Heather Anne – “No Lifejacket Fatality/Roll-Tests May Not Tell Stability Story

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Jan 272013
Recovering Heather Anne. Stability tests 'misleading'

Recovering Heather Anne. Stability tests ‘misleading’

Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, has warned that roll-tests may give a misleading assessment of vessel stability in its accident investigation report on the capsize of the fishing vessel Heather Anne. It has also called for the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency to determine what behavioural changes are needed to ensure that fisherman wearing lifejackets on deck.

At about 2200 on 20 December 2011, the UK registered fishing vessel Heather Anne capsized and foundered in Gerrans Bay, Cornwall. The skipper and his crewman were soon recovered from the water by a nearby fishing vessel. Neither the skipper nor the crewman was wearing a lifejacket; the crewman had drowned. There was no significant pollution.

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Rambler 100 Capsize – Lessons For Tugs?

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Jan 072013
Rambler-100. The front stayed on but the keel fell off.

Rambler-100. The front stayed on but the keel fell off.

One might not normally compare tugs and racing yachts but both have a knack for capsizing, or girting, fast often with tragic results for the crew. Some of the lessons and suggestions from the investigation into the capsize of Rambler 100 by Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board may equally apply to tugs and similar vessels.

While manoeuvring, part of the Rambler-1oo’s keel snapped off, not uncommon in one-off built yachts. Within 15 second she was laid on her side and turned turtle

in less than 60 seconds. Fortunately her crew survived. While tugs girt for different reasons the challenges of surviving capsize are very similar.

MCIB’s conclusions and suggestions are:

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Dec 222012
Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board has released reports on two separate incidents of note: A fatal accident in which a fisherman became separated from his lifejacket after his small boat came to grief in Lough Corrib, County Galway and the sinking of MFV Jeanette Roberta off Glandore Harbour, County Cork.

In the first case  on 19th March 2012 two men, who were both wearing life jackets, went angling in an 18ft open boat on Lough Corrib. During the afternoon the boat was struck by a large wave and both men were thrown into the water and were separated from the boat. One man swam to an island and eventually raised the alarm. The other man became separated from his lifejacket.

Both men were airlifted to Galway University Hospital by helicopter, one man was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other was reported suffering from hypothermia. Continue reading »

Feb 272012

Costa Concordia : IMO is watching

Preliminary results of the Italian administration’s investigation into the Cost Concordia are expected to be present at the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which meets for its 90th session from 16-25 May this year.

Italian authorities allowed the IMO to be represented as an observer on the body overseeing the casualty investigation in order to monitor progress closely and remain abreast of emerging issues, as they arise.

Italy provides for one central commission, the Marine Casualty Investigation Central Board which is under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, and a number of local commissions dealing with marine casualty investigation. The members of the local commissions are appointed by the harbour masters which, as members of the Coast Guard, are part of the maritime administration; the commission members are partly deployed by the maritime administration through the Coast Guard and partly by experts not necessarily of administrational background.

Italy has no full-time maritime casualty investors but does have four employees who have other duties as well as ad hoc investigators who can be appointed from outside.

Three days after the Costa Concordia tragedy ​IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu urged Italian authorities to “carry out the casualty investigation covering all aspects of this accident and provide the findings to the IMO under the provisions of SOLAS as soon as possible.”

He has included an additional item on “Passenger Ship Safety” on the agenda of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which meets for its 90th session from 16-25 May this year. This will provide an opportunity for IMO members in the MSC to consider any issues arising. Sekimizu has also urged all IMO Member States to ensure that their current national safety regulations and procedures are being implemented fully and effectively, including those aiming at ensuring safe operations on board.

Sekimizu also opened a channel of communication with passenger ship operators through the Cruise Lines International Association,CLIA, immediately following the Costa Concordia accident.

CLIA itself has launched a Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review , the first outcome of which is a new emergency drill policy requiring mandatory musters for embarking passengers prior to departure from port.  This new muster drill policy, voluntarily initiated by the associations’ members, exceeds current legal requirements, which mandate a muster of passengers occur within 24 hours of passenger embarkation.
Mre recommendations are expected to follow.


Vinalines Queen – “Stark reminder” of risk

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Jan 182012

Vinalines Queen - A "Stark reminde" of risks

Last December’s loss of the supramax bulk carrier Vinalines Queen and 22 of her 23 crew off Northern Luzon in the Philippines is a “a stark reminder of the continuing dangers associated with the carriage of nickel ore” says the London P&I Club, which covered the ship.

On 10 September 2009 another of same company’s vessels, Vinalines Mighty, was forced to return to return to the port of Paradip, India, after loading iron ore fines at the port and developing a list while underway.

Prior to the casualty, last contact with the vessel was whilst on a voyage from Indonesia to China with 54,000 tonnes of ron ore fines.

At 0548 on the morning of 25 December 2011 the master of Vinalines Queen reported a 20 degree list to port with heavy winds and diverted to the Philippines. An hour later the list had reduced to 18 degrees and she was reported to be running to shore.  The master had ordered the crew to the main deck with lifejackets and lifeboats lowered. Continue reading »

Failure of Rescue Boat Release Capsized Rescue Boat

 Accident report, capsize, Fast Rescue Boat/Craft, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Failure of Rescue Boat Release Capsized Rescue Boat
Nov 082011

Early painter released capsized rescue boat

Step Change in Safety warns that a recent incident has highlighted a potential deficiency in a rescue boat painter release mechanism. During a routine launch of the rescue boat whilst at sea, the painter released early causing the towing forces normally absorbed by the painter to shift onto the fall wire once the boat was waterborne. This resulted in the rescue boat capsizing.

It is possible that the early release of the painter was due to a failure in the painter release mechanism.

A full investigation into the incident is underway and the findings will be published once complete.

The company concerned has instructed its vessel to immediately:
1. Check the painter release mechanisms on their rescue boats. Once the mechanism is released either manually or by pulling on the release wire the locking lever must spring back into the locked position. Continue reading »

Got Your Flares, EPIRB, VHF, Liferaft? You’re Not Safe Yet

 Accident report, capsize, maritime safety news, Sinking  Comments Off on Got Your Flares, EPIRB, VHF, Liferaft? You’re Not Safe Yet
Aug 192011

SOLAS B equipment pack

Crabber Léim an Bhradán, with two crew aboard, had every thing required for emergency communications: flares, EPIRB, VHF as well as a liferaft but none of it worked when she capsized at about 1400 on the morning of Saturday 30th October 2010. The incident serves as a cautionary tale whatever size vessel you’re on.

Her inflatable liferaft sat unsecured in a cradle atop the wheelhouse. It was not equipped with a hydrostatic release or weak-link that would result in the liferaft opening automatically and the painter was not attached to the vessel. The two crew then found themselves faced with trying to open the canister while it floated free.

One of the two men was able to cut the canister straps with a key.

Meanwhile the vessel’s EPIRB went down with the boat. It was in the wheelhouse, not in an external float-free holder, so could not float to the surface and activate.

The men finally boarded the SOLAS equipment pack in the liferaft and fired off two red parachute flares but there were no other vessels around to see them. An hour later they saw a Coast Guard helicopter and fired an orange smoke flare which was not seen by the helicopter, which was on a training flight. Continue reading »

Video: Ro-Ro Trans-Asia Malaysia Listing Before Capsize

 Accident, capsize, fatality, maritime safety news, ro-ro, Sinking  Comments Off on Video: Ro-Ro Trans-Asia Malaysia Listing Before Capsize
Aug 042011

This video is from the Philippine Coast Guard Air Group. She is said to have been hit by “big waves” which down-flooded into the engine room, stopping the engine. She listed at 25-35 degrees and eventually sank after passengers and crew were evacuated. The quick emergency response is understood to have been because of a Philippine Coast Guard person onboard who made the call.

Aide-Memoire For Iron Ore Cargoes – Chinese Buyers Should Twist Supplier Arms

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Feb 212011

Iro ore not so fines

Liquefaction of nickel and iron ores due to excess moisture continues to cost lives. One solution would be for Chinese importers to exercise their influence over their suppliers with a bit more vigour says the UK P&I Club, which has published a pocket-sized brochure to act as an aide-memoire when loading such cargoes.

Marine insurers are determined to keep the subject of dangerous bulk cargoes, and in particular nickel ores and iron ore fines, high on the Loss Prevention agenda. The UK Club’s latest initiative is an aide-mémoire for shipowners and shipmanagers in the form of a pocket leaflet that can be kept handy when a vessel is chartered to load such a cargo.
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