Tsunami Takes Ships, Hits Shipping

 maritime safety news, weather  Comments Off on Tsunami Takes Ships, Hits Shipping
Mar 142011

Asia Symphony" was pushed onto the road along the shore of Kamaishi

Russia’s Maritime Bulletin reports: “Russian reefer Khrizolitoviy was berthed in Ofunato port, Japan, on March 11 2011, when tsunami struck. Vessel broke off moorings and was dragged by tsunami on shore, then when tsunami retreated vessel was dragged back to the water. Main engine was damaged, and finally, by strong tides vessel was dragged aground. 13 of 15 crew were taken on board of Japansese fishing vessel, there is no way now to reach the shore. 2 were on shore when tsunami striked, they’re now in rehabilitation center. One of the crew got a broken leg or hand, others are safe.

Asia Symphony” was pushed onto the road along the shore of Kamaishi.

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MCA Eyes Storm-Hit Gryphon

 weather  Comments Off on MCA Eyes Storm-Hit Gryphon
Feb 062011

Aberdeen Coastguard is monitoring developments on the Gryphon A, operated by Maersk, a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) which is being buffeted by very heavy weather in the North Sea.

The platform is based 175 miles north east of Aberdeen.

Winds are currently 53 knots from the north west and the platform was recording a 12 degree roll earlier this morning. Nine metre seas are also being recorded. Continue reading »

Hong Wei: A Victim of Wetness?

 Accident, bulk carrier, Safety Alerts, Sinking, weather  Comments Off on Hong Wei: A Victim of Wetness?
Dec 052010

A wet stockpile of iron ore

Almost half the crew of the Panamanian-flagged bulker Hong Wei remain missing after the vessel sank in rough weather between Taiwan and the Philippines in an incident which highlights the dangers of high moisture content mineral ore fines. Hong Wei was carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to Dalian port in northeastern China.

It is the second ship in less than a month to come to grief carrying a similar cargo. On 11 November Nasco Diamond sank off the southern coast of Japan with the loss of 21 crewmembers’ lives.

West of England P&I Club has issued a warning to its members regarding carriage of nickel ore.

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Winter Draws On – Watch Deck Cargo Ops

 Accident, Offshore, Safety Alerts, weather  Comments Off on Winter Draws On – Watch Deck Cargo Ops
Nov 122010

Winter weather could increase hazard during deck operations warns the Marine Safety Forum in its latest Safety Flash.

Says MSF: “Following two recent incidents during routine deck operations, one of which has been risked ranked as significant, this notice has been issued as a reminder to all involved in these operations.
Specifically with the onset of worse weather during the winter everyone should take time to  evaluate all the risks involved in these operations.

The following are items raised from the recent incidents. Continue reading »

When Ships Go Up The Spout!

 weather  Comments Off on When Ships Go Up The Spout!
Aug 232010

wspoutNot long ago a question turned up on the Maritime Accident Investigation Group on Linkedin asking if anyone has heard of incidents/claims involving water spouts in deep sea areas. I’m familiar with the Whippoorwill on Lake Pomona and the Alligator in Charleston harbour but haven’t come across any involving deep sea. Now fellow maritime blog gCaptain has noted some extraordinary photographs taken recently in waters off Novorossiysk on the English Russia site.

There is also video if this extraordinary phenomenon.

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Villem Clausen Slamming – Speed ‘Unsafe’ – RTFM With Care

 Accident report, Ferry, weather  Comments Off on Villem Clausen Slamming – Speed ‘Unsafe’ – RTFM With Care
Aug 022010

imageDenmark’s Maritime Authority says that the operations manual for the Bornholmstrafikken-owned, Austal-built ferry Villem Clausen did not provide the vessel’s master with sufficient information regarding safe speed in heavy weather. This contributed to the vessel slamming into ‘one or more waves’ at 33-35 knots on 11 January 2010, during a crossing from Ystad in Sweden to Rønne on the island of Bornholm.

Six passengers were thrown out of their seats and injured as was one crewmember when the vessel hit the waves. Upon arrival in Rønne, two of the six injured passengers had to be treated at the local hospital. The most severe injury was a broken hip.

The slamming caused severe indentations in the bow. Continue reading »

Safety Alert – Watch The Sea When Lifting

 Crane, weather  Comments Off on Safety Alert – Watch The Sea When Lifting
Feb 132010

image Two recent incidents have highlighted hazards associated with unexpected worsening in sea-state during lifting operations, warns Oil & Gas UK. Lifting operations are one of the most hazardous operations conducted on offshore facilities and require careful planning, identification of the hazards, assessment of risks and implementation of appropriate controls. It is important that any changes in circumstances, such as congested lifting areas and potential changes in sea-state which could lead to unpredicted movement of a suspended load, are given appropriate consideration in the task safety analysis.

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Chicago Express – Not Enough Handrails, Boxship Weather Performance Concerns

 Accident report, weather  Comments Off on Chicago Express – Not Enough Handrails, Boxship Weather Performance Concerns
Feb 072010
Damage caused during the fall in the dark

An AB died and a master remains unable to work a year later because they didn’t have enough to hold onto when their containership, Chicago Express, rolled by up to 44 degree in a typhoon. Germany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, BSU, has also expressed concern that “on the basis of the current state-of-the-art alone, the establishment or energetic promotion of a clear, internationally binding framework is needed, which facilitates greater recognition and practical utilisation of available scientific findings in relation to the vulnerability of vessels at sea”.

The report on the incident also discusses the issue of voyage data recorder failures.

Says the BSU synopsis: “At about 0245 in the morning on 24 September 2008, a very serious marine casualty occurred on board the 8749 TEU container vessel Chicago Express in which a Philippine crew member was fatally injured, the German Master of the vessel suffered serious injuries, and four more German seamen suffered minor injuries.


At about 1730 on the previous day, the vessel put to sea from Hong Kong and sailed for Ningbo following instructions to shipping from the local port authority because of the approaching Typhoon Hagupit. At about 1945 , immediately after

reaching the open sea, Chicago Express encountered heavy winds and swell from a south-easterly direction; this exposed the vessel to rolling motions of up to approximately 32 degrees.4 The ship’s command therefore decided to deviate from the intended general north-easterly course towards Ningbo and weather the storm, which at the time of the accident had reached a wind force of 10 with gusts of up to 12 Bft, by steering variable courses against the direction of the wind and swell. This led to the roll angle being reduced to values of about 20 degrees.

Hardly a handhold in sight, especially in the dark

At about 0245 h, the vessel, which at the time was under the control of the Master and steered by the Helmsman manually, was suddenly hit by a particularly violent wave coming from starboard just as she rolled to starboard. Following that, Chicago Express keeled over severely several times, at which the inclinometer registered an uncorrected maximum roll angle of 44 degrees for an estimated 10 seconds.

Due to the enormous accelerative forces on the bridge, the Master, the Helmsman and the Lookout also present lost their footing and were thrown across the bridge. The Officer on Watch, who was the only person on the bridge able to hold on to the chart table, hurried to the helm and stabilised the vessel’s course.

Is enough known about containership stability in bad weather?

The uninjured Helmsman was able to regain his footing relatively quickly and after a short period of orientation, he and the Officer on Watch found both the Master and the AB lying unconscious on the floor with bleeding wounds. While the Master regained partial consciousness shortly after, in spite of immediately initiated first aid measures carried out with the assistance of other summoned crew members and guided by medical consultations by radio, they were unable to save the unconscious AB. At 0417, resuscitative measures were discontinued.

During the ensuing weeks, the Master, who was in acute danger of losing his life for an extended period because of the severity of his internal injuries, initially received medical care in Hong Kong and was flown back to Germany after his fitness to travel was restored. Thanks to the excellent medical treatment his initial acutely life-threatening condition was stabilised after several weeks.”

Look around your bridge and imagine rolling to an equivalent angle, in the dark, and figure out what you, and others on the bridge are going to hold on to and how to address such a hazard before it becomes, literally, painfully apparent.

A solution for the helmsman

The other issue is that those on watch did not have enough information on how a ship of this kind behaves in such a situation. Says the report: “A central question requiring clarification within the framework of the expertise was whether the crew would have been able to recognise the danger and whether the accident would have thus been avoidable. It was also a matter of ascertaining whether the vessel’s high level of stability caused the accident and if so whether, at reasonable expense, such a high level of stability ought generally to be avoided with this type of vessel…

“…It is clearly possible to explain such accidents using currently available calculation technology. To some extent, this may be interpreted as progress. However, with the regulatory documentation and instruments generally used in the construction, approval and operation of vessels it is currently not possible to formulate recommendations for action or guidelines that would definitely help the crew to avoid such accidents. In this context, the expert makes reference to the still existing need for developing dynamic stability criteria for the intact stability of vessels, which are physically correct as regards mapping the swell-related stability effects.”

ATSB on Thor Gitta: Compliant Fatigue Led To Fatality

 Accident, Accident report, ATSB, Australia, falls, fatality, fatigue, weather  Comments Off on ATSB on Thor Gitta: Compliant Fatigue Led To Fatality
Dec 162009

tween decks area - AB was injured by lashing bin then fell from ladder

Working hours aboard the Danish-flagged general cargo ship Thor Gitta may have led to fatigue that contributed to the death of a Filipino AB even though the vessel complied with the International Labour Organization’s Convention 180, ILO 180, which deals with seafarers’ hours of work and manning of ships says Australia’s Transport Safety Board. Denmark’s Maritime Authority, which recently released its own report, does not accept the conclusion.

On 21 May, 2009, an AB died in a fall from a ladder after being injured by an inadequately secured lashing bin in heavy weather. ATSB believes that the AB’s hold on the ladder was weakened by injuries caused by the incident with the lashing bin.

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