Jan 102016

Perhaps the most important part if the viral video of the Carnival Ecstasy tragedy in which an electrician was crushed to death in an elevator is not the sheet of blood running down the elevator doors but the final image of the barriers in place outside the elevator doors. That is the image that should be burned into our memories because had the elevator been isolated and inoperable then 66-year old Italian crewmember Jose Sandoval Opazo may not have died in such horrific circumstances.

Investigations are underway which will certainly examine onboard procedures for elevator maintenance, the vessel’s SMS, the design of the elevators and why the elevator was not isolated in such a way as to prevent its mechanism being energised accidentally or deliberately. It is, however, just the latest tragedy of its kind in both the maritime and offshore industries. Continue reading »

Early Lessons From Insignia Fire And Personal Escape

 cruise liner, cruises line,, engine room, fire, fire/explosion, safety alert, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Early Lessons From Insignia Fire And Personal Escape
Mar 162015

Investigations into the 11 December 2014 engine room fire aboard Oceania Insignia continue into the engine room fire aboard the cruiseship Oceania Insignia which cost three lives but the US Coast Guard has already issued a safety alert. It highlights maintenance issues and the important of having a personal evacuation plan.

Marshall Islands-flagged, the 50,000 gt Insignia was built in 1998. The vessel was refurbished in 2014 and, says Oceania: “has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship”.

Says the USCG safety alert:

Continue reading »

Jan 092011

Holland-America Line Volendam

Police in the New Zealand port of Lyttelton, Christchurch says that neither of the crewmen aboard the Holland-America Lines Volendam were wearing a lifejacket when one end of the lifeboat they were working on fell suddenly, dropping them into the water. One of the men, an Indonesian, drowned, the other managed to remain afloat using a bucket.

MAC has been unable to confirm reports that a fall wire snapped. No fall preventer appears to have been fitted. Continue reading »

Panama To Lead Carnival Splendour Investigation

 cruise liner, engine room, fire  Comments Off on Panama To Lead Carnival Splendour Investigation
Nov 112010

A way to while away the time on Carnival Splendour

Panama is to conduct the investigation of the fire that occurred in an engine room of the Carnival Splendor on November 8 while cruising in the Pacific Ocean about 150 nautical miles south of San Diego. The ship was carrying 3,299 passengers and 1,167 crewmembers.

It is understood that Aux engine #5 exploded which was positioned underneath Main High Voltage Switchboard.

Since the majority of passengers aboard the Carnival Splendor were citizens of the United States, the US Coast Guard requested to join the investigation, and Panama consented.

The Coast Guard requested that the National Transportation Safety Board provide them with technical assistance. The NTSB and Coast Guard frequently work together on marine accident investigations, and the NTSB responded by providing two experts to assist the Coast Guard in their involvement in Panama’s investigation.

All information on the progress of the investigation will be released by the Panama Maritime Authority.

Bug Boats: Did 600 People Forget To Wash Their Hands?

 cruise liner, cruises line,, maritime safety  Comments Off on Bug Boats: Did 600 People Forget To Wash Their Hands?
Apr 172010

image Cruise lines must clearly do more than sanitizing if they do not wish to see their business go down the pan, argues MAC’s UK Correspondent Bill Redmond as he gets up close and personal with norovirus.

After two years of declining fortunes typified by slashed prices, cruise lines see better times ahead with rising bookings and prices but will the smallest of organisms, the Norovirus, scupper the nascent revival?

The cruise lines badly timed their expansion plans when laying down orders for new ships several years ago, which came on stream just when global credit markets imploded. The situation, however, would have been very much worse if it were not for the growing British love affair with cruises. The Passenger Shipping Association, for example, shows that more than 1.5 million people took a cruise last year, up 4% on 2008 and nearly 50% since 2005.

Continue reading »

Do Polar Cruises Pose Titanic Risks?

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

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 »

Case No. 3 – The Case Of The Wandering Monarch

 Bermuda, cruise liner, grounding, maritime accidents, NTSB, podcast  Comments Off on Case No. 3 – The Case Of The Wandering Monarch
Jul 032007

A cruise liner with 1,500 souls aboard, the most dangerous waters around the US coast and a GPS that tell lies to the autopilot for 36 hours with nobody noticing. Guess what happens next…

The Case of the Wandering Monarch

Listen to the podcast and read the illustrated transcript here