Jul 292014

Morning Midas. Photo: Eukor Car Carriers Inc.

Overboard is not the place for discarded mooring lines as  Lombard Corporate Finance Ltd., owner of the Eukor car carrier Morning Midas, discovered in an Australian courtroom. As Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA. points out wandering mooring lines are a hazard to other vessels, which is how this case came to light.

The errant 30 to 25 metre line was discovered the hard way by the pilot

launch Wyuna III in the early hours ofAugust 1, 2012 near the pilot boarding station outside Port Phillip Heads when it became entangled in the propellers of the launch and stalled its engines.
An AMSA investigation found charts linking two GPS locations from the Morning Midas deck log book and the site of the collision of the Wyuna III with the mooring line. Morning Midas  failed to report a danger to navigation posed by the mooring line.

Continue reading »

Oct 152012

Graph depicting number of groundings prior to, and after, the introduction of REEFVTS.

Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, has issued a new video on the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vesel Traffic Service, REEFVTS,  available for viewing on the AMSA website. Several high-profile groundings have led to installation of VTS and new procedures for the environmentally-critical area.

Located in Townsville, REEFVTS is a joint initiative of Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) and AMSA. It is one of the largest coastal vessel traffic services in the world, monitoring from Cape York to Sandy Cape.

The Great Barrier Reef is recognised all over the world for both its stunning beauty and its environmental diversity. That’s why the International Maritime Organization declared the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait particularly sensitive sea areas. This means extra care needs to be taken to safeguard the reef from the potential impacts of shipping. Continue reading »

AMSA Turns Up Heat On Hotwork

 alert, AMSA, fire, fire safety, maritime safety news  Comments Off on AMSA Turns Up Heat On Hotwork
Dec 272010

image Amsa is reminding masters and operators of the need to have an effective hot work procedure in place following two recent incidents where the lack of effective controls resulted in the death of one seafarer and serious injuries to another.

Says AMSA: “The term “hot work” is used to describe operations where heat and/or spark(s) may be produced and is not limited to welding and gas cutting operations and includes operations such as grinding and abrasive cutting. Hot work presents two specific hazards:

  • open flames or flying sparks that are able to ignite any flammable gases and vapours (that are produced by liquids and solids); and
  • the hot work itself may produce toxic fumes and gases.

Continue reading »

Jan 112010

image Both Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA, and the United States Coast Guard, USCG, are turning their attention to safe cargo stowage in coming months. AMSA is to launch a ‘focussed inspection campaign’ fro February through April while the USCG is appealing for public comments on cargo securing methods for packages in transport vehicles or freight containers.

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Dec 062009


From the Australian Maritime Safety Authority:

Since the flow of oil was stopped on 3 November 2009, AMSA has conducted exhaustive and methodical aerial surveillance over the Montara well head platform area of operations in an effort to identify any remaining patches of oil or sheen.

Daily flights utilising two aircraft located no oil or sheen and were discontinued last Saturday 28th November 2009. The flights included detailed observations of areas around the vicinity of the platform, back to the Western Australian coastline and up towards Indonesian waters. Marine parks including Ashmore and Cartier Reef were also closely examined. As a consequence of no oil being found and advice from PTTEP Australasia, the National Plan to Combat Pollution of the Sea by Oil and Other Noxious and Hazardous Substances has been deactivated today and demobilisation of all clean-up assets has commenced.

The responsibility for the incident has been handed back to the Designated Authority and PTTEP Australasia.


Sep 062008

Compared to other launch systems,
free-fall lifeboat accidents are relatively rare.
This one was just a drop in the ocean.

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Through Glasses Darkly

 accident reporting, AMSA, maritime safety  Comments Off on Through Glasses Darkly
Aug 212008

We’ve mentioned photochromic lenses before on MAC, following the MAIB’s report on the loss of the yacht Ouzo and her crew and the possible involvement of the ro-ro ferry Pride of Bilbao. These lenses automatically darken or lighten depending on ambient light levels and had been worn by a lookout on the ferry. Now, the Australian Maritime Authority has issued a safety notice that such loenses should not be worn for lookout duties at night (See also IMO circular MSC.1/Circ1280 Night-Time Lookout – Photochromic Lenses and Dark Adaption).

Although not apparent to the wearer, even under ideal conditions such lenses have significantly reduced light transmission properties compared to ordinary lenses making it less likely that navigation lights will be seen.

So, no matter how cool they look, don’t wear them on lookout at night.

AMSA Marine Notice

MAIB Ouzo Report

IMO Circular 1280

Maritime Safety News Today – 19th July 2008

 accident reporting, AMSA, capsize, classification, collision, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 19th July 2008
Jul 192008

19 July

Mersey chemical spill contained
ABC Online – Australia
The Environment Department and the Fire Service were called early this afternoon, after a container on the ship, Searoad Mersey, spilled about 500 litres of

Seamec vessel damaged in accident
Equity Bulls – Chennai,Tamil Nadu,India
Mexico with effect from July 08, 2008, that The vessel while operating at offshore Carmen Mexico, subjected to an accident on July 16, 2008 coming into .

Captain of doomed ship convicted of five charges
Shawn Ralph, captain of the ill-fated Melina and Keith II, was convicted Friday of five of the eight charges he was facing in connection with the sinking. The 65-foot vessel
capsized and sank off Cape Bonavista, NL.

Nigeria: Accident – APM Terminal Gets Foreign Experts
AllAfrica.com – Washington,USA
Mr. Michael Land Hansen said the accident occurred as the Boom of the one of the cranes missed its target while discharging cargo from a vessel.

Salvage tug to rescue stranded cargo ship
The West Australian – Perth,Western Australia,Australia
The Department for Planning and Infrastructure, the Albany Port Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) are coordinating the salvage

Croatian master guilty of drug running
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
A  Croatian reefer master has been convicted by a Greek court of trafficking drugs, in a case that is sure to prompt fresh debate over how seafarers

Gov’t offers bonus to salvage firm if it gets toxic chemical out
ABS CBN News – Philippines
Bautista said retrieval operations should start immediately before the fuel and pesticides leak from the vessel and cause environmental havoc in the area.

Lack of response to Somalia piracy ‘threatens famine’
InTheNews.co.uk – London,UK
The Ministry of Defence added that Britain “has a longstanding commitment to maritime security in the region”, explaining: “The question of any UK naval .

Job Vacancy: Christian couple needed at Falkland Islands Seamen’s
Independent Catholic News – London,UK
Lighthouse Seamen’s Centre – a café/mission complex run for seafarers, fishermen and the local community of the Falkland Islands, in the South Atlantic. .

toxic waste,Princess of the Stars,Philippines,Sulpicio Lines,Titan Salvage,Melina,Keioth II,Sinking,piracy,Seamec,famine,APM,Nigeria,crane boom,Searoad Mersey,Mersey River,chemcal spill,seafarers,seamen,drugs,

AMSA Advises Hookers

 AMSA, anchoring., grounding  Comments Off on AMSA Advises Hookers
Jul 092008

With the typhoon season getting well underway the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has issued anchoring guidelines to help masters avoid joining Pasha Bulker on the ‘Oops Roster’. They might also be useful to bear in mind when dropping the hook elsewhere in a storm.

The influence of the Pasha Bulker incident is apparent in the AMSA Marine Safety Notice. In addition to Pasha Bulker, several others vessels found themselves in trouble in the same storm in part because they had not taken on extra ballast to meet the weather conditions.

AMSA advises: “At all times ballast condition must be maintained so that the ship’s propeller is fully submerged and the vessel’s forward draught and trim are such that the requirements of the vessel’s stability book are maintained and forward slamming is prevented. In the event that deteriorating weather is forecast the Master must make a timely decision to take on heavy weather ballast before conditions become so extreme that ballasting becomes a risky operation.”

During the Pasha Bulker storm, several ships expected Newcastle Vessel Traffic Information Centre, VTIC, to instruct them whether or not to leave the anchor and get underway but the VTIC didn’t have that authority. Says AMSA “The Master must assess the wind and sea conditions and get the vessel underway whenever necessary. He should not wait for instructions from the harbour VTS or port authority, whether in a designated anchorage within port limits or not, if the Master considers the safety of the ship requires such action.”

Where port authorities do not designate an anchorage AMSA reminds masters to take into account “Ample swinging room to be left from charted dangers and other vessels… Good holding ground must be sought whenever possible. Recommendations may be found in Admiralty Sailing Directions and commercially available port guides….An adequate amount of cable, based on a

published well-tried formula and the Master’s experience of the vessel, is to be veered.”

In line with the requirements of STCW, AMSA says: “It is absolutely essential that routines are in place so that the ship’s position is regularly checked. Use of GPS, ECS systems, bearings and radar ranges is recommended. Prevailing weather, predicted weather, tidal streams, proximity of land and traffic congestion at the anchorage must be taken in to account when specifying the position checking routine.”

Keep an eye on the weather and be aware of how vessels at anchor may be affected by local conditions. Says AMSA: “For example intense depressions may form in the Tasman Sea which engender galeforce winds and heavy seas off the south-east coast ports. Ports on the Queensland and north-west coasts are subject to tropical cyclones (typhoons) of extreme violence.

It is essential that the Master monitors current weather forecasts and warnings. Weather forecast

services are contained in the Admiralty List of Radio signals Vol 3 part 2. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology makes available coastal forecasts and warnings on their internet site: www.bom.gov.au.”

Because of the threast of sudden and unexpected extreme weather conditions, AMSA advises: “Ideally the main engines, steering gear, or windlass must not be dismantled or immobilised whilst at anchor as conditions may deteriorate at short notice. If defect rectification makes work on any of these machinery items essential, the situation should be advised to the harbour VTS for their information and on-forwarding to the relevant harbour master and/or port authority. Appropriate notice for sea will be required to mobilise machinery.”

Current AMSA notices can be downloaded here.