St. Helen: Lack of Lube Dropped Deck

 Accident, Accident Investigation, Accident report, Ferry  Comments Off on St. Helen: Lack of Lube Dropped Deck
Feb 092016

Dropping a deck on your passengers is probably not the best way to impress them, although it might lead to some interesting insurance claims. Looking after your wire ropes will help avoid that unpleasantness, to go by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, report into just such an incident aboard the ro-ro ferry St. Helens at the Fishbourne Ferry Terminal, Isle of Wight.

The same problems also arise with lifeboat and fast rescue boats, so the lessons regarding proper lubrication and maintenance of wire ropes goes beyond this particular incident.

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Can IMO Fix Domestic Ferries?

 Ferry, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Can IMO Fix Domestic Ferries?
May 022015

Since 2000, in South East Asia there have been 163 accidents in the region involving ferries, killing more than 17,000 people. Over the years there has been little effective action to reduce that toll among the countries with the most losses – the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Now, following a conference in Manila in late April, has adopted guidelines to aid the process of reducing the mounting toll of accidents involving such vessels by addressing the question of whether a ship is fit for purpose.

(Below, Stephanie Coutrix spoke with IMO’s Lee Adamson who was there for the conference.)

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Feb 182015

At about midnight on the evening of 7/8 July 2014 the ro-ro ferry Stena Nautica with 155 passengers onboard suddenly decided it wanted to go hard starboard while departing from Grenaa Port, Denmark. Since she had not cleared the breakwater the result was a contact incident which put holes in her hull below the waterline and much denting. No-one was hurt but to go by the accident investigation by Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation Board, DMAIB, it appears to have been another design-assisted accident.

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Philippines Concern Over Death By Ferry

 Ferry  Comments Off on Philippines Concern Over Death By Ferry
Nov 182014

Authorities in the Philippines have expressed concern over a rise of ‘suicide by ferry’ incidents,reports local media. While the Philippines has  relatively low reported suicide rate of 2.75 per 100,000, a quarter of the global average, June to October incidents involving people jumping from ferries ferries reached 12, up from 10 the previous year.

In the latest incident 34 year old Daniel Pame, jumped from a ferry, nearly hitting hit the vessel’s propeller. He was rescued but attempted to jump again.

The Philippine Coastguard has advised that elatives of passengers at risk coordinate with shipping lines to ensure those who are depressed or have mental problems do not jump off the ship and the PCG can monitor them.




Stena Europe/Oscar Wilde: Exceeding Limits Can Be A Touching Experience

 Accident report, collision, Ferry  Comments Off on Stena Europe/Oscar Wilde: Exceeding Limits Can Be A Touching Experience
Oct 142014

wildeMost of us like to push the limits often because our experience tells us we can do so safely. Just because we can does not mean we should, a lesson from Ireland’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board in its report into the collision between two ro-ro ferries: Stena Europe and Oscar Wilde in the port of Rosslare.

At 17.45 on 26 October 2012  as Stena Europe approached Rosslare the vessel’s master took over as OOW and the Mate/Master briefed the bridge team on the intended approach to the berth. The OOW called Rosslare Harbour Port Control and confirmed a wind direction of 028° (T) and a wind speed between 29 and 35 knots. The fact that the vessel had the use of only 3 out of four engines was not reported to port control.

Another source for information on wind speed and direction Information of wind speed and direction was also available from an instrument installed by Stena Line on the breakwater; this transmitted the information by
radio to displays on the bridge wings of the Stena Europe. Continue reading »

Jul 212014

coronaseawaysOnce upon a time they were called ‘second-hand’ but today it’s fashionable to call them ‘pre-loved’ – old cars and trucks. Unfortunately they come with an increased risk of fire when being transported to their last resting place as the fire aboard the DFDS ro-ro ferry Corona Seaways.

At 0215 on 4 December 2013, a fire was discovered on the main deck of  Corona Seaways while the vessel was on passage from Fredericia to Copenhagen, Denmark. The crew mustered, closed the ventilation louvres, established boundary cooling and operated the fixed CO2 fire-extinguishing system.

Although smoke continued to escape from the louvres, steady temperatures in the vicinity of the fire indicated that the CO2 had been effective in controlling it. At 0640, the vessel entered the Swedish port of Helsingborg, where assistance was provided
by the local Fire and Rescue Service.

The vessel suffered light structural damage and the loss of some minor electrical supplies. Three vehicles and six trailers were severely fire-damaged and other vehicles suffered minor radiant heat damage. The fire was caused by an electrical
defect on one of the vehicles’ engine starting system.

A Renault Premium 250.18 truck had been driven about 240km before arriving at Fredericia and then onto the vessel. Neither the drivers nor stevedores reported any mechanical, electrical or instrumentation issues. However, the truck had not been driven for the previous 11 months and there was no evidence that any checks had been carried out to prove its roadworthiness or general safety, including the integrity of its electrical and mechanical systems.

Existing damage to a battery cable meant that even though the vehicle was parked with the key in the ignition in the Stop/Park position an electrical short, with resultant heating, could still occur, as seems to have happened in this case.

MAIB’s report on the incident says: “The carriage of used vehicles and equipment that do not have appropriate road worthiness certification and whose history and condition are unknown,  brings increased risks when compared with the carriage of well maintained vehicles that are in regular use“.

Although DFDS has fire risk control systems in place that might have prevented such a vehicle fire these oly applied to dedicated car transporters not to ro-ro ferries. Says MAIB: “Contrary to the spirit of the MCA’s Code of Practice and the master’s ‘Unsafe Cargo’  notice, there was no evidence that the vessel’s crew carried out vehicle safety  checks. Neither the SSMM nor the onboard risk assessments covered the carriage of used vehicles and equipment”.

MAIB also noted: Injection of CO2 into the main deck was delayed, allowing the fire to develop, because it took time to establish the fitter’s whereabouts during the crew muster.  The reason why the CO2 fire-extinguishing system apparently failed to discharge the   allotted quantity of CO2 as designed remains unexplained.  The main deck ventilation louvres were not fully closed and some of the crew were   unaware how to correctly operate them. This allowed air (oxygen) to feed the fire and potentially affected the CO2 concentration levels needed to extinguish the fire.  The cargo deck ventilation fans were not operated as required by the current regulations. This increased the fire risk due to the potential build-up of flammable
vapours from vehicles.

Download report

See Also:

Accident Report – Stena Voyager

Green Car Caused Pearl Fire



Apr 172014

NTSB Investigators Morgan Turrell and Christopher Babcock examine propulsion and steering controls on the bridge of Seastreak Wall Street.

By the time the captain of Seastreak Wall Street realised he’d lost control of the vessel it was too late to prevent the vessel colliding with a Manhattan pier at about 12 knots on the morning of January 9, 2013. Of the 331 people on board, 79 passengers and one crewmember were injured, four of them seriously, in the third significant ferry accident to occur in the New York Harbor area in the last 10 years.

The intended maneouvre was a common one among those commanding the Seastreak fleet: Reduce speed and transfer control from one bridge station to another better visibility less than a minute before reaching Pier 11/Wall Street on the East River. However, it left little opportunity to correct a loss of control at a critical moment.

The incident had been waiting to happen since July 2012 when a controllable pitch propulsion system was installed to replace the existing water-jet propulsion along with a poorly designed control panel and alert system, “The available visual and audible cues to indicate mode and control transfer status were ambiguous” says the NTSB. Continue reading »

Seastreak Investigation Updates

 Accident Investigation, allision, contact, Ferry  Comments Off on Seastreak Investigation Updates
Jan 262013
NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

NTSB investigator John Lovell and a representative from the U.S. Coastguard document damage to the Seastreak Wall Street. Photo: NTSB

Updates have been released by the US National Transportation Safety Board  on the investigation into the 9 January accident in New York City involving the Seastreak Wall Street ferry.

The engine manufacturer has arrived on-scene and investigators were able to download alarm and parametric data stored on engine control modules in each of the two engine compartments. In addition, investigators retrieved video from several onboard cameras. All of this information is being analyzed.

Investigators also tested the vessel’s steering systems and the tests were satisfactory.

The investigative team have started to conduct static testing of the main engines and control systems. Continue reading »

Contact: Pride of Calais – Misdiagnosis, Delayed Alert

 Accident report, contact, contact/allison, Ferry  Comments Off on Contact: Pride of Calais – Misdiagnosis, Delayed Alert
Jul 132012

Late alert left master with few options

“A delay in informing the bridge team about the loss of control air, denied the master valuable time in which to assess the alternative courses of action available. The investigation also identified that the applicable onboard emergency situation check cards contained insufficient detail, and that the machinery breakdown drills that had been conducted were unlikely to prepare the crew for the scenario which unfolded on the day of the accident” says the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch investigation into the heavy contact between the ferry Pride of Calais and the berth at Calais, France.

Pride of Calais lost propulsion when all three main engine clutches disengaged in very quick succession. The loss of propulsion came at a critical point as the vessel was still making good 4.3kts and was only about one ship’s length from her berth. Although letting go the starboard anchor reduced the vessel’s speed to 2.5kts, it did not prevent her striking the berth. Says the report: “The use of both anchors might have been more effective”.

The report highlights the importance of drills to build skills to deal with this sort of situation but recognised potential difficulties with doing so: “the opportunities to conduct  realistic machinery breakdown drills on board  Pride of Calais are severely restricted by the vessel’s operation in the congested waters of the
Dover Strait. Nonetheless, ‘hands on’ drills are unquestionably the best way to train crews to deal effectively with emergency situations and to verify the logic and usefulness of the check cards provided. Therefore, further consideration on how realistic drills can be achieved is warranted”.

Download the MAIB report on Pride of Calais