Jun 092014

wiresConcerns have arisen regarding the dangers of a hydraulic ram not being properly reset after use in Chinese-made JX-4 release mechanisms from Jiangsu Jiaoyan Marine Equipment Company after a freefall lifeboat launched during a maintenance inspection seriously injuring the occupant. Simulations wires which should have restrained the lifeboat and prevented the launch also failed below their safe working load and are being investigated.

The issue has come to light in a preliminary report by Australia’s Transport Safety Board on the inadvertent launch of a lifeboat from the gearedbulk carrier Aquarosa in March this year.

In Singapore, 5 days before the incident, the second engineer was involved with multiple checks of the lifeboat release hook operation. During these checks, he noticed that the hydraulic system was low on oil and he topped it up. He also noted that the activation of the hook release required between 10 and 15 operations of the hydraulic pump handle. Continue reading »

Dec 222012
Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Mr Ruane’s Lifejacket – note lack of adjustment of waist strap.

Eire’s Marine Casualty Investigation Board has released reports on two separate incidents of note: A fatal accident in which a fisherman became separated from his lifejacket after his small boat came to grief in Lough Corrib, County Galway and the sinking of MFV Jeanette Roberta off Glandore Harbour, County Cork.

In the first case  on 19th March 2012 two men, who were both wearing life jackets, went angling in an 18ft open boat on Lough Corrib. During the afternoon the boat was struck by a large wave and both men were thrown into the water and were separated from the boat. One man swam to an island and eventually raised the alarm. The other man became separated from his lifejacket.

Both men were airlifted to Galway University Hospital by helicopter, one man was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other was reported suffering from hypothermia. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

On 13 November 2010, Maersk Lancer was to depart from Esbjerg. While taking in the gangway, the lifting wire got stuck in one of the stanchions on the handrail on the gangway.

To get it loose two ship’s assistants entered the gangway and worked with the wire.
When it got loose, the handrail to the shore side fell in a sudden move into stowage position. One of the ship’s assistants lost his balance and fell off the gangway. He was not wearing a safety harness and fall arrest system. He fell approximately 5 metres to the pier.

Denmark’s Maritime Accident Investigation Board notes that the vessel departed earlier than planned and says that “Due to the earlier departure, the Injured Person and the watchkeeping ship’s assistant felt they were in a hurry and under stress… When working on the gangway, the IP normally used a safety harness and fall arrest, but he did not do so on this occasion due to stress and the problem with the lifting wire”.

That lapse under stress happened because a known problem with the gangway had not been fixed: “Due to a problem with the lifting wire getting caught on an eye of one of the stanchions
on the gangway, the IP and the ship’s assistant had to derogate from normal procedures.
The problem with the lifting wire getting stuck on an eye on a stanchion has occurred frequently on Maersk Lancer and is well known in other supply vessels in the company’s fleet using the same gangway system. The problem is usually solved without any problems”.
Download full report
See also

MV Alpha, Uncontrolled ladder descent Killed 3O

Safety Alert – Avoiding Death On The Gangway

Ever Elite MOB Fatality – Lessons From A Systemic Death

EMS Trader: Hazardous Pilot Rig Led To Fatal MOB

Badly-Made Gangway Could Have Killed

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:

Continue reading »

An Accidental Wind Of Change In The Philippines

 maritime accidents, Maritime Investigation, maritime safety news  Comments Off on An Accidental Wind Of Change In The Philippines
Jul 132011

The first batch of Coastguard officers attend a week long seminar

Major changes are underway in the Philippine maritime accident investigation regime. The first cadre of a Philippine Coastguard, about 30, have just completed preliminary training at the PCG’s Maritime Safety and Services Command at Sangley Point and will return to their separate coastguard stations next week.

In essence, the Philippines is developing a maritime investigative capability from the keel up for the first time.

MAC’s Bob Couttie was a resource person for the seminars. He says: “There a very serious intent to professionalise maritime accident investigation and form a system much more responsive and appropriate to the 21st century”.

Under Republic Act 9993 issued in 2009 the country’s maritime accident investigations were placed under the Philippine Coastguard, which was separated from the Philippine Navy and placed under the Department of Transport and Communications. Currently only the Board of Marine Inquiry was available to examine maritime accidents in the Philippines. and has the establishment of liability as it primary aim, which conflicts with the revised IMO code for casualty investigation.

Currently the Philippines does not have an agency authorised to carry out non-liability based investigations and the PCG is looking at ways to over overcome a variety of issues raised by current legislation.

See also:

Princess Of The Stars – fixing the blame, but not the problem

Princess Of The Stars Update: Poor training, questionable communications, stability and God

In Philippine waters? Keep your cellphone on

Superferry 9 Capsize – Knots or Beaufort?




Jun 072011

From 17 June this year all member states of the European Union must implement Directive 2009/18/EC to have independent safety investigation bodies, to investigate very serious casualties and to publish reports within 12 months. They must also notify marine casualties and incidents to the European Maritime Casualty Information Platform, EMCIP, a non-publicly available database to store and analyse accident-related data about marine casualties and incidents.

EMCIP has been running on a voluntary basis for a couple of years, and becomes mandatory on 17 June. Ahead of the deadline, on 4-6 and 25-27 May, the European Maritime Safety Agency, EMSA, hosted 23 delegates from Member States in Lisbon to demonstrate the new database functions enabling them to compare the new and old versions, and test-run new features.

The EU Directive has raised concernes among some leading maritime accident investigators. Some investigations have taken more than the year mandated by the directive. To put that into context, in 2009 the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch handled 1663 marine accidents and incidents  covered by a small team of 39 people on a tiny budget of £4m. This year, like all UK government departs, deep cuts in the budget were demanded. The new regime may well lead investigative agencies in a conflict of meeting the demands of the directive within current budgetary constraints.





Apr 112011

ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard is investigating an allision involving the tugboat Clarkston and the deep draft cargo vessel Genco Marine on the Columbia River near Vancouver, Wash., Thursday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, Ore., received a call at approximately 9:30 a.m., reporting the allision at Columbia River mile marker 102.5, near the Vancouver anchorage, with possible damage to the Clarkston.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland, Ore., is currently investigating.

The Genco Marine was at anchor during the time of the allision.

Job vacancy – Accident Investigator (Marine) New Zealand

 Maritime Investigation  Comments Off on Job vacancy – Accident Investigator (Marine) New Zealand
Mar 272011

New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission has an opportunity to be part of a small professional team in a dynamic organisation dedicated to making transport in New Zealand safer.

Do you enjoy investigating maritime occurrences to discover what went wrong; deciding what would help fix the situation; and using your conclusions to influence people and organisations to avoid similar incidents in the future? Continue reading »

New Danish maritime accident investigation board on its way

 Accident, accident reporting, maritime accidents, Maritime Investigation  Comments Off on New Danish maritime accident investigation board on its way
Mar 072011

For Denmark a new broomThrough a new bill, Danish Minister of Economic and Business Affairs Brian Mikkelsen will establish a new independent unit for investigating maritime accidents.

Through a new bill, Denmark’s Minister of Economic and Business Affairs Brian Mikkelsen will establish a new independent unit for investigating maritime accidents.

The just presented bill proposes the establishment of an independent maritime accident investigation board. The new investigation board is to replace the Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that investigates maritime accidents today and which falls under the Danish Maritime Authority.

The bill is presented on the basis of an EU Directive. The purpose of the Directive is to ensure that maritime accidents are investigated thoroughly at the EU level and that the investigations are carried out by investigation units that are independent of the national maritime administrations. The investigations are to enhance safety at sea and contribute to avoiding similar accidents in the future.

More information

The bill – L xx – is available in Danish from the webpage of the Danish Parliament (the Folketinget): www.ft.dk.