What’s A Ship? Asks IOPC

 oil, oil pollution, oil spill, oil tanker  Comments Off on What’s A Ship? Asks IOPC
Nov 122011

The end of Erika, twelve years to reach a conclusion

At an assembly of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds held on 24-28 October 2011, the IOPC decided to establish a working group under the chairmanship of Denmark to have a closer look at what ships are covered by the right to be compensated for oil pollution damage.

The International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, IOPC Funds, consists of three intergovernmental organisations – the 1971 Fund, the 1992 Fund and the Supplementary Fund – which provide compensation for oil pollution damage resulting from spills of persistent oil from tankers.

The working group, which is chaired by Deputy Director-General Birgit Sølling Olsen, is to examine the various interpretations of what ships are covered by the Funds conventions. On this basis, the working group is to look into what consequences the various interpretations have for the compensation coverage and the obligation to contribute to the Fund since only ships defined as “ships” under the conventions can receive compensation. It is expected that the first working group meeting will be held in connection with the next meeting of the IOPC Fund in April 2012.
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Prestige judgement “Flawed – ECHR has badly let down seafarers”

 maritime safety, oil pollution, oil spill, oil tanker, Pollution  Comments Off on Prestige judgement “Flawed – ECHR has badly let down seafarers”
Oct 172010

imagePrestige appears to be something that the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, has a problem earning. Its evident support for Spanish practices in the harassment of seafarers, in particular Captain Apostolos Mangouras of Prestige ill-fame is sufficiently irrational for the International and European Transport Workers Federations to send off a broadside at the weekend calling the ECHr’s decision”deeply flawed”.

In 2002, as Mangouras fought bravely to save his ship from disaster, French and Spanish authorities decided that it was better for the ship to break in two in rough weather and pollute their beaches that allow the vessel a safe haven. It was, at the very least, a decision of outrageous inhumanity. Spain got its polluted beaches, an inevitable and foreseeable result of its decision, and promptly arrested Mangouras.

Mangouras, now well into his late 60s, has yet to be tied before Spain’s criminal courts but was only released from detention in return for a blazingly irrational $4m bail and house arrest in Greece.

At least they stopped short of having him renditioned to Quantanamo Bay.

The ITF/ETC announcement captured some of the Kafka-esque flavour of Captain Mangouras’s situation:

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Alaska Settles Seabulk Pride Spill, Grounding

 Alaska, oil, oil pollution, oil spill, oil tanker, Pollution  Comments Off on Alaska Settles Seabulk Pride Spill, Grounding
Jul 022010

imageJuneau, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Law today announced a settlement with Seabulk Tankers, Inc. and Tesoro Alaska Co. concerning the oil spill and grounding of the tanker Seabulk Pride on February 2, 2006.
Seabulk Tankers and Tesoro have signed an agreement with the State of Alaska to address civil oil spill claims and alleged violations of the Cook Inlet winter ice rules. The settlement resolves an enforcement action brought by the DEC. Under its terms, Seabulk and Tesoro have paid the state $429,870. In settling the matter, the companies do not admit to any violations.

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Thames Fisher: If It Keeps Failing, Fix It

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Jan 072010

Thames Fisher in drydock

When there’s a history of technical failures find out why and fix it is the lesson of the 2,700 gt oil tanker Thames Fisher which lost main engine power after departing the Esso marine terminal at Fawley, Southampton, Hants, on 4 October 2009. A blocked sea water inlet filter at the fresh water cooler had resulted in main engine shutdown.

A preliminary investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that the James Fisher Shipping Services-owned vessel had a history of failures related to the sea water cooling system.

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Maritime Safety & Security News – 29 August 2009

 allision, contact, fire, oil tanker, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 29 August 2009
Aug 282009

Tuna boats collide in broad daylight
The Daily Astorian
At 3 pm Wednesday the US Coast Guard responded to a collision between two fishing vessels 85 miles west of the Columbia River.

Accident In Bahamas Leaves NCL Passenger Dead
Read more in our Privacy Policy A passenger on board a Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line ship has died following an accident in the Bahamas.

Barge hits bridge in Hammersmith
Hounslow Chronicle
The wheelhouse of the craft was ripped off by the collision and the skipper suffered a gash to the head which needed 12 stitches.

Empty oil tanker sinks near Suez canal
The vessel had a capacity of 59000 tonnes but was only carrying its own fuel supply of around 60 tonnes, they added. Authorities from the canal,

25 saved after vessel catches fire in Murrells Inlet
Twelve additional people were saved by efforts from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. All aboard the ship were transported to Captain

A loaded freighter ship ran aground in the San Joaquin River on Thursday night just east of Solano County, according to the US Coast Guard.

Police blame alleged human error for Bali sea accident
Jakarta Post
involving a ship that capsized off Badung Strait in Bali, was allegedly caused by human error. The Wednesday sea accident left nine passengers dead and

Families of seafarers exposed to high risks of HIV
Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) — Being married to a Filipino seafarer for 12 years, Edna (not her real name) has grown accustomed to numerous difficulties

Shippers lament maritime industry’s low contribution to economy
The level of piracy in our territorial waters is almost rivalling Somalia’s. Somalia is a failed state, while Nigeria is the giant of Africa.

Seadrill looking into cause of Timor Sea oil spill
Oil & Gas Journal
21 oil spill involving the Montara platform off West Australia in the Timor Sea. Seadrill’s West Atlas jack up drilling rig is operating under contract to

US finds water pollution near drill sites 27 August 2009

US government scientists have for the first time found chemical contaminants in drinking water wells near natural gas drilling operations, fueling concern that a gas-extraction technique is endangering the health of people who live close to drilling rigs.

US plans land-based UAV patrols to combat piracy
Stars and Stripes
“I believe the main focus would be maritime security and counterpiracy operations,” said Navy Capt. John Moore, commodore of Combined Task Force 67 in

Singapore – preventing and suppressing acts of piracy

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular forwarding various IMO guidance and advice on preventing and suppressing acts of piracy and sea robberies on ships. Shipping Circular No. 23 of 2009 (8/14/09).

Advance in offshore drilling hails from landlocked Alberta.
The ship will initially be servicing wells producing for onocophillips. "Platforms can sink 65 wells in a grid, then cost a million dollars to move,

Norwegian mayor sends letter by pipe 27 August 2009

A mayor of a town in western Norway has sent a message to another local politician in the UK via the Langeled natural gas pipeline.

Skuld Sues Samsung

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Feb 102009

Owners of the Hebei Spirit and insurers, Assuranceforeningen Skuld, and the IOPC Fund started recourse proceedings against Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, in the Ningbo Maritime Court, China, for claims, costs, and losses totalling some $400 million. The claim arises from the 11,000 tonnes oil spill caused when a massive Samsung owned and operated crane barge broke free from the Samsung operated towing tugs and a tow line broke and struck the anchored Very Large Crude Carrier tanker, Hebei Spirit, on 7the December 2007.

Hebei Spirit, 146 848 gross tonnes, laden with 209,000 tonnes of crude oil, was struck by the crane barge Samsung No 1, while at anchor about five miles off Taean on the west coast of South Korea. About 10,500 tonnes of crude oil escaped into the sea from the Hebei Spirit and much of South Korea’s western coast was affected to varying degrees.

The 1992 Fund and the shipowner’s insurer, the Skuld P&I Club, have established a claims office in Seoul to handle of claims for compensation and to help claimants.

South Korea is a Party to the 1992 Civil Liability and Fund Conventions and compensation is available to any individual, business, private organisation or public body which has suffered pollution damage as a result of the Hebei Spirit incident. The total amount of compensation available under these conventions is US$304 million, of which $134 million is available from the shipowner’s insurer, the Skuld P&I Club, under the 1992 Civil Liability Convention, and up to $169 million from the 1992 Fund. The total amount of the losses arising from the spill is currently estimated at US$411-437 million and it is almost certain that the full amount of compensation available under the conventions will be paid. Costs for significant amounts will also be incurred.

Investigations into the cause of the incident so far indicate that negligence by the crane barge and the three towing tugs was the substantive cause of the collision and that there are grounds to deny the owner of the crane barge, Samsung Heavy Industries, SHI, the right to limit its liability for the incident. In conjunction with the Hebei Spirit’s owner and its insurer, Skuld P&I Club, the 1992 Fund, in order to protect its interests, has commenced recourse proceedings against SHI in the Ningbo Maritime Court, China. The total amount claimed by the 1992 Fund is some $200 million, which is in addition to a claim for some $200 million by the owner and Skuld P&I Club.

Masters May Be Liable For Seafarer Deaths

 accident reporting, Canada, enclosed space, fire, oil tanker  Comments Off on Masters May Be Liable For Seafarer Deaths
Jul 072008

Captain Gough Everett Wellon, master of a 76,000 tonnes Newfoundland shuttle oil tanker, Kometik, has been found guilty of violating Canadian labour laws in an incident that led to the death of a deckhand and serious injury of a welder in a fire on 8th April 2006. It’s a reminder that in certain jurisdictions a master can be found legally liable under local labor codes if crew don’t follow safety procedures and are killed or injured.

Kometik, owned by Canship-Ugland, services the Hibernia offshore oil platform. While undergoing routine maintenance in Conception Bay a deckhand and a contract welder were welding a steel bracket a cargo hold when a flash fire occurred, killing the deckhand and severely burning the welder. Captain Wellon was subsequently charged with 18 counts under the Canadian Labor Code, pleased guilty to two and the remaining charges were dropped.

Fines of CA$13,750 were imposed on Captain Wellon on each of two charges: failing to ensure that electrical equipment had been disconnected and failure to ensure that the welding did not present a danger to others on board.

In April the ship’s former Chief Mate, Raymond Riggs, was fined CA$20,000 on similar charges.

It is understood that a marine chemist boarded the vessel and tank the No. 4 cargo tank but not the No. 5 tank where the incident occurred. The tank was tested by a crew members before entry but questions remain about the equipment and the seafarer’s ability to use it. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has not yet issued its investigation report on th incident.

Maritime Safety News Today – 26th March 2008

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Mar 262008

US Coast Guard hunting for lost crew member
Edmonton Sun – Alberta, Canada
By AP ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard searched throughout the night for a crew member missing from a fishing vessel that sank off Alaska’s Aleutian

China sends 44 divers to find missing Ukrainian sailors
UNIAN News Agency – Kiev,Ukraine
Meanwhile, Anatoliy Prisyazhnyuk, the owner of the Ukrainian vessel, blamed the Chinese dry cargo ship for the collision. “The Chinese dry cargo ship should

US ambassador apologizes over Suez Canal incident (2nd Roundup)
Monsters and Critics.com – USA
‘We are really sorry over this outcome (of the accident). We will open an inquiry into it,’ Ricciardoni said. The crew of the Global Patriot had warned the

Capsized oil tanker to be salvaged tomorrow
Thanh Nien Daily – Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam
Nguyen Minh Tung, director of the salvaging Sao Mai Maritime Company, said a final detailed survey of the wreckage would be conducted Tuesday prior to

Posted 03/25/08 at 10:08 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Campbell, Africa Partnership Station Public AffairsWhile transiting off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS), March 20 High Speed Vessel 2 Swift received a distress call, relayed from the Maritime Regional Coordination Center (RMCC) in Lisbon, of a Portuguese…

Grounded ship could contain illegal aliens
KUAM.com – Dededo,GU,USA
As well, officials are concerned about the potential pollution the vessel’s grounding could cause to the surrounding water.

TSB takes aim at voyage data recorders on ferries
OHS Canada – Toronto,ON,Canada
The TSB notes that the hull received “extensive damage” and the ship drifted for more than an hour before sinking. “Essentially, the system failed that

Ship owners warned over non reporting of accidents
The Herald Eastern Cape – Port Elizabeth,Eastern Cape,South Africa
The alert has been issued by Tony Edwards, of Shepstone &0x0026; Wylie‘s International Transport, following the SA Maritime Safety Authority‘s (Samsa‘s)

Maritime Safety News Today – 7th March 2008

 capsize, collision, grounding, oil spill, oil tanker, Pollution  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 7th March 2008
Mar 072008
Vietnam tanker sinks, 14 missing
BBC News – UK
maritime authorities have said. One seaman was rescued at the time of the accident on Sunday, but most of the crew were trapped in the hull,One dead, three missing in ship collision: Japan
TOKYO (AFP) — Three vessels collided Wednesday in a strait in western Japan killing one Filipino crew member and leaving three others missing when their

16 dead in Albanian boat tragedy
B92 – Serbia
The authorities think the ship capsized and sank because it was overloaded. Four passengers survived the accident, said Katragini. .

Officials Provide Update On Grounded Oil Tanker
The Bahama Journal – Nassau,Bahamas
By Sasha L. Lightbourne The government will not incur any costs as a result of the grounding of an oil tanker off the west coast of New Providence,

Oil tanker towed to dock after SOS call
Middle East North Africa Financial Network – Amman,Jordan
The ship, which reported engine failure about 200 kilometers from the port, arrived back at the port yesterday, officials told Arab News.

Ill-fated trawler lodged on reef
Northern Advocate – Whangarei,New Zealand
“It’s still too early to determine what the cause of the grounding was, and we’ll be making no further comment on the incident until inquiries are complete

Wednesday, March 5th 2008
Virgin Islands Daily News – U.S. Virgin Islands
The National Park Service expects to complete its investigation into the grounding and coral damage during the next two months, VI National Park chief

Relations of victims of ill-fated passenger boat besiege Yenagoa
Vanguard – Apapa,Lagos,Nigeria
The maritime union leader Comrade Sylvanus Egele confirmed the incident , but said only five bodies have been discovered, that is, two ladies,

Fishing boat saved from sinking off Hawke’s Bay coast
All About Hawke’s Bay – Napier,Hawke’s Bay,New Zealand
The skipper of the Thelma G radioed for assistance just after noon saying the vessel was taking on water. The boat was about 15km south west from Portland

Crane crash terminal still out of action
East Anglian Daily Times – Ipswich,England,UK
Cranes on board then smashed into one of the ship-to-shore cranes at Landguard, which then toppled into the next crane, bringing them both smashing down.

Islands mourn loss of chief
Queen Charlotte Islands Observer – Queen Charlotte,British Columbia,Canada
Sandspit Coast Guard reported a vessel sinking in the QC harbour, after hearing radio traffic to that effect, according to Mike Stacey, maritime search and

Posted 03/05/08 at 10:21 AM

The US Coast Guard posted guidance on the inspection, repair, and maintenance of liftboats. As the guidance points out, for many purposes, liftboats are treated by the Coast Guard like conventional hulled offshore supply vessels (OSVs).

Donjon Marine Tows Disabled LNG Carrier

Posted 03/06/08 at 10:29 AM

Donjon Marine Co., Inc. provided the 7000hp salvage tug Atlantic Salvor to assist the (LNG) tanker Catalunya Spirit, which lost propulsion and became disabled and adrift East of Cape Cod in February. On February 12, 2008, Donjon Marine, Co…

Start of Napoli grounding inquiry
Dorset Echo – England,UK
The inquiry comes before work begins in April to remove the final section of the vessel, the stern, from the sea off Sidmouth. The grounding of the

US overturns shipper haz liability

NEW YORK 6 March – OCEAN carriers who sustain losses resulting from dangerous cargoes no longer enjoy a virtual guarantee that shippers of the cargo will be held liable for their losses. A 3 March ruling by the US Appeals Court for the Second District, struck down the “strict liability” standard of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) where the carrier is aware that a cargo is inherently dangerous. In a communiqué to its clients, the Blank Rome law firm warns that “Where the carrier is generally aware of the hazardous nature of cargo, even if it is not aware of the precise nature of the risk, and the carrier nevertheless exposes it to potentially dangerous conditions, it will not be able to rely on the strict liability provisions of COGSA but will be required to show that the shipper acted negligently with respect to the cargo and/or its obligation to warn the carrier of the specific nature of the cargo’s risks== 2E” The change came as the appellate court reversed a lower court ruling that held PPG Industries fully liable for the loss of the DG Harmony, which caught fire off Brazil in November 2007 after one of ten containers packed with calcium hypochlorite (hydrated) (“calhypo”) exploded. The lower court held PPG fully liable under the “strict liability standard” but the appeals court that “a shipper cannot be held strictly liable for damage caused during the shipment of hazardous cargo in circumstances where the carrier was generally aware that the cargo’s dangerous nature requires careful handling or stowage.” The case has been returned to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York “to make findings on the issue of whether an adequate warning would have affected how the carrier stowed the calhypo.”