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 »

Feb 152015

Crushing incidents have a particular sense of horror all of their own that needs no description. In the case of the fitter aboard the Bahamas-registered cruise ship Seven Seas Voyager he was left with serious injuries when a supposedly isolated ash dump valve closed on him, leading to hospitalisation for serious bruising and shock. He returned to the ship on light duties but two days later but continued to suffer from the effects of the incident and was discharged from the ship to recuperate at home for ten days. Continue reading »

This Week’s Podcast: The Case Of The Bosun’s Crush

 Accident, crush, crushing accident, podcast, Podcasts  Comments Off on This Week’s Podcast: The Case Of The Bosun’s Crush
Nov 102014

Bosun Jack was dead. His body lay under the worklights beside a pool of blood. The instrument of his death was a short distance away. One thing is certain, his killer still hunts seafarers.

Listen to the podcast [display_podcast]


The Bosun We’ll call him Jack. Not his real name but he was a real person. He was 56, and had been at sea for 30 years. On January 11, 2007 he was the boatswain aboard the Tasman Resolution. He knew the ship well, he’d been aboard for six weeks this time but he’d served out three previous contracts aboard her and a sister ship. Along with the chief officer he’d taught the third officer how to handle the ship’s gantry crane. The third officer, we’ll call him Charlie, was 26. He’d been aboard for 10 weeks. It was his second contract since getting his certificate of competency. There were also three ABs working with Charlie and Jack that night, Dave, Ed and Frank.

Continue reading »

E.R. Athina Crush Fatality: The Deadliness Of The Unnecessary

 Accident, Accident report, crush, crushing accident, Fast Rescue Boat/Craft, fatality  Comments Off on E.R. Athina Crush Fatality: The Deadliness Of The Unnecessary
Jan 252013
Position of the FRC

Position of the FRC

It seems to MAC that two questions to be asked before a risk assessment could save lives: Is it really necessary to carry out this task right now? Is this equipment being used for its designed purpose? Consider the crushing of a bosun causing fatal internal injuries whilst painting the hull of the  the Liberian registered platform supply ship ER Athina, subject of a new investigation report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

A small patch of damaged paintwork on the hull needed touching-up. despite the cosmetic nature of the intended work and the safer option of completing the paintwork repair in the sheltered waters of an alongside berth, the master’s decision to proceed with the painting was never challenged.

Since there was to be a fast rescue craft drill it was decided to carry out both tasks at the same time, the two tasks were not separately assessed.

The chief officer led a toolbox talk on the deck adjacent to the port FRC. The talk was attended by the deck cadet, Pjero, and the
OS. The points covered in the talk followed the ship manager’s risk assessment for the launch and recovery of the FRC, and it included the possible hazards and the associated control methods during the various phases of the drill. The risks of painting the port quarter were not formally assessed and, although the task was mentioned in the toolbox talk, it was not covered in any detail. Continue reading »

Gullfaks A lifting incident PSA to investigate

 Accident, crush, crushing accident, Offshore  Comments Off on Gullfaks A lifting incident PSA to investigate
Mar 072011

Gulkfaks A: worker crushed in lifting op. Photo: Statoilhydro

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority, PSA, has initiated an investigation following an incident in connection with a lifting operation on the Statoilhyrdo’s Gullfaks A facility on 28 February 2011.

One person was injured when he was crushed between two containers in connection with a lifting operation on the Gullfaks A facility.

The incident occurred around 06:00 in the morning on Monday, 28 February.

The PSA has decided to investigate the incident, and will send an investigation team to Gullfaks A to clarify the course of events and identify triggering and underlying causes, among other things.

Fitnes Death: Single Watchkeeper in Tunnel

 Accident, Accident report, crush, crushing accident  Comments Off on Fitnes Death: Single Watchkeeper in Tunnel
Nov 082010

Britain’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published its preliminary investigation into the death of a wiper aboard the self-discharging bulker Fitnes at the beginning of October 2010. A full investigation is underway by the Germany-based Antigua & Barbuda registry, under which the vessel is flagged.

Says the MAIB PI report: “During self-discharging operations of a cargo of slag, the wiper called the cargo control room on his personal radio set to report that he was on watch in the conveyor belt tunnels, which were beneath the cargo holds. About 45 minutes later, the chief officer went down to the tunnels to make his routine rounds of the self-discharging system. When he reached the after end of the port side conveyor belt, he found the wiper’s body between the conveyor belt roller and a supporting beam. The chief officer activated the emergency conveyor belt stop system and called for help. Although the emergency services were quickly on scene, the wiper had already died of his injuries.

Action taken:

  • In accordance with Chapter 10 of the IMO Casualty Investigation Code, the Chief Inspector has written to the Antigua and Barbuda administration, which is conducting a marine safety investigation, making the following observations:
    • There were no written risk assessments on board.
    • There was no written job description for the deceased on watchkeeping in the tunnels during cargo discharge operations.
  • HJH Shipmanagement is in the process of installing enhanced guarding around exposed conveyor belt machinery and now requires two crew members to work together on tunnel watchkeeping duties.”

Maritime Safety & Security News – 16 July 2009

 Accident, collision, crush, maritime safety, piracy  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 16 July 2009
Jul 162009

Man pulled into winch was trying to free rope
South Devon Herald Express – Torquay,England,UK
Paul Aggett, a fishing vessels surveyor with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency who inspected the Emma Jane after the incident, said it was ‘hammered home’

Six Indons drown, three missing as boats collide
Daily Express – Kota Kinabalu,Sabah,Malaysia
Tawau: Six Indonesians, including three children, died while another five were injured and three more are still missing, in a collision between a jongkong

Coast Guard: 80 passengers taken off grounded Wash. whale watch
May 5th, 2009 NJ boat sinking survivor: Tangled gear possibleCAPE MAY, N.J. — The sole survivor from a scallop boat that sank off the coast of New Jersey says he agrees with a lawyer’s theory that the vessel’s fishing gear might have

Staten Island Ferry Hits the Pier Again Leaving New York Personal
PR Web (press release) – Ferndale,WA,USA
There was some damage to the dock, but the vessel did not suffer any damage, reports the New York Post. “When I heard the story, the first image that came

Coast Guard Rescues Fishermen Off Hilo Coast
KITV.com – Honolulu,HI,USA
HONOLULU — US Coast Guard air crews rescued three fishermen from a sinking vessel south of Hilo Wednesday morning. The 24-hour US Coast Guard Sector

Iraqis relieved at American exit
Iraq Oil Report – Washington,DC,USA
“A passing Arab vessel received our SOS message but it did not respond. We were rescued by the American military, which sent over two helicopters,” he said

Crew of boat that hit Brenton Reef passes alcohol test
Providence Journal – Providence,RI,USA
The four crew members rescued from a New Bedford fishing vessel that ran aground Wednesday on Brenton Reef off Newport, RI, have tested negative for alcohol

Tour boat strikes Susquehanna River bridge, causing minor injuries

(HARRISBURG, Pa.) — The captain of the excursion boat Pride of the Susquehanna was cleared of wrongdoing. The vessel slammed into a bridge, the Patriot-News newspaper reported.

King Salmon’s remorse
Marlborough Express – Blenheim,Marlborough,New Zealand
Maritime New Zealand spokesman Ross Henderson said the fine awarded was “satisfactory”. Mr Henderson said the key safety lessons to emerge were:

Manager of Tugboat Company Indicted for Clean Water Act Violations

Defendant allegedly participated in and ordered the illegal discharge of dredged material over the course of several years. The general manager of the Northern California operations of Brusco Tug & Barge Incorporated was indicted Tuesday for violating the Clean Water Act,

Damaged North Sea platform to be dismanteled
Norway Post – Bærum,Norway
The collision between the water injection platform 2/4W on the Ecofisk Field and the service vessel “Big Orange” caused damage serious enough for the

RAF crewmen receive bravery award
BBC News – UK
The ferry had no power and in the bad weather, the movement of the vessel was completely unpredictable. The crew were struggling to see even with night


Kenya: Upgrade of Interpol Nairobi Office to Boost War on
AllAfrica.com – Washington,USA
Interpol president, Khoo Boon Hui, said the focus of the office will be to combat maritime piracy in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden through sharing

Hope for the Niger Delta
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
By Lloyds List Comment SOMALIA over the last year has become almost synonymous with piracy, but on the other side of the African continent acts of violence

Shipping Round Table discusses security, piracy, sustainability in
Shipping – Sydney,NSW,Australia
The Round Table said it supported the development of an appropriate package of measures through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO),


Howards’ Way yacht sinks in Hampshire river collision
Portsmouth News – Portsmouth,England,UK
An emergency call was made to Solent Coastguard after the yacht, Flying Fish, collided with another vessel. Members of the Hamble Lifeboat were called and

Mystery of the Polar Mist Solved

The POLAR MIST sank in about 80 meters of water between Punta Dungense and Rio Gallegos about 37 nautical miles offshore. According to an Argentine Customs manifest, the vessel was transporting 9.359 kilos of unrefined gold and silver

Jul 072009

Utter, irresponsible stupidity. Perhaps ‘incompetence’ needs to be in there somewhere. The failures of the most basic safety measures aboard the cross-channel ro-ro ferry Eurovoyager were an inexcusable disregard for human life worthy of the most miserable third world ferry outfit in the Philippines or Bangladesh.

The insanity of sailing with water-tight doors unsecured, and act of irresponsibility which resulted in a seafarer being severely injured in a crushing incident, is a particular hot-button in the UK, where the deaths of 193 people when the Herald of Free Enterprise sank in the English Channel in 1987, the country’s worst maritime disaster in 90 years, are still remembered.

Herald of Free Enterprise capsized and sank because she sailed with her bow doors open. It was common practice on Eurovoyager to sail with watertight doors unsecured.

Continue reading »