Sea Melody MOB/Mooring Fatality: Communications, Planning and a Thoughtless Moment

 Accident Investigation, Accident report, MAIB, Man Overboard, maritime safety news, mooring  Comments Off on Sea Melody MOB/Mooring Fatality: Communications, Planning and a Thoughtless Moment
Jul 012014

SeaMelodyWe’ve all had them: Those moments of thoughtlessness when knowledge, experience and even reason seem to take a holiday and we get hurt and kick ourselves for doing something we knew to be unsafe but didn’t think about it and wonder why we did so. Sergey Gaponov will not be wondering why he stepped on a bight of rope: He was pulled overboard and has not be found.

Sergey was a crewman on the general cargo ship Sea Melody. He was a 40 year old Russian able seaman and had obtained a Certificate of Competency as a rating, forming part of a navigational watch, in 2002. This was his third consecutive tour of duty on Sea Melody which he had re-joined in November 2013. He was well regarded by his shipmates and had received positive reports on his conduct and ability during his time on the ship.

Sea Melody had discharged her cargo of steel products at Groveport on the River Trent and was required to move to another berth to load another cargo. At the time mandatory pilotage was not required for vessels moving from one berth to another.  letter of guidance to the master from the port operator did not cover berth-to-berth movement.

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Jun 132014

Tests showed that when the grill was lit the resulting flames were predominantly yellow. The grill was turned off following the activation of a personal gas detector which indicated that high levels of carbon monoxide were being emitted. Close inspection of the grill showed that the grill’s steel mesh was corroded and holed in several places

Two seafarers died of carbon monoxide poisoning whilst asleep on a fishing vessel in Whitby, which demonstrates that lessons over several years, warnings and alerts have had little impact. Poorly maintained equipment being used for purposes for which they were not designed. refusal to use alarms that save lives, on vessel not designed for people to sleep in lead to tragedy.

In the case of scallop-dredger Eshcol the two seafarers went to sleep tired and cold. doors and windows were closed. Heaters on the vessel did not work so to keep warm the seafarers lit the grill on the vessel’s four-year old cooker which had probably never been serviced. Neither the guidance for the installation of gas appliances on board small fishing vessels nor the cooker manufacturer’s instructions had been followed when the cooker was fitted. The metal gauze in the grill was holed and corroded, causing extraordinarily high levels of CO emissions.

Tests showed that when the grill was lit the resulting flames were predominantly yellow, indicating inefficient combustion. The grill was turned off following the activation of a personal gas detector which indicated that high levels of carbon monoxide were being emitted. Close inspection of the grill showed that the grill’s steel mesh was corroded and holed in several places Continue reading »

Betty G Capsize: Know Where Your Knife Is

 Accident report, capsize, fishing boat,, life-raft, MAIB  Comments Off on Betty G Capsize: Know Where Your Knife Is
Feb 082013
Hard to find painter knife

Hard to find painter knife

Know your liferaft – when the beam trawler Betty G capsized on 23 July 2012 the three crew took to the vessel’s liferaft and looked for a knife to cut the painter. They couldn’t find it and one crew member had to go back aboard the trawler to find one. Due to their unfamiliarity with the liferaft they did not know that a knife was secured in a black pocket on the roof of the raft.

A newly-released report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, says the vessel capsized as a result of the  load in the starboard trawl net releasing  suddenly. Betty G then progressively  flooded and sank. The crew acted  swiftly and deployed the liferaft, which  ultimately saved their lives. No distress message was transmitted and no alarm was raised, even though the vessel was fitted with an emergency position indicating radio beacon, EPIRB, and an MOB Guardian.

As in other cases, the EPIRB was kept in the wheelhouse and could not float free. To maximise effectiveness, an EPIRB should be registered, regularly checked and serviced, and fitted in a float-free canister with a hydrostatic release. Continue reading »

Grounding: FV Moyuna – Skipper Looked For Light That Wasn’t There

 Accident report, fishing boat,, grounding, MAIB, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Grounding: FV Moyuna – Skipper Looked For Light That Wasn’t There
Jul 132012

Skipper looked for non-existent light following a dodgy track

When the fishing vessel Moyuna grounded on rocks on 21 November 2011 while approaching Ardglass Harbour she became a hard-taught lesson in navigation. An experienced skipper navigating by eye looking for a green light that wasn’t there and following a historic track on a plotter lost positional awareness at night.

It would have been wiser to use the sectored white light on the North Pier which could have guided him safely but he wasn’t looking for it and it was not marked clearly on the chart plotter.

The green light, the Ardtole Beacon, had gone out that day and the harbourmaster had issued an alert by VHF through the Belfast Coastguard but Moyuna was out of range. Continue reading »

Apr 102012

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Board’s latest Safety Digest is, like its predecessors, insightful and informed with a certain British quirkiness that makes it highly readable. Among the accidents and lessons in the first edition of 2012 is an issue lose to MAC’s heart: confined spaces and, in particular, the hazards posed by adjacent spaces.

In this case ‘panting’ during rough weather was involved. It has happened before (See The Case of the Tablets Of Love). In this case, ferrous metal turnings described as ‘steaming’ were loaded into the cargo hold. However, they were presumed to be scrap metal, therefore non-hazardous, as opposed to coming under IMDG Code Class 4.2. Continue reading »

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 »

CMA CGM Platon Contact: Pilot Had Port Too Late

 Accident report, contact, MAIB, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on CMA CGM Platon Contact: Pilot Had Port Too Late
Dec 082011

Pilot applied port helm too late

CMA CGM Platon made hard contact with a quay because the well-experience pilot ordered port helm too late to prevent the vessel being taken to starboard by the tidal stream says a report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

The tug used during the unberthing operation was released shortly after the
vessel’s departure from the berth and, once control of the vessel had been
lost, there was little the pilot and bridge team could do, in the time available, to
prevent collision with the quay on the opposite riverbank.

The quay sustained superficial damage but the vessel suffered significant damage to her bow, and her forepeak tank was punctured. Fortunately there was no pollution and no-one was hurt.

An MAIB analysis concludes: “Although CMA CGM Platon’s speed through the water was about 8.5 knots, the flood tide acting on her port bow, coupled with the downdrain and wind acting on her starboard quarter, was sufficient to overcome the turning effect of the applied port helm. This resulted in the vessel unexpectedly turning to starboard.

“Although the engine was then set to ‘full astern’, the vessel’s stopping distance of 4 cables exceeded the available space ahead and she consequently made contact with the quay”. Continue reading »

Sep 242011

At 1524 (UTC) on 26 February 2011, the platform supply vessel (PSV) SBS Typhoon was undertaking functional trials of a newly installed dynamic positioning (DP) system while alongside in Aberdeen Harbour. Full ahead pitch was inadvertently applied to the port and
starboard controllable pitch propellers (CPP), causing the ship to move along the quay.

Contact was made with the standby safety vessel Vos Scout and the PSV Ocean Searcher, causing structural and deck equipment damage.

Ahead pitch was applied to the CPPs because an incorrect pitch command signal was generated by the DP system signal modules. The error was not identified during factory tests or during the pre-trial checks although the system documentation specified the correct
signal values. Actions taken on board to limit damage were hampered by a defective engine emergency stop and because a mode selector switch on the DP system was not moved to the correct position.

The following video appears to have been speeded up:

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Blue Angel: Luck and CPR

 Accident, Accident report, MAIB, Man Overboard, Maritime Accident  Comments Off on Blue Angel: Luck and CPR
Jul 222011

Ble Angel, victim's position posed in foreground

If ever an argument had to be made for effective CPR training the report on a man overboard incident from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch is it. After 4.5 to six minutes at about 40 metres the victim was brought up with no signs of life, given CPR for several minutes then started to cough, was medevaced and has made a full recovery.

The victim suffered a burst lung and other injuries due to immersion at depth.

The incident also shows the enormous value of having a knife easily available in sch circumstances.

Here’s the MAIB synopsis:

At 1248 UTC on 6 January 2011, a fisherman on board the 8.24m potter Blue Angel was dragged overboard when his leg became caught in the back rope of a fleet of creels that was being shot over the stern. He was submerged for several minutes at a depth of up to 40 metres before the two remaining crewmen managed to recover him on board and administer first-aid. A coastguard helicopter arrived on scene swiftly and transferred the fisherman to hospital where he made a full recovery.
The MAIB investigation found that Blue Angel’s creels could become jammed in the stern opening if they were dragged through at certain angles. Working practices on board meant that when a fisherman went aft to free a jammed creel, he was likely to walk on or near the back rope and risk becoming caughtin a bight of rope and being draggedoverboard. Furthermore, there was no system of positive communication between the fishermen and the skipper to ensure that the boat was slowed and the weight taken off the back line when a crew member went aft. Although
personal flotation devices (PFD) were available on board, they were not worn routinely by the crew. The vessel’s owner has been recommended to
improve the safety of the self-shooting arrangement on board.

Download the full report here