This Week’s Podcast: The Case of the Errant Hookers

 Accident Investigation, anchor, anchoring., bulk carrier, podcast, Podcasts, weather  Comments Off on This Week’s Podcast: The Case of the Errant Hookers
Jan 192015

She’s powerful, unpredictable and pushy. If you don’t keep a firm hold it could mean a rocky relationship gets very deadly.

Listen to the podcast



The Master

Let’s talk about Chandra. That’s not his real name but he was a real master, 44 years old with 27 years seafaring experience and seven years as a master.

The Ship

Coop Venture The Coop Venture His vessel was the Coop Venture, a Panamanian registered Panamax bulk carrier of 36,080 gross tones witha crew of four Indians and 15 Filipinos. She carried a cargo of

40,280 metric tones of corn from New Orleans, United States, to Shibushi Bay in Kagoshima prefecture, Japan.

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Get Ready For The Rains

 maritime safety news, Safety Alerts, weather  Comments Off on Get Ready For The Rains
Jun 092014

stormHong Kong’s Maritime Department, Mardep, advisory regarding typhoons reminded MAC that it is time to send out the usual warnings for the this time of year – ugly weather is on the way and there will certainly be the usual casualties among cargo ships and ferries around Asia. MAC would prefer that its readers are not among them.

Such weather affects so many parts of a ship’s operations – from mooring to simply avoiding being killed by a badly-design bridge – that no single piece of advice covers every situation. Over the years we’ve carried many reports and several podcasts related to bad weather. Preparation and forethought is the key difference between a bumpy ride and a casualty.

Here are some incidents to think about and some of our podcasts:

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Feb 232013

The third officer on CCNI Guayas was less lucky.

Heavy weather does not have to be extreme to lead to injuries on the bridge – it’s enough to lack handrails and have improperly stowed equipment. The latest example comes from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, in a safety alert.

Recently on a vessel it was reported that a crewman had taken a fall in the bridge during heavy weather. He suffered only minor injuries.
The incident occurred whilst on sea passage as the vessel was in the process of altering course, the weather although heavy could not be described as extreme and the vessel would have encountered similar conditions on a regular basis. Continue reading »

MSF- Weather Related Incidents Increasing

 mooring, Safety Alerts, weather  Comments Off on MSF- Weather Related Incidents Increasing
Feb 142013

Marine Safety Forum has warned of an increase in incidents when manoeuvring in port or berthed alongside including contact with vessels during river transits; contact with vessels whilst berthing; damage to moorings and gangways whilst alongside in port.

Says MSF: “A critical factor relating to these incidents has been seasonal weather or a lack of understanding of actual conditions. All of the above could have been avoided if good seamanship practices and forward planning had been conducted.

“At this time of the year we see an increase of flow in rivers due to the surrounding areas flooding
and the rivers in spate. This has a massive effect on the flow experienced in port entrances, turning basins and river berths. There also seems to be a tendency due to the weather that moorings and gangways are not physically monitored and tended due to a reluctance to go outside in the cold.

It is imperative that bridge teams monitor all weather, with particular attention to seasonal tidal changes. All information should be passed onto the relevant persons, including deck watchman, to ensure they are fully aware of the expected conditions.
Prior to manoeuvring in port, checks must be conducted and recorded as if the vessel was departing to sea. The Bridge Team must discuss with local services i.e. VTS, any relevant harbour information, this should also include tidal information as well as any local anomalies likely to be experienced.

During a recent incident investigation, Aberdeen VTS confirmed that it is are more than willing to share and provide local information on harbour conditions on request. Likewise, if any vessels have experienced problems, then this information should be shared with VTS to prevent incidents to other vessels.

Listed below are some common problems experienced whilst manoeuvring / berthed in port.

  • Poor vessel positioning prior to and during transit
  • Interaction during transit
  • Insufficient vessel way / speed during transit
  • Altering Azimuth propulsion with applied power set on
  • Thruster capability reduction, due to strong tidal flows
  • Insufficient understanding of equipment limitations / capability
  • Insufficient equipment availability
  • Unaware of traffic movements
  • Failure to communicate concerns
  • Vessel congestion (limited manoeuvring berthing space)
  • Ship Handler inexperience
  • Weather (strong winds, tide’s and poor visibility)
  • Lack of monitoring of mooring and gangways (2 man operation required for tendering)
  • Insufficient moorings deployed for weather conditions
  • Incorrect position of gangways

Says MSF: “We would like all Bridge Teams to take time out to discuss the points raised, and provide any feedback on concerns or learning’s they can provide”.

Download safety alert

MSC Siena MOB Fatality: When The Routine Became Risky

 Accident, Accident report, containership, weather  Comments Off on MSC Siena MOB Fatality: When The Routine Became Risky
Feb 112013

sienaRoutine is risky. Over the previous two months the crew of the containership MSC Siena had rigged the pilot ladder 30 times. The 31st time, on 17 November 2011 off Fremantle, a man was lost. No risk assessment had been done to take account of the weather conditions says Australia’s Transport Safety Board, ATSB, report on the incident.

The account is harrowing: “At about 1123, as the bosun watched the OS, he saw a ‘large wave suddenly rise up’ and strike the underside of the bottom platform of the accommodation ladder with force (the rope lashing the ladder to the shipside lugs parted). A loud bang was heard on deck and the bosun then saw the OS hanging from his harness rope, under the accommodation ladder’s bottom platform. Seeing that the OS had fallen off the ladder, the bosun began yelling.

“On hearing the yells, the seaman and the cadet looked over the side and saw the OS suspended about 1 m below the bottom platform. He was shouting for help while trying to hold on to the lower part of the pilot ladder. His legs were often submerged in the rough seas which were pounding his body against the ship’s side, the platform and the pilot ladder, and repeatedly breaking his hold on the ladder. Continue reading »

Rogue Wave In Vos Sailor CO Fatality?

 Accident, Accident Investigation, fatality, rogue waves, Vroon, weather  Comments Off on Rogue Wave In Vos Sailor CO Fatality?
Jan 152013
Vos Sailor (Photo:

Vos Sailor (Photo:

Aberdeen-based Vroon Offshore has issued a preliminary report on the 15 December 2012 incident in which an apparently large wave smashed through the the storm shutters of the ERRV VOS Sailor killing the vessel’s Chief Officer and destroying the bridge equipment. Eleven crew were successfully evacuated. The vessel was so damaged that it has been scrapped.

Says Derek Leiper, QHSE Manager, Vroon Offshore Services Ltd: “Obviously, we are at a very early stage of investigation, but feel it is important to keep everyone updated on a regular basis”.

At 04:05 the ERRV Vos Sailor was struck by a large body of water whilst on location during heavy weather. The internal of the vessels bridge was completely destroyed along with structural damage to the forward accommodation and both front and back bridge windows shattered.

According to Lieper the Swell height at the time was reported at 12 metres; the vessel had the storm shutters up on all five front bridge windows; the vessel was head to weather, doing approx. 1.5 knots to 2 knots; all storm shields were forced through the forward windows; All bridge equipment, consols and so on were destroyed; all windows across the back of the bridge were shattered from the inside. Continue reading »

Norcape: Windlass failure/grounding/injury –

 Accident, Accident report, anchoring., grounding, publications, Safety Alerts, weather  Comments Off on Norcape: Windlass failure/grounding/injury –
Dec 212012

It was not a pretty picture for the ro-ro freight ferry Norcape aroundwindlassdog Troon Harbour, Scotland on 26-27 November: Bad weather, a failed bowthruster, a damaged windlass and a seafarer injured as a line fouled a propeller, says the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, which has just released a report on the incident together with a safety flyer..

On 26-27 November 2011 the ro-ro freight ferry Norcape
suffered a number of accidents, including windlass damage,
An attempt to berth at Troon in the early hours of 26 November was thwarted by the strength of the wind and one of her two bow thrusters failing. The vessel then proceeded to anchorage, across the Firth of Clyde, off the Isle of Arran, but the weather conditions were too severe for her to remain there. While recovering her anchor, the windlass suffered a catastrophic failure and the anchor and cable had to be slipped to enable the vessel to get underway.

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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

CCNI Guayas Fatality – Ship/Bridge Design A Killer In A Typhoon

 Accident, Accident report, accident reporting, fatality, weather  Comments Off on CCNI Guayas Fatality – Ship/Bridge Design A Killer In A Typhoon
Sep 082011

Bridge after the accident

Bigger containerships may mean more hazards for those on the bridge warns Germany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, BSU, in its newly-released report on the death of a third officer about the CCNI Guayas in June this year. It is the third similar incident to be investigated by the BSU since late 2009.

With the vessel rolling in typhoon Koppu at up to 35 degrees with periods of eight seconds, the officer lost his hold, slipped and was tossed back and forth across the bridge until being stopped by the master and placed on a chair. The officer later died of his injuries.

Initially, the third officer did not appear to be badly hurt and it was only after he had been placed in a chair by the master that he began to lose consciousness.

Most obvious of the lessons is to ensure that there are enough handrails on a bridge and to ensure that papers and other items are stowed appropriately. The photograph of the bridge after the incident shows a sea of objects that would have been swept across the floor of the bridge and may have led to the third officer falling.

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