Nov 202014

Sooner or later the chances were that someone was going to be killed aboard the 13.32 metre Irish registered FV Liberty. Given the long list of safety issues uncovered by Ireland’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board, MCIB, and the fact that an earlier incident involving an injury went unreported so the conditions that resulted in the death of a seafarer on 14 February 2013 went undetected, tragedy was inevitable and preventable.

In port at Dunmore East prior to the voyage, one of the trawl nets on the vessel, supplied by the owner, was swapped for a used net supplied by the skipper. The skipper’s net had been kept in storage and had not been used since October 2012. The net was apparently changed because
it was deemed to be more suitable for the intended fishing grounds  where the vessel was going to fish. Continue reading »


Bad Bolts Close Rigs: BOPs “No Longer Fit For Purpose”

 corrosion, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Bad Bolts Close Rigs: BOPs “No Longer Fit For Purpose”
Feb 082013
Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Brittle bolts are believed to have been behind a pollution incident involving the discharge of synthetic base mud into the Gulf of Mexico, GOM, due to a loss of integrity of a LMRP H-4 connector says the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, BSEE. Operations on a number of wells have been suspended.

On January 24, 2013, BSEE personnel met with industry to discuss initial findings associated with the incident. During this meeting, a qualified third-party presented preliminary evidence that the stress corrosion cracking caused by hydrogen embrittlement was a contributor to the incident. It was introduced that zinc electroplating without proper baking, as per ASTM B633, was a possible cause of hydrogen embrittlement. During this meeting,

BSEE was told of two other rigs as having H-4 connector bolt failures.

On January 25, 2013, BSEE received information from the connector vendor which identified rigs as having blowout preventer, BOP, stack connectors that may contain bolts that may no longer be fit for purpose. BSEE issued emails to the associated operators of the subset of rigs with current well operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The content of the emails notified these operators of the initial findings and gave specific instructions on securing the current well operations in order to retrieve the LMRP and/or BOP to the surface, if not already on the surface.

These operators were directed to then suspend operations until the existing bolts on the LMRP connector/wellhead connector could be changed out with bolts that have been certified by an independent third-party to be in compliance with recommended heat treatment practices or the existing bolts have been examined and certified by an independent third-party that they are fit for purpose.

In order to ensure all of these affected bolts are identified and proper corrective action is taken,
BSEE recommends the following:
Operators are hereby urged to make an inventory of your contracted rigs [currently involved in well operations in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (GOM) or planned to conduct well operations in the GOM] and investigate the bolts of the LMRP and Wellhead connectors.
If you have H-4 connectors, as identified in GE’s safety notice, and have verified through documentation that the connector contains any affected bolts, you should immediately notify BSEE. You should also consult with your contractors and subcontractors to determine the appropriate inspection, disposition and/or corrective actions. BSEE will require an independent third-party certification that confirms proper inspection and refurbishment processes were completed prior to reinstallation of any affected bolts.
Operators should review the QA/QC programs for all equipment vendors (contracted and sub- contracted) to ensure that all equipment is being manufactured to the required specifications.

Special attention should be given to ensure proper heat treating has taken place in accordance with the specifications.

BSEE Alert


FV Vellee Sinking – Cockroaches and Corrosion

 Accident, Accident report, corrosion, MAIB, Sinking  Comments Off on FV Vellee Sinking – Cockroaches and Corrosion
Feb 242012

Electrolytic corrosion on Vellee’s cylinder liner

Electrolytic corrosion shares a common characteristic with cockroaches – see one example and there’s probably a lot more under the floorboards. The crew of the fishing vessel Velee apparently found that out the hard way to judge by the latest investigation report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Late on 5 August 2011, the 19m trawler Vellee (Figure 1) suffered catastrophic flooding when on passage from Fraserburgh to Kilkeel. The crew received no warning of the water ingress from the vessel’s three high-level bilge alarms, and by the time the flood was discovered, the sea water level was above the main engine’s gearbox.

The crew were unable to establish the source of the water ingress and, despite making attempts to pump out the water, in the early hours of 6 August they were forced to abandon to the liferaft.

Approximately 45 minutes later the vessel sank. The crew were rescued by helicopter and delivered safely ashore at Stornoway.

Says the investigation report:”Two of the vessel’s main engine cylinder liners needed to be replaced as a consequence of severe electrolytic corrosion only days before her final voyage. It is highly probable that electrolytic corrosion had also affected the vessel’s sea water piping and associated fittings, weakening their integrity and ultimately causing a failure”.

Investigation by marine electricians had identified the probable sources of the electrolytic action and repairs were made to prevent further electrolysis. However, no further inspections were made and the owners issued no instructions to identify other areas that might have also suffered from electrolytic corrosion. Furthermore, no precautions were taken to combat the increased risk of flooding resulting from electrolytic corrosion of sea water piping and fittings. Continue reading »


Exploding Fire Extinguisher

 corrosion, explosion, fire extinguisher  Comments Off on Exploding Fire Extinguisher
Aug 162007

One of those ‘it probably won’t happen to you’ situations, but then, they always are:

An old foam-filled fire extinguisher was found among the debris of an engine room which was being prepared for dismantling. When an attempt was made to move the extinguisher it exploded, causing several injuries.

It turned out that the shell of the extinguisher failed because of heavy corrosion – a dnger in any pressure vessel (Yes, including those shaving cream cans).

Fire extinguishers should of course be checked and serviced regularly and you might take a look at extinguishers store in damp or exposed locations.

Check out the original report in MFB15 available at the CHIRPS website.

 Posted by at 11:29