An alert rig site senior mechanic spotted a welder carrying out a job that could have led to an explosion. It is a reminder to check thoroughly what’s inside a tank before welding the outside.
A safety alert from the International Association of Drlling Contractors says: “The rig accumulator supply tank required maintenance which included the task of welding on the tank and piping. The rig site senior mechanic was walking within the vicinity of the job being performed and noticed the welder welding on the tank. The operation was immediately stopped by the mechanic when he realized
the potential explosive atmosphere that existed.
The tank itself had not been purged. The tank lid was still closed and secured in place. The contents of the tank had not been emptied nor cleaned prior to the welding taking place. The welder was not aware of the tank contents. There was not a well defined fire watch being utilized. A fire extinguisher or pressurized water hose was not within the working vicinity as required by policy and the Permit to Work procedure.
Southampton Magistrates Court has fined Captain Arvind Nath, the master of the gas carrier Sigas Sylvia £1,500, plus £1,000 costs for failing to discharge his duties properly to such an extent as to be likely to endanger ships, structures or individuals.
On the afternoon on Wednesday 6 January 2010, Sigas Sylvia, bound from Liverpool to Tees Port was transiting the Strait of Dover when it was involved with another tanker, MV Clipper Leander. This was seen on radar by HM Coastguard at Dover. Shortly after the incident, the Sigas Sylvia was warned by Dover Coastguard that they were about to aground on the Goodwin Sands.
Two ABs working on the main deck of a PSV servicing an offshore installation are lucky to be walking around, following a close call involving the loading of a secion of crane boom according to a safety alert issued by the Aberdeen-based Marine Safety Forum.
Says the safety alert
“A recent high potential near miss occurred on a PSV during the back loading of a crane boom section from an offshore installation. Although no injuries were sustained as a result of this incident, two ABs working on the main deck at this time could potentially have been crushed resulting in 2 fatalities.
At the time of the incident, the PSV was starboard side alongside the installation back loading the second section of a crane boom.
This back loaded crane boom section was first landed on deck with no clearance from adjacent tote tanks. However, the ABs had to pass between these tote tanks and the back loaded crane boom section to access the crane hook for unlatching.
Therefore, the crane operator was asked to move the back loaded crane boom section towards the port side of the main deck to create a gap to allow the ABs clear access.
The crane operator moved the back loaded crane boom section 1-2 meters to port and asked the bridge whether the new position was satisfactory. The Bridge then confirmed with the ABs on deck that this new position was acceptable for them and then advised the crane operator accordingly.
The crane wire was then slackened down and the ABs started to pass between the back loaded crane boom section and the nearby tote tanks to unlatch the crane hook.
The crane operator then started to heave and raised the back loaded crane boom section by about 1 metre to approximately waist height with the ABs positioned between this back loaded crane boom section and the tote tanks. This resulted in a potential for the ABs to be crushed between the back loaded crane boom section and the tote tanks.
The bridge shouted a warning on the UHF radio to the ABs who were already aware of the hazardous situation and were moving to a safe position. The crane operator also then lowered the back loaded crane boom section to deck.
The prevailing weather conditions at the time of the incident were within acceptable working limits, consisting of a wind speed of 19 knots and sea conditions with a significant wave height of between 1.5 and 2.0 meters.
Main Findings and Recommendations:
The crane operator lifted the back loaded crane boom section off the vessel’s deck but failed to effectively communicate his intention to the vessel personnel. The crane operator also assumed that the vessel’s deck was clear of personnel.
The investigation of this incident identified the need to instruct crane operators to:-
• communicate their actions to the vessel before proceeding with lifting operations
• ensure that all communications are fully understood and verified by all relevant installation and vessel personnel before proceeding with any lifting operation
• avoid making assumptions and to verify with the vessel that the deck area is clear of all personnel before proceeding with lifting operations.”
MAIB has published it’s preliminary investigation into a close call between the QE2 and the Pride Of Kent:
At 2200 UTC on 15 December 2007 in light winds and good visibility a close quarters situation occurred between Queen Elizabeth 2 and Pride of Kent.
Queen Elizabeth 2, on passage from Zeebrugge to Southampton, was south west bound in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme. Her track was biased to the starboard side of the traffic lane. Pride of Kent departed Dover for a scheduled voyage to Calais, observing the voluntary separation scheme established for ferry operators. As the vessels approached, a close quarters situation developed in which Queen Elizabeth 2 was required to give way.
When it became apparent that no avoiding action was being taken by Queen Elizabeth 2, Pride of Kent reduced her speed allowing Queen Elizabeth 2 to pass 0.6mile ahead of Pride of Kent.
There were no injuries to personnel and no pollution.
Following the accident, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has considered the actions taken by both the companies and is satisfied with the steps they have taken to prevent future accidents.
Cunard Line will:
Send a letter to the fleet that describes the incident, identifies lessons learnt and provides actions to prevent future recurrence.
Provide further development of company specific Bridge Resource Management training.
Implement their recently rewritten, and currently trialled, Bridge Resource Management Procedures.
P&O Ferries will:
Carry out an internal investigation that will result in a review of bridge procedures throughout the fleet and identify actions to avoid similar situations in the future.