Does That 40 Go Into 20? Watch For Box Cheats

 boxship, container accident, containership, crime, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Does That 40 Go Into 20? Watch For Box Cheats
Nov 182014
 

Over the past few years the industry has tried to bring order to the problem of misdeclared container weights, and issue that presets seriosu hazardous to the lives of seafarers and their ships but that doesn’t stop attempts to fraudulently change indicators of container weight, as the   the ICC’s International Maritime Bureau, IMB, has revealed. It’s worth keeping an eye on those boxes.

The incident uncovered by IMB concerned a container of aluminium scrap in which the information outside the box was tampered with to show false weight and size. An IMB member highlighted the case after being notified of a significant weight shortage on the container, which arrived in the Far East from the Middle East.

During the investigation that followed, the member noted that the tare weight of the container, as shown on its door – and used by the shipper – was 3,680kg. The cube, also shown on the door, was 2,700 cubic feet.

The numbers displayed were entirely acceptable for a 40 foot container. However the box in question was a 20 foot one. Continue reading »

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Nov 072014
 

Looking out of the window was not really an option for the pilot conducting the 28, 372 GRT containership Cap Blanche on the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada, on 25 January this year. With fog reducing visibility to 150 metres he could not even see the bow of the 221.62 LOA vessel, but he did have his trusty portable pilotage unit, PPU, which he relied upon exclusively for navigation and connected it to the vessel’s AIS. But the AIS had a secret, one which put Cape Blanche on the silt at the river’s Steveston Bend.

The accident report from Canada’s Transport Safety Board brings to light a little known aspect of navigation by GPS yet one that might not have led to the grounding had the pilot not been essentially left to his own devices even when his actions conflicted with the vessel passage plan.

The PPU had a predictor function that projects the vessel’s future position by performing geometric calculations based on the vessel’s current rate of turn, position, heading, course over ground, COG, and speed over the ground, SOG. The COG and SOG are derived from GPS values that continuously fluctuate, even when the vessel maintains constant speed and course due to inherent errors and inaccuracies in the GPS. To stabilize these values, a GPS smooths these inputs to provides the user with a more stable COG and SOG.

One can often see the GPS fluctuations on a GPS-equipped tablet computer or smartphone.

Continue reading »

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Oct 062014
 

Untitled Much bandwidth has been expended on social media, including MAC’s Maritime Investigation group on LinkedIn, following the collision between the German-flagged Hapag-Lloyd Colombo Express and the Singapore-flagged Maersk Tanjong at the northern end of the Suez Canal on 29 September. Captured on a mobile phone, the incident caused serious disruption to canal operations, dunked several containers overboard, and put a 20 metre dent in the port side of Colombo Express.

No-one was hurt there was no environmental impact and both vessels were able to continue on to an anchorage to await recovery of the lost containers and investigators from the Suez Canal Authority.

Even at this early stage there may be lessons to be learned.

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Container Losses Less Than Claimed – WSC

 boxship, container accident, containership, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Container Losses Less Than Claimed – WSC
Jul 012014
 

lostcontainersBy and large container shippers like their boxes to arrive at their destinations, so do shipping lines, it isn’t just a matter of financial loss and inconvenience. Boxes that fall off ships can remain afloat for six months, a hazard to navigation and potential threats to the environment. But how many boxes are actually out there?

Nobody seems to know for sure. Although the Through Transport Club says that less than two thousand boxes are lost every year a figure of 10,000 is often cited in the press and elsewhere, a number which the World Shipping Council strongly disputes.

Given the ever increasing size of containerships the chances are that while the number of vessels losing boxes may get smaller the number lost in single incidents, like that of MOL Comfort and MSC Napoli could increase. The biggest single loss so far is that of the Svendborg Maersk which lost 520 containers in storms in the Bay of Biscay in February this year. Continue reading »

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Tempanos: Open Hatch + Ice = Fatality

 Accident report, boxship, containership, falls, slips/trips and falls  Comments Off on Tempanos: Open Hatch + Ice = Fatality
Feb 132013
 
Open hatch - a shortcut to etertity

Open hatch – a shortcut to etertity

Walking across open hatches can be an invitation to tragedy. When the hatch cover is icy then the chances for disaster are even greater, as a new report from the UK Maritime Accident Investigation Branch makes very clear.

On 17 December 2011, an able bodied seaman (AB) fell approximately 25m into a partially open hold on the container vessel Tempanos while it was berthed in the port of Felixstowe. The AB, Jose Gonzalez, died of multiple injuries.

There were no witnesses to the accident, but the available evidence indicated that he probably slipped on a patch of ice while walking across a hatch cover that was partially covering an open hold.

The investigation found that it was occasional practice for some crew members on Tempanos to walk across hatch covers above partly open holds. Although there was clear guidance available regarding safe cargo operations on container ships, it was not always communicated to vessels calling at Felixstowe.

Tempanos’s safety management system did not contain sufficient guidance or instructions to the crew about the hazards of walking on partially open hatch covers. A recommendation has been made to the ship’s management company to
review its safe working procedures. The container terminal’s managers have also been recommended to conduct safety meetings with the crews of container vessels prior to commencing cargo work.

Says the MAIB report: “The disparity between the container terminal staff’s understanding of safe working practices and that of the vessel’s crew, illustrates the need for closer co-operation. It is accepted that the container trade relies on fast turnaround times, but achieving the necessary level of co-operation need not be an onerous burden. It was normal practice for container terminal staff to visit the vessel in order to discuss cargo work, and an additional discussion on safe working practices would not add significantly to the turnaround time. Such a discussion should focus on the behaviour expected of the crew and the demarcation of responsibilities.

Download the report

See Also

Hanjin Sydney Fatality: Fix It Before The Fall

Accident Report: BBC Atlantic – Poor Safety Culture Kills CO

Hatch Fatality – Watch Others On Your ship

When One Hand Doesn’t Know What The Other Is Doing It Could Go Down The Hatch.

 

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