Jun 162014
 
rimac

Assumptions led to collision

Merely responding “Okay” isn’t the best way of ensuring that the other vessel actually understands your intentions. And, as Germany’s Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung, BSU report into the collision between xontainerships CMV CCNI Rimac and CMV CSAV Petorca near the port of Yangshan, China, shows:  Assume nothing.

Under conditions of reduced visibility at 1148, on 21 June 2011, VTS Yangshan, told the Petorca that she was outside the fairway and that a vessel in the fairway was approaching her. Petorca  acknowledged the information and told the traffic centre that she intended to return to the northern part of the fairway immediately after the outbound ship  passed. She did not mention the ship by name but was referring to the Rimac. VTS Yangshan repeated the information from the Petorca and acknowledged her intentions.

Rimac called VTS Yangshan about 15 seconds later and asked about the oncoming vessel now some 1.5 nm away. The Petorca heard this query and requested the Rimac to maintain her course at 1150. Petorca intended to alter her course a  little further to port. Continue reading »

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Warning On Chinese Chains

 Accident, China, close call, equipment, Offshore, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Warning On Chinese Chains
Mar 302011
 

Two incidents involving chain slings have revealed that chains made by an as-yet unnamed Chinese manufacturer may fail well below their safe working limit. Step Change In Safety has issued an alert on the incident.

On two separate occasions chain slings were used to perform lifting operations. The slings, from the same supplier, failed whilst a lift was being performed.

In the first incident an arrangement of four 5.3 tonne collared chain slings were used in a ‘basket’ configuration around the lifting points of a 20 tonne concrete block. After 5 blocks had been moved using this method team members noticed that one of the chain links had parted at its weld point.

The second Incident invoved two 2-legged 11.2 tonne chain slings to create a 4 point sling arrangement was used to relocate 13 tonne concrete blocks, similar to the first incident, after four blocks had been moved the work party noticed that a link in the chain had failed at its weld point.

The lift plan and slinging arrangement techniques were appropriate for the task. All of the slings were new prior to the start of the operations.

The chain slings were sourced from a single supplier.

It was found that the chains received were certified by batch testing only and it transpired that the name and signature on the certification was replicated by computerised signature and not necessarily the person who actually carried out the inspection or testing, giving concerns as to whether there had been any testing.
The company which bought the chains from a UK supplier has initiated a requirement for all chains purchased to be tested to Safe Working Limit.

All chains recieved from this supplier were immediately placed in quarantine and returned to the supplier, which was instructed to perform an investigation as to why the equipment failed and all similar equipment is recalled awaiting the investigation and report.

The UK based sub-supplier does not manufacture the chain but acts as an agent on behalf of  manufacturers in China, some of whom  do not hold export licences. They have immediately withdrawn all chain from sale supplied by this company, additionally cancelled all orders with this agent and will continue to request the manufacturers details but more importantly the reason for failure.

 

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HK Director of Marine orders investigation into collision

 Accident, barge, China, collision, containership  Comments Off on HK Director of Marine orders investigation into collision
Dec 062010
 
Map picture

Hong Kong’s  Director of Marine has ordered an investigation into a collision that occurred early this morning (December 7). Meanwhile, the Marine Department’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre is co-ordinating a search and rescue operation for seven missing crew of a sand barge involved in the collision.

At 3.15am, the Marine Police received a report that a sand barge with 14 crew members on board and a container vessel with nine crew members collided east of Tung Lung Chau.

The sand barge capsized and is semi-submerged at the southern tip of Tung Lung Chau. A marker buoy has been laid to mark the position.

Continue reading »

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Colregs Breach Led To China Fatalities – CMB Biwa/Lu Ri Yu 1608

 Accident report, China, collision, collision regulations  Comments Off on Colregs Breach Led To China Fatalities – CMB Biwa/Lu Ri Yu 1608
Dec 282009
 

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Lack of adherence to colregs and a fishing boat operating in the wrong place led to a collision between the 30,000 gt bulker CMB Biwa and a 77 gt fishing boat in Rizhao port, Shandong Province, China, on 5 May 2009. Two fishermen died, three remain missing and two were injured in the incident.

Continue reading »

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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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May 262008
 

In The Case Of The Electric Assassin I suggested that, if you’re going to enter an enclosed space without the proper equipment or precautions then dig two graves, one for yourself and one for the poor sods who’ll try and rescue you. That recommendations was validated by two virtually identical incidents, several thousand miles apart, within just 24 hours.

There’ll be little wonder that maritime casualty investigators grind their teeth in frustration when these enclosed space incidents occur, partly because they keep happening and partly because little is done to stop them happening.

On 20th May this year at Port Everglades a dock superviser, Hyman Sooknanan, entered an enclosed space aboard Madelaine, a 110 metre cargo ship, to investigate a suspected leak of argon from a container gas tank.

He didn’t return, nor did he respond to radio calls. Worried, a second docker, James Cason, wrapped a shirt around his face and entered the space to find out what happened to Sooknanan. He didn’t reappear either. Now a third man, Rene Robert Duterte did the same, with the same result.

In 20 minutes, three men were dead, the last two because they’d tried the help the first.

Argon isn’t chemically poisonous but it does displace oxygen in the air, asphyxiating the victim. It gets you almost without warning and wrapping something around your face isn’t going to stop it happening when there’s no oxygen in the atmosphere to breathe.

On 22nd May in Chongming Dadong Shipping Yard, Shanghai, 21st May in Florida, three Filipino seafarers died and 10 were injured, all from a single vessel, the Hakone, in an incident involving leakage of another suffocating gas, carbon dioxide.

As research by Don Sheetz of the Vanuatu Registry for the Maritime Accident Investigators International Forum shows, these were not isolated incidents. In just three months, Sheetz gathered reports on 120 enclosed space incidents with 228 from just 16 flag registries over a period of about 10 years. With figures from the largest registries still not available, some estimate that the true figure may be as high as 1,000 deaths.

Says Sheetz:”We are concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg and will ultimately become a larger issue than, say, dropping of lifeboats.

The numbers are simply too high, and the incidents too frequent, to dismiss as unfortunate one-offs. It is unsatisfactory to conclude that it was the victims’ faults, because they, and their would-be rescuers, didn’t follow procedures, and close the book

What they show is that there is something deeply wrong with the system and with the industry that allows deaths on such a scale without a qualm. If there were qualms, there would be a solid drive to find a solution and there isn’t one. It’s a record of which the industry should be ashamed.

It is self-evident that training is inadequate in the first place and the necessary drills are not being carried out onboard or alongside in the procedures for safe entry and rescue from confined spaces.

Training will be ineffective unless backed-up by a positive management level commitment to managing safety, assessing competence onboard and developing a safety culture from company head-office to the master to the deputy chief assist cook’s chief assistant deputy. All too often putting a safety management system on a ship is little more than a butt-covering exercise to avoid liability when the worse happens.

Let’s look at it another way. If the estimates of deaths in enclosed spaces are reasonably accurate, and there’s every reason to believe they are, then enough lives have been lost to put crew on 40 to 50 cargo ships. Currently the industry is going through paroxysms of recruitment to fulfill manning needs of the future, maybe they should spend just a little more time trying to keep alive the ones they’ve already got.

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