Nora Victoria Grounding/Foundering: Check Before You Back Off

 Accident, Accident Investigation, Accident report, fatigue, grounding  Comments Off on Nora Victoria Grounding/Foundering: Check Before You Back Off
Jan 312016

Groundings can be surprisingly gentle, undramatic events, but that doesn’t mean that a lot of damage has not been done. so it’s unwise to immediately try and go astern to refloat. But when you’re fatigued you’re subject to making bad decisions, as did the skipper of the Nora Victoria, which led to the foundering of the vessel. While it was a small workboat the lessons apply as much to larger vessels.

At 20:59 local time on Monday 30 June 2014, the workboat Nora Victoria left the quay at Knarholmen in Vestre Bokn. After approximately 12–14 minutes, the skipper activated the autopilot and set course for Høna beacon on the northern tip of Finnøy island. He sat down in the navigator’s seat, where he remained for the rest of the voyage.

At 22:33, ‘Nora Victoria’ grounded approximately 320 metres south-west of Høna beacon. The skipper has stated that he was not conscious during the final part of the journey, and that he only came round when the vessel grounded.

Continue reading »

Jan 282016

Jetlag and fatigue may have led to a fire aboard the French-flagged cableship Ile De Sein, suggests France’s maritime accident investigation agency, BEAmer. Long-haul flights can lead to mistakes with serious consequences if efforts are not made to reduce their effects.

In the case of Ile De Sein, bunkering operations were underway in Honolulu. The engineering team carrying out the operation had arrived the previous day on a flight from France. By 1930 on 5 May 2015 the marine diesel oil tank nu,ber two was nearly full. After sounding, the cadet closed the ball-valve actuated by a counterweight but omitted to close the cap.

Soon after an engineer was preparing, from the control cabin, the shifting of the filling from the MDO tank number two starboard to the MDO tank number one centre. An operator error during the filling valve opening – closing sequence on the tanks, resulted in the tank venting pipe and sounding circuit overpressure.

Without the cap fuel vapour was able to escape through the sounding tube and, as flammable vapours will, found an amenable source of ignition.

A well-drilled firefighting team tackled the blaze appropriately and extinguished it. Says BEAmer: “The most important damages were located on electrical bunched cables (6600 volts), control organs and cabinets for DA1 and 2. Restarting of the mooring generating set after repair of its power supply.”

Although BEAmer says: “The engineer team who was coordinating the bunkering operation joined at Honolulu on the day before. The fatigue, due to the joining travel from France and to the jet lag, had probably contributed to the operating error in controlling the MDO tank filling valves” it offers no recommendation regarding mitigation of the effect of jetlag and travel fatigue and limits itself to “The crew’s attention should be drawn to the fact that the closure of a fuel tank sounding pipe, only by the ball-valve, do not provide vapour tightness.”

Unfortunately, the report does not determine whether a checklist was required by onboard procedures. Checklists, although much derided, are a tool designed to reduce the chances of error in sequential tasks.

Honolulu is 11 hours behind France and the more than 15 hour flight crosses a dozen time zones. Such long flights disrupt the body and brain’s natural cycle, the circadian rhythm, and the engineers’ bodies would still have been operating on ‘Paris time’. Such long flights incur fatigue, even if one sleeps during the flight.

To put that into context it would take between five and ten days to recover from jetlag and travel fatigue. Some recommendations say allow a day’s rest for each time zone crossed, but this may not be possible in a real world setting. The engineers aboard Ile De Sein had, at most, 24 hours.

Nevertheless, it is important for shipping companies to take account of it in their schedules.

So, work in advance if you can, here are some recommendations:

  • Be fully rested before you travel. Don’t make the mistake of making your self tired so you’ll sleep on the flight.
  • If you can, gradually adjust your meal and sleep patterns to fit those of your destination. Often this may not be a practical option for a seafarer but if you can do it will help.
  • Your travel arrangements may not be yours to decide but if you can, try and arrive in daylight. On arrival stay awake until until your normal sleep time local time.
  • Once on the plane set your watch to the time at your destination, it’s a psychological trick that may help.
  • Stay well hydrated during the flight and avoid alcohol or coffee if you can.
  • Stretch your legs, walk up and down, exercise during the flight. This is good practice anyway because it will help reduce the chances of deep vein thrombosis.
  • If the flight is long enough sleep on the plane at the same time as you would sleep at your destination.
  • On arrival, get as much daylight as possible and get some exercise.
  • Taking doses of melatonin, the so-called ‘sleep hormone’, may help but it does have some risk so only take it under medical supervision.
  • Do not take sleeping pills for the flight.

How do you deal with jetlag? What does your company do to reduce it effects on seafarers?Tel us in the comments section below.

BEAmer Report

See Also

The Fatigue Factor

Seaway: Fatigue and Jet Lag: In Search of Sound Sleep

Oct 262014

This podcast has a special place in MAC’s heart – it was the very first one ever broadcast. At the time we did not have a video production capability or a recording studio so the sound quality may be least than ideal but the lessons remain very current.

An exhausted Captain; single watch-keeping; a warm, cozy bridge at night; the heavy traffic of the Kiel Canal, and pirated navigational software. If you think that sounds like a recipe for disaster, you’d be absolutely right.

Listen To The Podcast


Stripes Continue reading »

Paris/Tokyo Probe Fatigued Seafarers

 fatality, fatigue, Paris MOU  Comments Off on Paris/Tokyo Probe Fatigued Seafarers
Jul 292014

moufatigueSeafarer hours of rest come under the microscope from from 1 September 2014 and ending  on 30 November 2014, says a joint statement by the Tokyo and Paris MOUs. A Joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign, CIC, will examine hours of rest records on some 10,000 vessels to see if they bide by STCW 78 as amended including the Manila amendments.

Deck and engine room watchkeepers’ hours of rest will be verified in more detail for compliance with the mentioned scope of the CIC during a regular Port State Control inspection conducted under the regional ship selection criteria within the Paris and Tokyo MoU regions. Continue reading »

Jul 082014

A man apart: Fatigue and both physical and cultural differences played key roles in the grounding of the bulker Tundra.

Take one fatigued pilot, add cultural power distance, loss of situational awareness, a dash of unimplemented Bridge Resource Management , inadequate master-pilot exchange and passage planning and there’s a very good change of something unpleasant happening. TSB Canada’s investigation report into grounding of the bulker Tundra off Sainte Anne-de-Sorel, Quebec, is an interesting collection of what-not-to-does.

Groundings in which pilots are involved are among the most expensive. A study by the International Group of P&I Clubs estimated that although groundings only account for 3 per cent of incidents resulting insurance claims of more than $100,000 they accounted for 35 per cent of the cost of claims at a cost of $7.85m for each incident. That compares with collisions, which accounted for 24 per cent of incidents and costs, and fixed and floating object claims which accounted for 64 per cent of incidents but 33 per cent of claims.

There’s money in them thar ills.

When the pilot boarded the Tundra he did not have up-to-date information regarding the buoys he intended to use for navigation. One buoy has been removed, which was not necessarily going to be problem since the next buoy had distinctly different characteristics than the missing device and the pilot would have recognised the situation and adjusted accordingly. He did not have a documented passage plan – his was in his laptop. Continue reading »

Danio – Why Aren’t We Tired of Fatigue?

 Accident, Accident report, fatigue, grounding, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Danio – Why Aren’t We Tired of Fatigue?
Jun 072014

DanioMAC, reading the MAIB report on the grounding of the MV Danio, suspects that the fatigue issue will stay with us until the results cost more than the cure. When ship operators and financially amenable, often corrupt, flag states stop objecting to measures that will ensure that exhausted ships’ officers do not take watches, on their own at night and turning a blind eye to falsified rest records nothing will be done until a major catastrophic, devastating event occurs, something of Titanic equivalence, only  then, driven by public and political pressure will there be substantive effort made to resolve the problem.

When that happens there will be complaints from the industry about trial by publicity. The industry will have deserved that trial and will, in the public domain, quite rightly, be found guilty of negligence and profiteering. Shipowners and flag states will, again quite rightly, not merely be found wanting but criminally negligent. No longer will they be able to shrug their shoulders and blame in on the masters who acceded to them.

Nothing was unusual or unpredictable about the grounding of Danio in an environmentally sensitive area in which a pollution event could have been devastating to wildlife and the economy. It was a tick the box affair as foreseeable as a sunrise. Continue reading »

Spring Bok/Gas Arctic – Knocked By Fatigue, Distraction And Poor Lookout

 Accident, Accident report, collision, collision regulations, colregs, fatigue  Comments Off on Spring Bok/Gas Arctic – Knocked By Fatigue, Distraction And Poor Lookout
Jan 032013

““From 0700 yesterday until now, but at least we shall sleep this afternoon” said the master of the Netherlands-registered refrigerated general cargo ship Spring Bok. He was wrong – hours later his vessel ploughed in an LPG tanker, Gas Arctic.

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch has identified lack of look-out, distraction on the Spring Bok by family members, a fatigued master who was OOW at the time of the incident, and breach of Colregs on both vessels.

The MAIB summarises the incident: “At 1014 (UTC1) on 24 March 2012, the Netherlands registered cargo vessel Spring Bok collided with the Maltese registered liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker Gas Arctic.

The collision occurred in visibility of less than 2nm, 6nm south of Dungeness while the vessels were proceeding in the same direction in the south-west lane of the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS). There were no injuries or pollution, but both vessels suffered structural damage.

Following the collision both crews assessed the damage to their vessels, exchanged details and reported the accident to the coastguard. The coastguard later directed both vessels to proceed to Portland for survey and inspection.

The MAIB investigation identified that the officer of the watch (OOW) of Spring Bok, which had been overtaking Gas Arctic, was distracted, was probably fatigued, and had failed to see the other vessel visually before the collision.

Although each vessel had detected and identified the other by both radar and AIS, neither OOW made a full appraisal of the risk of collision, nor took the action required by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (as amended) (COLREGS) to prevent the accident.

Both vessels’ safety management systems (SMS) required that when the visibility was 3nm or less, a range of control measures be put in place to reduce the risk of collision. However, there was no lookout posted, or sound signal operating on either vessel at the
time of the collision.

Download Report

See also:

Shen Neng 1 Grounding: Same Old Tired Story

ATSB on Thor Gitta: Compliant Fatigue Led To Fatality

Accident Report – Karin Schepers and the Stranger on the Bridge

Fatigue Leads To Wrong Hand Down A Bit

That Old Familiar Tired Feeling

MAIB Mulls Sleepy Single Watchkeeper Aground On Sanda

Cruise “Overloaded – Ship’s Officers Not Getting Enough Rest”

Moller-Maersk Fined For Sleepy Seafarers

MAIB Catches A Bit Of Sleep

MAIB Tired of Fatigue – “UK must go it alone”

NTSB Tired of Fatigue

US Courts Hit Shipowners On Fatigue

MCA Cracks The Whip On Fatigue

Video Of Note:Fatigue At Sea

Fatigue Risk Management On The Horizon?

OCIMF Probes Fatigue Rules Problem


OCIMF Probes Fatigue Rules Problem

 fatigue, maritime safety news, publications  Comments Off on OCIMF Probes Fatigue Rules Problem
Dec 252012
Fatigue or sleep inertia?

Fatigue is seen as a significant contributory factor to many incidents, says the OCIMF

Fatigue continues to be a major factor in maritime incidents despite plentiful legislation to reduce it. The problem is, says the Oil Companies International Marine Forum, OCIMF, is the ambiguities and interpretation of what those rules actually mean in practice.

An information paper recenmtly issued by the OCIMF, Recommendations Relating to the Application of Requirements Governing Seafarers’ Hours of Work and Rest highlights areas of concern with regard to potential ambiguities and differing interpretations of the requirements of applicable Conventions (2010 Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention). The paper considers minimum expectations to ensure compliance with related provisions, recommendations are provided for the information of OCIMF members and the managers and crews of applicable vessels.

Download a copy here

See also:

Moller-Maersk Fined For Sleepy Seafarers

US Courts Hit Shipowners On Fatigue

Cruise “Overloaded – Ship’s Officers Not Getting Enough Rest”

Shen Neng 1 Grounding: Same Old Tired Story

Karin Schepers and the Stranger on the Bridge

MAIB Catches A Bit Of Sleep

ATSB on Thor Gitta: Compliant Fatigue Led To Fatality

Fatigue Leads To Wrong Hand Down A Bit

MAIB Tired of Fatigue – “UK must go it alone”

MCA Cracks The Whip On Fatigue

Fatigue Risk Management On The Horizon?

The Fatigue Factor

NTSB Tired of Fatigue

Video Of Note:Fatigue At Sea

New IMO Provision to Fight Fatigue

Is BO The Answer To Fatigue?





OIM Guidance for Offshore Rota and Rest Periods

 fatigue, Offshore  Comments Off on OIM Guidance for Offshore Rota and Rest Periods
Jul 162012

Adequate rest is required to ensure that workers are in a state of readiness to execute their duties safely and effectively. This revised guidance intends to set minimum periods of rest between offshore shifts and trips, and set out the maximum days which may be worked depending on the length of shift.

This publication is available free of charge.
Please click here to download a copy.

OIM guidance rest rota.pdf (146 KB pdf)