Katmai Report Released – Watertight Doors Left Open

 Accident, Accident report, Sinking, watertight doors, weather  Comments Off on Katmai Report Released – Watertight Doors Left Open
Nov 142011

Katmai - sinking caused by lack of watertight integrity

Commercial fishing vessel Katmai sank because her watertight door were left open, a possibly fatigued master decided to continue fishing despite the approach of bad weather and the vessel owner had failed to ensure that master had up to date stability information and understood how to use it, concludes an investigation by the US National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB.

Katmai, 28 metres,  sank in bad weather in Bering Sea, more than 100 nautical miles west of Adak, Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Seven of her 11 crew were lost.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the
sinking of the Katmai was the loss of the vessel’s watertight integrity because watertight doors from the main deck to the processing space and the lazarette were left open by the crew at a time when the vessel was overloaded and navigating in severe weather, which allowed water to enter the vessel resulting in progressive flooding and sinking.

Contributing to the accident was the master’s decision to continue fishing operations during the approach of severe weather rather than seeking shelter and to load twice the amount of cargo addressed in the vessel’s stability report. Also contributing to the accident was the owner’s failure to ensure that the stability information provided to the master was current and that the master understood it and operated the vessel accordingly.

Download report here

Watertight Doors – Close Them and Dog Them!

 Accident, safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash, Sinking, watertight doors  Comments Off on Watertight Doors – Close Them and Dog Them!
Apr 292010

image In February the push boat JR Nichols sank in the Houston Ship Channel when it was caught in the wake of a tractor tug. The US Coast Guard has issued the following safety alert.(Thanks to Dennis Bryant for bringing this to our attention)

Recently a push boat operating “unfaced” (no barges attached) in the Houston Ship Channel flooded and sank while in the wake of tractor tug resulting in the death of the push boat crew and the narrow escape of two others. Although the investigation is not yet compete, it appears that the following occurred: The vessel’s watertight doors leading to its engine room had each been pinned open. The push boat had very little freeboard and was fully loaded with fuel and water. As it took the wake of the tractor tug, the vessel listed to one side and down flooded the engine room through a watertight door. As it rolled to the other side, it took on more water, eventually sink stern first and coming to rest on the bottom of the channel in an upright position. A person working in the engine room was trapped by the incoming water and drowned. Two others narrowly escaped death after being trapped in a berthing area for over 10 minutes, breathing only a pocket of air before taking dramatic efforts to reach the surface through a broken window.

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Jul 072009

Utter, irresponsible stupidity. Perhaps ‘incompetence’ needs to be in there somewhere. The failures of the most basic safety measures aboard the cross-channel ro-ro ferry Eurovoyager were an inexcusable disregard for human life worthy of the most miserable third world ferry outfit in the Philippines or Bangladesh.

The insanity of sailing with water-tight doors unsecured, and act of irresponsibility which resulted in a seafarer being severely injured in a crushing incident, is a particular hot-button in the UK, where the deaths of 193 people when the Herald of Free Enterprise sank in the English Channel in 1987, the country’s worst maritime disaster in 90 years, are still remembered.

Herald of Free Enterprise capsized and sank because she sailed with her bow doors open. It was common practice on Eurovoyager to sail with watertight doors unsecured.

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