Maritime Safety & Security – 16th June 2009

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Jun 162009

Nippon Mining says 3 workers die in port accident
Reuters – USA
June 15 (Reuters) – Nippon Mining & Metals Co Ltd said three workers were killed in an accident at the weekend while unloading raw materials from a ship

Exxon must pay $480 million in interest over Valdez oil tanker spill
Los Angeles Times – CA,USA
damages for recklessness in the grounding that dumped 11 million gallons of drinking and wasn’t on the bridge when the ship ran aground on a reef.

Part of Erie Canal to be closed, drained for sunken barge’s removal
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – Rochester,NY,USA
The vessel, which is about 90 feet long and 26 feet wide and weighs about 290 tons, started sinking about 7:30 pm Saturday

Moving forward RollsRoyce learns from Bourbon Dolphin Lloydslistcom
OFFSHORE vessel designers have followed recommendations made after the Bourbon Dolphin accident in their design of the next generation of anchor handling

Woodside Resumes Vincent Field Output After Fire
Bloomberg – USA
The production ship is owned and run by Copenhagen-based AP Moeller-Maersk A/S and operates at the Vincent field under a lease contract.

Fishermen seek ‘vigorous’ inquiry into sinking
Irish Times – Dublin,Ireland
THE ERRIS Inshore Fishermen’s Association has said that the circumstances of last week’s sinking of a shellfish vessel in Broadhaven Bay should be


An Encounter With Kidnapped Filipino Ship Captain – Washington,USA
They were taken into custody by the militants while two of the three military gun boats escorting the vessel were sank by the militants.

A New South Wales Chrissy Prezzy

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Dec 162008

‘Tis the to be jolly (Or Jolly Rogered if you’re off the coast of Somalia, or just plain rogered if you’re a foreign seafarer in Korea). Among the nicest electronic Christmas cards we’ve received was from NSW Maritime Chief Executive Steve Dunn and his folk which a time lapse film of Sydney harbour that’s well worth the watch, with the sound on.

Digital artist Keith Loutit made the movie His website is here.

Maritime Safety News – 17th September 2008

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Sep 172008

Hong Kong’s vessel with 22 on board hijacked
Hindu – Chennai,India
The vessel from Hong Kong was heading towards Asia through a maritime security corridor in the Gulf, patrolled by an international naval force,

Vehicle Accident – Indonesian archipelago – Indonesia
A cargo vessel carrying food supplies were reported capsized on Monday night in the Flores Sea at about 10 PM local time (9 PM Jakarta Time). The accident was occured around two miles north of Gili Trawangan beach in Lombok,

Fishing vessel runs aground, but no injuries
Macau Daily Times – Macau
The Macau Ship Traffic Administration Centre used the maritime channel to announce the accident and advised boats sailing nearby to slow down their speed,

France frees sailors from pirates

French commandos have freed two sailors seized by pirates off the Somali coast, the French presidency has said.

One pirate was killed in the operation and another six captured, it said.

Positive drug test for boat captain
The Connexion – UK
The captain of a vessel implicated in the fatal sinking of tourist boat has tested positive for cannabis according to the police.

US Coast Guard assists vessel taking on water
By cgnews
At 6:45 am, Coast Guard Group/Air Astoria received a call from the fishing vessel Miss Michelle on VHF channel 16 reporting that the vessel was sinking and that the five people aboard abandoned ship to the vessel’s 22-foot work skiff.

Hot work near-miss could have been a bomb

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Sep 162008

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Marine Safety Forum’s latest alert tells of a near miss involving hotwork that had the potential for serious damage to the ship and injury to its crew. It’s the sort of incident that happens uncomfortably often and which usually goes unreported. In this case the vessel was involved in offshore industry, which tends to be more willing to spread the lessons learned.

Says the MSF alert: “Upon completion of demobilisation from one project and mobilisation to another, the Chief Officer inspected the deck of the vessel and noticed that some project equipment, which had not been included on the approved deck layout plan, had been secured to the deck by pad-eyes that had been welded into position. One of which was welded to the deck above a fuel tank.

“The persons carrying out the welding had obtained a permit to work but insufficient supervision, communication and management of change procedures resulted in the pad eye being welded above the fuel tank.

“Although the deck above the fuel tank had been marked as a “no weld zone” these markings had become faded but not totally obscured, due to project equipment being stored on top of the fuel tank. Available ships information was not consulted prior to the welding operation commencing.


Effective communication between contractors working on behalf of the charterer and the ships crew should be established to ensure that hazardous activities are suitably controlled to mitigate risk.

Any changes to deck layout plans should be relayed for approval to the Master or Chief Officer.

Permit to work should be meticulously completed and cover the intended operation.

Any change to approved mobilisation / demobilisation plans should be reassessed by thorough management of change procedures.

Fire watches should be properly conducted and the fire watchman should be informed and satisfy themselves as to when and where hotwork is taking place.

The last line of defence, i.e. the deck markings, had become faint over time and should therefore be regularly checked and re-marked as necessary. If in any doubt ships Officers should be consulted concerning safe areas on deck for hotwork prior to operations commencing.

Could it happen on your ship?

Maritime Safety News – 16th September 2008

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Sep 162008

Pirates fire rockets at French boat far off Somalia
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Pirates fired rockets at a French tuna fishing boat in international waters in the Indian Ocean, 400 nautical miles (740 km) off .

Oil tanker escapes pirate attack
Independent Online – Cape Town,South Africa
Nairobi – A large Panama-flagged oil tanker operated by a Japanese company had narrowly escaped an attack by Somali pirates, a Kenyan maritime body said on

Fire damaged banana boat
Royal Gazette – Hamilton,Bermuda
By Tauria Raynor A Bahamian cargo ship carrying bananas to Belgium caught fire at sea and sailed to Bermuda for repair. There was a call to Harbour Radio

Posted 09/15/08 at 10:26 AM

The disabled freighter that was stranded 100 miles off the coast of Galveston during Hurricane Ike is now operating under its own power.The 484-ft. Antalina was was forced to ride out the storm after it broke down in the Gulf of Mexico, and its 22 crewmembers made it safely through the hurricane.

Gulf of Mexico – two drilling rigs adrift

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) issued a news release stating that two drilling rigs are adrift in waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  The MMS, the industry, and the Coast Guard are monitoring the paths of the rigs.  Tugs are expected to be on location as soon as weather permits.  MMS also provided an update on the status of production platforms and rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Quicker action could have reduced Hebei Spirit spill costs
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
where ship-to-ship transfer was not allowed so the offloading of its 209000 tonnes cargo did not start for 60 – 80 hours after the accident took place.

EU mulling military action to tackle Somalia pirates
BRUSSELS (AFP) — European foreign ministers on Monday agreed to set up a “coordination unit” to help tackle the growing problem of piracy off the coast of

Little left of Blackpool’s Riverdance ferry
Blackpool Gazette – Blackpool,England,UK
Mr Quinn explained they had to overcome a number of obstacles to remove the Seatrucks vessel. He said: “Touch wood, we’ve not had one reportable accident,

Maritime Safety News – 14th/15th September 2008

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Sep 152008

Passenger ferry sinks in Turkey
A ferry carrying about 100 people sinks off Turkey’s north-western coast, leaving at least one person dead and dozens missing.

Nigerian Militants Threaten Oil Vessels, Facilities – USA
“Failure to comply is taking a foolhardy risk of attack and destruction of the vessel,” it added. “We are asking that oil companies evacuate their staff

Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
NES of Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, pleaded guilty to breaches of the Collision Regulations, the International Safety Management (ISM) Code and Carriage of

the IMO (International Maritime Organization) on international going vessels,’ PCG further added. The memorandum was modified after the sinking of the

Missing Workers From Ship Fire Yet To Be Found
Bernama – Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia
They were believed to have been thrown overboard following an explosion inside “The Ark II” at about 8.25am yesterday. The duo were among five workers of a

CG Monitors Grounded Tug and Barge – USA
The grounding caused the Tasman Sea’s keel cooler to rupture, which caused the vessel to loose propulsion. The two vessels are outside of the channel and

Somali pirates wreak havoc with maritime traffic
No casualty was reported,” he said, adding that the tanker was continuing its journey and communicating with the US navy. Two rockets were fired on the

It Gets Bigger When You're On The Job

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Sep 152008

Reading as many accident reports as MAC does, one not infrequently gets to wondering what goes on inside some navigators’ brains. Someone out there is doing just that, to wit, Dr. Hugo Spears of University College, London.

True, his subjects are London cabbies, drivers legendary for their navigational skills in part acquired by a long training programme known colloquially as ‘The Knowledge’. They deal with many of the same challenges as navigating officers: planning a route, getting from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible, avoiding navigational hazards, dealing with sudden changes of destination or route, knowing where they are in relationship to where they want to be. They just happen to do it on a shorter timescale.

In animals, including humans, navigation involves a part of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus seems to grow the more it’s used as research has shown that it’s bigger in taxi drivers than in people who don’t navigate for a living.

Dr. Spears and his fellow boffins put 20 taxi drivers into a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine hooked up to an adapted PlayStation2 game and took them on several jobs through London, taking images of the brain as they did so.

They found that the hypocampus came into play when route planning, or when there was a sudden change of destination. So when you’re laying out your passage plan, that’s the part of the brain you’re using.

Another part of the brain came into play when faced with an unexpected situation like a blocked intersection. Yet another part of the brain appears to work out how close one is to the destination and increases its activity the closer you are.

Whether or not this data can be used to enhance navigational safety remains to be seen,but it’s certainly part of the human element spectrum.

It would be interesting to run the same sort of experiments with navigational officers, although there is a school of thought that considers that anyone volunteering to go to sea in the current environment needs their brains tested anyway.

Tighten Your What?

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Sep 152008

Fellow blogista Kennebec Captain retails a few stories about amusing ship names in a recent post and muses on whether there could possibly be a ship called the Titan Uranus. Prissy -minded folk insist on pronouncing Uranus wrongly, shy of the fact that it does sound like a reference to a human bodypart. There have been various unconfirmed ‘flying Dutchman’ style reports of such a vessel on the internet, but is it myth or reality. Being an investigator, MAC investigated.

Indeed, there is a photograph in circulation showing just such a ship purportedly in Hong Kong:

Fake Titan Uranus?

MAC didn’t think the photograph looked quite right and so checked out the IMO number visible in the picture. The vessel is the Titan Taurus, which can be seen here at Shipspotting;

So, the Titan Uranus is a hoax. Unless you know different.