, it left little opportunity to correct a loss of control at a critical moment.

The incident had been waiting to happen since July 2012 when a controllable pitch propulsion system was installed to replace the existing water-jet propulsion along with a poorly designed control panel and alert system, “The available visual and audible cues to indicate mode and control transfer status were ambiguous” says the NTSB. Continue reading »

Seastreak Investigation Updates

 Accident Investigation, allision, contact, Ferry  Comments Off on Seastreak Investigation Updates
Jan 262013
NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

Updates have been released by the US National Transportation Safety Board  on the investigation into the 9 January accident in New York City involving the Seastreak Wall Street ferry.

The engine manufacturer has arrived on-scene and investigators were able to download alarm and parametric data stored on engine control modules in each of the two engine compartments. In addition, investigators retrieved video from several onboard cameras. All of this information is being analyzed.

Investigators also tested the vessel’s steering systems and the tests were satisfactory.

The investigative team have started to conduct static testing of the main engines and control systems. Continue reading »

NTSB To Investigate Overseas Reymar Contact

 Accident, Accident Investigation, allision, collision, contact  Comments Off on NTSB To Investigate Overseas Reymar Contact
Jan 082013

ntsbThe US National Transportation Safety Board today announced it is investigating a contact incident on Monday between the oil tanker Overseas Reymar and one of the supports of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge while under pilotage.

The NTSB named Barry Strauch as the investigator-in-charge. Strauch will coordinate with the US Coast Guard, which classified the accident today as a “major marine casualty,” because the incident exceeded the threshold of more than $500,000 in property damage.

The NTSB investigated a similar accident in 2007, when the container ship Cosco Busan hit the Bay Bridge and spilled thousands of gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay. In the Cosco Busan accident, the NTSB determined that a medically unfit pilot, an ineffective master, and poor communications between the two were the cause of the accident. Investigators will be reviewing the circumstances of yesterday’s accident in light of the safety recommendations made following the Cosco Busan accident.

Apr 112011

ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard is investigating an allision involving the tugboat Clarkston and the deep draft cargo vessel Genco Marine on the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash., Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, Ore., received a call at approximately 9:30 a.m., reporting the allision at Columbia River mile marker 102.5, near the Vancouver anchorage, with possible damage to the Clarkston.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., is currently investigating.

The Genco Marine was at anchor during the time of the allision.

Norway Wants Collisions Contained – Energy Assumptions Dangerous

 Accident, allision, collision, contact  Comments Off on Norway Wants Collisions Contained – Energy Assumptions Dangerous
Jan 052011

Big Orange looking blue after contact with the Ekofisk platform

With 26 collisions in 10 years between offshore facilities and visiting vessels on the Norwegian shelf, six with very large hazard potentials, Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, has said enough is enough. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) believes training and organisational factors should receive more attention, while at the same time, the technical failure rate must be reduced. Continue reading »

MAIB Warns On Running Main Engines After Passenger Walkway Collapse

 Accident, Accident report, allision, contact, maritime safety news  Comments Off on MAIB Warns On Running Main Engines After Passenger Walkway Collapse
Dec 212010

The passenger walkway collapsed

Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, has urged the UK Major Ports Group, UKMPG, and British Ports Association, BPA, to review the risks of vessels running main engines while embarking or disembarking passengers and vehicles; and, inspect the passenger access structures in their ports, following the best practices and guidelines available on the subject from the civil engineering industry. The warning follows MAIB’s into unintended movement of the ro-ro passenger vessel Ben-My-Chree during loading operations at Heysham on 26 March 2010.

The accident was caused when the chief officer, intending to carry out pre-departure
control tests, set the pitch lever of both main propulsion engine CPPs to the 100%
ahead position. Expecting both shafts to be stationary, he had not noticed that the
starboard engine and shaft were running at sea speed with its CPP set on zero pitch.

The engineer who passed control of the engines to the bridge was not fully aware of  which machinery was running, and had not informed the chief officer that the starboard shaft was turning. Running the main engines in port during passenger and vehicle operations was a normal activity on board this vessel, carried out once every three days to facilitate water-washing of the turbochargers on the main engines. Continue reading »

Queen of Nanaimo: Grounding: A Case of Loose Dowel Movements

 Accident, Accident report, allision, contact/allison  Comments Off on Queen of Nanaimo: Grounding: A Case of Loose Dowel Movements
Dec 182010

Queen of Nanaimo: Loose Dowels did her in

Two loose dowel pins and poor shipboard communications led to a contact incident  of BC Ferries Queen of Nanaimo on 3 August 2010, says an internal company report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Vancouver Sun.

The incident, in which the vessel hit a dock at 5 knots, resulted in four injuries to passengers and six to employees.

Each of the vessel’s two controlled pitch propeller arrangements include two tapered dowels which secure the auxiliary servo piston and the lever on top of the Kamewa control post which moves the valve rod for the propeller hub.  After the incident the two dowels in the port oil distributor box were missing.

Continue reading »

Nordic Express Island Strike – Two Minutes Alone Is All It Took To Make A Meal Of An Entrée

 Accident report, allision, ballast, Bridge procedures, bridge team management, Canada, grounding  Comments Off on Nordic Express Island Strike – Two Minutes Alone Is All It Took To Make A Meal Of An Entrée
May 312010


In the midst of a critical turn on 16 August 2007 to take the vessel into a channel between Entrée Island and Schooner Island the OOW of the Canadian ferry Nordic Express sent the helmsman from the bridge to call the docking crew to stations. The OOW took over the helm, a position from which he could not see the radar or the Electronic Chart Display, ECS.

Over the next two minutes the OOW had problems controlling the turn. By the time the helmsman returned to the bridge the vessel was on the desired heading but on a parallel track offset to the north east and heading for Entrée Island full-ahead.

Continue reading »