Explorathor Sinking, High Speed On The Rocks

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Aug 302010

Explorathor sinks

About an hour after hitting one or more of three rocks at 28 knots the master of the whale-watching passenger vessel Explorathor realised his vessel was sinking. Canada’s Transport Safety Board has issued a report with a number of lessons worth wider coverage.

Of note: “When navigating in close proximity to shore and/or navigation hazards, best practices dictate that bridge personnel, while taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances and conditions, should demonstrate increased vigilance and heightened awareness. This includes:

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Jul 012010

image Wightlink ro-ro ferry St. Faith landed heavily on fendering at Portsmouth after attempts to correct a higher than normal speed of approach to the berth left insufficient ahead power being available, says the MAIB’s preliminary report.

At 1412 BST on 28 March 2010, the ro-ro passenger ferry, St Faith, landed heavily against fendering while attempting to berth at the Camber Basin linkspan in Portsmouth. Two persons suffered minor injuries and the vessel’s stern ramp was damaged.

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Villum Clausen – A Berth Too Bumpy

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Jan 222010

imageDenmark’s Maritime Authority has released its report into the contact of the catamaran ro-ro ferry Villum Clausen and the quay at berth 10, Rønne harbour on 3 October 2009. Poor weather made berthing difficult, there were no security procedures for disembaking passengers from the car deck following damage to the gangway, and a seafarer was too overloaded with simultaneous tasks to communication problems to the bridge effectively.

Says the report:

“During manoeuvring to berth the ship got a headfast attached to a bollard ashore, which was very tight.

The master could subsequently not manoeuvre the stern to the quay and instead hit the quay with the bow. After contact with the quay the following damage to the ship was found: Hole in the forward mooring deck to the starboard. Bulge in the corner of the bonnet; Minor crack in the forepeak; Starboard bulb broken off. No passengers or crew members got physically injured. A seaman was subsequently absent owing to illness.

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Pilot Body Criticised For Failures Post Cosco-Busan

 Accident, allision, competence, contact/allison, pilotage  Comments Off on Pilot Body Criticised For Failures Post Cosco-Busan
Dec 022009

imageCalifornia’s State Auditor has discovered that the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun licensed a pilot 28 days before he received a required physical examination; he piloted vessels 18 times during this period. Currently, the pilot who conducted the containership Cosco Busan into the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge alleged under the influence of medication is serving a 10 month term in a prison.

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Alternative Energy Puts The Wind Up Navigators

 allision, contact/allison  Comments Off on Alternative Energy Puts The Wind Up Navigators
Oct 282009


MAC is a believer in the Everest Paradigm in accident prediction: Just as Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing conquered Everest because it was there, accident happen because they can. Although there has yet to be a major incident involving offshore wind turbines or wave energy device, it will happen one day, which makes a recent risk alert by Steamship Mutual rather timely.

MAC is certainly not being crisis-mongering. Det Norske Veritas warns: “Placing wind farms at sea close to busy shipping lanes are inherently risky. It is crucial that these risks are identified and mitigated to prevent serious accidents and their subsequent impacts.

“A collision between a ship and a wind turbine could result in production loss from a single turbine or the entire wind farm if the transformer module is damaged. In serious cases, a collision may result in loss of life and oil spills.

“As only a limited number of offshore wind farms have been built so far, there are no international published rules for ship navigation close to the installations. However, offshore wind farms can be treated as offshore platforms with respect to surrounding ship traffic.”

The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency has issued a Maritime Guidance note on the issue, which can read here.

Britain’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has expressed the concern: “With the rapid growth in the offshore wind industry, there is concern that its safety culture may not be as mature as, for example, the offshore oil and gas industry.”

Indeed, following the MAIB investigation into the Harald/Octopus grounding in poorly charted waters during the carrying of an experimental wave energy device, the British Wind Energy Association, BWEA, was not only the sole organisation to reject a MAIB recommendation regarding that particular incident but the only one to reject any MAIB recommendation that year, 2007.

Such a rejection would seem to reinforce MAIB’s fears regarding safety culture in the alternative energy incident.

MAIB Report – Banging Knuckles

Why Cosco Busan Pilot Got A Stretch

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Jul 212009

image By now you know that Captain John Cota, who was piloting the Cosco Busan when it hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, has been given a ten-month prison stretch. It might be churlish to note that the sentence is somewhat less than the detention in the US of the vessel’s crew members as ‘material witnesses’, none of whom were charged with any wrong doing, so let’s look at the lessons that might be dragged kicking and screaming out of this unfortunate incident.

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Jul 172009

Ship helmsman sentenced to 10 months for oil spill
San Jose Mercury News – San Jose,CA,USA
Cota was the pilot of the 901-foot Cosco Busan when it slammed into the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on the foggy morning of Nov. 7, 2007.

Lifeboat to the aid of nuclear vessel
Campbeltown Courier – Campbeltown,Scotland,UK
CAMPBELTOWN Lifeboat went to the aid of a crewmember on board a nuclear fuel transporter on Saturday morning. The man had been taken ill on board the vessel

Crewman severs fingers in fishing accident
SouthCoastToday.com – New Bedford,MA,USA
The 88-foot fishing vessel Eileen Marie reported the injury to the Coast Guard at 10:46 pm Wednesday, according to a Coast Guard press release.

Fishermen survivors return home to Quang Ngai
Thanh Nien Daily – Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam
Nine fishermen who survived a collision with an unidentified foreign ship in the central province of Quang Ngai on Wednesday returned onshore Thursday

Fear of oil spill
Times of India – India
KARWAR: The accident of MV Shahin on Friday is similar to the accident of ship — Ocean Seria — that took place three years ago, in the same place. .

Coast Guard: Alcohol not a factor in scalloper grounding
SouthCoastToday.com – New Bedford,MA,USA
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard reported that the vessel’s four crewmen, who were rescued without injury, tested negative for alcohol.

Philippines – MFA – Filipino Seafarer Afflicted with CA-MRSA and A
ISRIA – France
The Consulate General of the Philippines in Hong Kong sadly reports the demise of a 42-year-old Filipino male seafarer from La Union province found to be

Coast Guard warns: Beacon ID mix-up led to wreck of Lady Mary
Press of Atlantic City – Atlantic City,NJ,USA
partly to determine if another vessel collided with the ill-fated scalloper. The cause of the sinking remains unknown. AP contributed to this story.

Korean Anti-Heeling System
TankTech, a marine equipment maker located in Noksan Industrial Complex in Busan, South Korea, announced that it has succeeded in developing ‘Anti-Heeling System’ using two-way propeller pump, after two-year long R&D.

JSMEA discloses more fake cases
The Japanese Marine Equipment Association (JSMEA) has revealed further incidents of counterfeit marine products.

The JSMEA said two members of the association, Yanmar and Daihatsu Diesel, had reached out-of-court settlements after filing civil law suits against compatriot marine equipment manufacturers Marinco and Nikki World Trading.

Both companies are alleged to have counterfeited engine parts and marketed them as the products of Yanmar and Daihatsu.


Modern piracy in consulates
la estrella – Panama
Varela said that they are too many irregularities in the consulates and currently he is assembling together with the Panama Maritime Authority a team that

Under The Radar

Swarm of bees force yacht crew overboard

When insects attack at sea – scary…

Practical Boat Owner, 17 July 2009
Jul 162009

Freyja directs/the sittings in the hall./She half the fallen chooses each day,


Freya takes more than her half. Before and after.

Chart updates came too late for the Danish cargo ship Freya to be directed around a light structure at the entrance to the Elbe on 16 December 2008, according to Germany’s Bundesstel le für Seeunfalluntersuchung, Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation. The resulting contact – allision to our American readers -severely damaged the cargo ship and demolished the structure.

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 13 July 2009

 contact/allison, Crane, fire, oil pollution, piracy, pirates, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 13 July 2009
Jul 132009

Phuket Phi Phi Ferry Sinks in Raging Storm
Phuketwan – Phuket,Thailand
escape when the almost new vessel overturned and sank in a sudden squall off Patong. Investigations into the cause of that sinking are continuing.

Fisherman dies of injuries in crab vessel accident
Daily Astorian – OR, USA
The US Coast Guard evacuated the injured captain of the vessel Swell Rider Friday afternoon after an accident onboard his fishing boat.

Man injured in dockyard crane collapse
Independent – London,England,UK
By Lesley Richardson, Press Association An investigation was under way today after a man was seriously injured when a crane collapsed in a ship dockyard.

Serious oil spill in Geiranger Fjord
Norway Post – Bærum,Norway
Geiranger Fjord fire fighters and clean-up crews have been trying to gain control of a major oil spill from the Bahamas registered cruise ship “Spirit .

NSRI evacuate chief engineer – fire on ship in Suez Canal
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) helicopter rescue team at Port Elizabeth was scrambled last week to respond to an emergency on board the handysize Odfjell products tanker BOW EAGLE, sailing from Indonesia to Brazil, which reported that the 60-year old chief engineer had suffered a suspected fractured hip in a fall.

Superferry 5 rams Pier Uno
Negros Chronicle – Dumaguete City,Negros Oriental,Philippines
Good thing that the bow thruster of the ship located at its side did not malfunction and maneuvered the ship to recover from the collision.

Ship With Toxic Load Holed
St.Petersburg Times.ru – St. Petersburg,Russia
According to the preliminary investigation into the incident, the vessels share responsibility for causing the collision. Rashid Alimov, head of the St.

Coast Guard responds to grounded vessel in Wrangell Harbor
SitNews – Ketchikan,AK,USA
Wrangell, Alaska – The Coast Guard responded to the 58-foot fishing vessel Siren which grounded with 1000 gallons of diesel fuel on board in Wrangell Harbor

Focus in barge grounding turns to investigation
OregonLive.com – Portland,OR,USA
He also said it’s too early to tell what the consequences would be if it’s determined the vessel was grounded outside the channel.

SF Bay Oil Spill Pilot To Learn Sentence This Week
CBS 5 – San Francisco,CA,USA
adequately with the ship’s captain and crew. Defense attorneys have asked for the minimum two-month term, saying that Cota “deeply regrets” the accident

Rescue workers lend help in 43 land and sea incidents
GulfNews – Dubai,United Arab Emirates
The maritime accidents included boat collision and boat capsizing, which resulted in the death of three individuals and three injuries within the first half


Somali pirates end monsoon lull with hijacks, attack
Reuters India – Mumbai,India
and used one to attack an oil tanker in a flurry of activity in the Gulf of Aden ending a monsoon season lull, maritime officials said on Monday.