Positive Trends Reverse As Environment Dominates Lives

 casualties  Comments Off on Positive Trends Reverse As Environment Dominates Lives
Apr 252011
 

Positive going on negative. Tor E. Svensen, DNV president. Photo: © DNV/Nina Rangøy

After several years of improvement in casualty statistics the trend is now reversing and the culprit may be the attention paid to environmental safety. More balance is needed says DNV’s president, Tor E. Svensen.

“Year on year improvements in ship safety is now turning into a negative trend. This is extremely worrying and requires a stronger focus on competence development both onboard and onshore,” Svensen said at the recent Sea Asia. Continue reading »

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Safemarine Nuba Scalding: No Risk Assessment

 Accident report, burns, casualties, MAIB  Comments Off on Safemarine Nuba Scalding: No Risk Assessment
Apr 222010
 

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A fitter was scalded by hot water from a cooling pipe aboard the containership Safmarine Nuba. No risk assessment had been done so the hazard was not identified. The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Board has issued a preliminary report on the incident.

Says the MAIB synopsis: “The second engineer, third engineer and the fitter were engaged in fitting protection shields, supplied by the manufacturer on cylinders No 1 & 7 of the main engine, while the vessel was alongside in Rotterdam. No risk assessment was carried out and the protection shield around cylinder No 1 was completed with ease within an hour.

After lunch, the fitting of the protection shield on cylinder No 7 became more complex, necessitating the removal of platform plates, a non-pressurised pipe and the grinding of a protective bracket. No attempt was made to re-evaluate the risks. Shortly after the pipe was removed, the second engineer responded to an alarm on the boiler.

The third engineer, thinking that a bracket which had supported the drain pipe had to be removed, slackened and removed the bolts which were also holding the jacket cooling water pipe connection. As the third engineer and fitter attempted to manoeuvre the shield around the cylinder, it dislodged the cooling water pipe, which resulted in the fitter becoming drenched with hot water, 85º C, at 3.4 bar.

Safmarine (Pty) Ltd has taken positive actions, including circulating the lessons arising from this accident and ensuring that appropriate documented procedures are always followed.

Read the MAIB Preliminary Report

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Do Polar Cruises Pose Titanic Risks?

 Accident, capsize, casualties, cruise liner, navigation  Comments Off on Do Polar Cruises Pose Titanic Risks?
Feb 272010
 
explorerinice

M/V Explorer - a Titanic problem?

With the launch of Part One of The Case of the Little Red Ship
MAC’s UK correspondent looks at polar cruises. Anyone looking for comfort will find little warmth.

Complacency and hubris are the birthing pools of marine tragedies and it seems one such icy pool will soon claim another major victim if fears over cruise ship polar voyages are realized.

Cruising is big business and deservedly growing fast in popularity but where money rules safety and caution often take a back seat. In Greenland waters alone there were 36 cruise ship visits last year, two with over 4,000 on board. This has led to concern in the Danish navy, which polices Greenland’s vast waters with only two heavier vessels. It has warned of a Titanic-style disaster as cruise ships stray too close to the region’s icebergs.

Continue reading »

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Unhappy Christmas For Philippines Ferries

 Accident, casualties, Ferry, news  Comments Off on Unhappy Christmas For Philippines Ferries
Dec 282009
 

Three Philippine ferries came to grief in as many days starting on Christmas Eve. Dozens of lives lost in incidents that do not speak well of the nation that provides around 25 per cent of the world’s maritime manpower. With national elections scheduled for 2010 it is certain that the country’s politicians will leverage as much coverage as possible – personality and name recall win elections, not national issues and maritime safety, or lack of it, will not affect voters’ choices.

Hearings are being conducted in the legislature but it is unlikely that any new measures will make it through both the Senate and Congress before both go to the hustings. A far greater issue is the enforcement of existing laws and the need for a change of mindset.

Continue reading »

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Arctic Sea Gets Murkier

 casualties, crime, maritime crime, piracy  Comments Off on Arctic Sea Gets Murkier
Aug 152009
 

Reports regarding the Arctic Sea are positively Newtonian: for each report there is an equal and opposite report. She was reported in Spain, then Spanish authorities denied the claim. She was reported off the Cape Verde Islands then Russian diplomats and Portuguese authorities said she wasn’t. An AIS signal in the Bay of Biscay signalled her presence, or maybe not because there was no evidence the transmission came from equipment on the ship,the Russian naval officials said it was from a Russian Navy vessel, which raises more questions than it answers.

Now it is reported that ransom demands have been made to the shipowner but, again, there has been no ‘proof of life’ –  a necessary element for a credible ransom demand and until that is given the ransom demands are meaningless.

Continue reading »

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Jul 222009
 
Captain Hristo Papukchiev0001
Captain Hristo Papukchiev

Just one day after being tasked to lead a re-opening of the investigation into the January 2008 sinking of the general cargo ship Vanessa Captain Hristo Papukchiev resigned as chairman of the Commission of Investigation. It was a frustrating end to a mission to enhance safety for seafarers on Bulgarian ships and in Bulgarian waters.

Papukchiev’s story raises issues regarding the country’s commitment to maritime safety, safety investigation, and search and rescue. The issues are not unique to Bulgaria,they are common in those countries where shipping interests wield tremendous political power, power enough to make or break presidents. What makes his story unique is that such tales are usually kept behind well-closed doors but Papukchiev has gone public.

Continue reading »

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Maersk Kithira Death – Staff Didn't Appreciate Risk

 accident reporting, casualties, fatality, seaman, ship accident, ship accidents, Sinking  Comments Off on Maersk Kithira Death – Staff Didn't Appreciate Risk
May 012009
 

A chief officer and chief engineer did not understand the hazards of going forward to fix a leading stores hatch in heavy weather, says the UK’s MAIB. Both men were badly injured, the chief engineer fatally.

Maersk Kithira

Says MAIB:

“On 23 September 2008, the chief officer and the chief engineer of the container vessel Maersk Kithira were seriously injured when they were struck by a wave as the vessel proceeded in heavy weather conditions in the South China Sea. The chief engineer subsequently died of his injuries.
The two officers went onto the forecastle deck to secure a leaking stores hatch and loose anchor securing chain following activation of a bilge alarm.

Although some measures were taken to reduce the risk to the men before they went onto the exposed forecastle deck, ship’s staff did not fully appreciate the risk of large waves breaking over the decks in the prevailing conditions, and insufficient information was available on board the vessel to enable them to make a full risk assessment before embarking on the operation.

Subsequent to the accident, the ship’s manager has provided its crews with enhanced training on risk assessment, improved its internal auditing procedures, and has amended its risk assessment relating to the movement of personnel on exposed decks in heavy weather.

A recommendation has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which seeks to establish more comprehensive advice, including practical guidance on the likely incidence of large waves, that should be considered whenever seafarers need to access open decks in conditions of heavy weather.

The manager of Maersk Kithira has been recommended to make improvements to its safety management system relating to its procedures for maintaining watertight integrity.”

The full report is available here

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That Old Familiar Tired Feeling

 accident reporting, bulk carrier, casualties, China, collision, fatigue  Comments Off on That Old Familiar Tired Feeling
Sep 202008
 

Pit a fatigued, overworked officer keeping a watch alone at night aboard a 68,000 DWT containership weaving his way through fishing boats off the coast of China against a 35,343 dwt bulker which has forgotten to switch on its navigation lightsd, with a wonky AIS, a bridge team that isn’t functioning well, concentrating on those same fishing boats and what you get is this:

That was the collision between the German-flagged boxship Hanjin Gotheburg and the Panama-flagged bulker Chang Tong on 15th September 2007 in the Bohai Strait, the busy gateway to Beijing. Still wedged together like mating mutts, the two ships were towed to calmer waters. Three days later a hurricane separated the two ships and the Chang Tong broke in two and sank.

Chang Tong breaks in two-

-And sinks

The investigation report by Germany’s Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung , the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, has recently been released in English and can be downloaded here.

MAC has looked at fatigue before, in the Case Of The Cozy Captain, and The Case Of The Baffling Bays, among others, you’ll find links to further information on the podcast transcripts page.

Fatigue at Sea , A Review of Research and Related Literature (World Maritime University)

Development of a Fatigue Management Program for Canadian Marine Pilots (Transport Canada)

Fatigue in Ferry Crews (SIRC)

Guide for Maritime Operations (US Coastguard)

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