Maritime Safety News – 26th February 2008

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Feb 272008
At least 11 missing in boat mishaps off Chinese coast – Bangkok,Bangkok,Thailand
Hangzhou (China), Feb 25 (Xinhua) Chinese maritime rescue service officials are searching for at least 11 seamen who have been missing off the east coast 
Leylon Sneed Runs Aground at Trunk Bay Reef
St. John Tradewinds – St. John,U.S. Virgin Islands
The Leylon Sneed drifted aground at the Trunk Bay reef near Jumbie Beach on Tuesday afternoon, February 19, as the vessel was loading up cruise ship

Ship crews face high degree of fatigue at sea’
Daily News & Analysis – Mumbai,India
Every-time there is an accident (now mv Rezzak has gone missing off the Turkish coast) on the high seas, there are theories about how high-stress levels 
Posted 02/26/08 at 09:46 AM

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency are on alert for the possible arrival of the contaminated cruise liner, SS Independence, which is reportedly heading to Guam after being refused entry in Hawaii, The Variety reported..

Posted 02/26/08 at 08:35 AM

The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that, effective March 10, it will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving from Indonesia. With the exception of vessels arriving from certain named ports, any vessel arriving in the United States that called in Indonesia during its previous five port calls must demonstrate the following: (1) that..

UN maritime agency endorses campaign for fair treatment of seafarers
UN News Centre –
necessary measures should be taken to ensure that seafarers are treated fairly when detained by public authorities in the event of a maritime accident. .

Port workers threaten India strike
One-day protest in March will press for wage improvements, other demands.

New code for accident investigation
Safety at Sea – London,England,UK
LONDON 26 February – An IMO Marine Casualty Investigation Code will be “a major change in the maritime sector” predicts Brice Martin-Castex, 

Maritime Safety News Today – 22 December

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Dec 222007

Fears grow for missing tug crew
Metro – London,UK
Ian Plater, sector manager for Clyde Maritime & Coastguard Agency, said: “We commenced our search at first light this morning. Most of the assets and units

‘Series of problems in Dolphin disaster’
The Herald – Glasgow,Scotland,UK
A series of problems and misunderstandings contributed to the Bourbon Dolphin disaster, which claimed eight lives when the oil-rig support tug capsized 75

Cosco Busan Captain’s Lawyer Asks For Hearing On Misconduct Charges – Reno,NV,USA
Meadows did object to the board’s accusation of misconduct “on the ground that it is so indefinite and uncertain that (the defendant, Cota) cannot identify 

Fast rescue boats
Amendments to part A of the STCW Code, also enter into force on 1 January 2008, add additional training requirements for the launching and recovery of fast rescue boats.
The amendments were adopted in response to reports of injuries to seafarers in numerous incidents involving the launching and recovery of fast rescue boats in adverse weather conditions.

SKorea to tighten rules against spill-prone oil tankers
“Following the accident, we plan to advance the timetable to phase out singled-hulled vessels,” Lee Ki-Sang, deputy director of the Ministry of Maritime 

Halifax explosion 90 years on – have we learned?

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Dec 062007

ou might wonder whether a 90 year old disaster can have much to teach today’s seafarers. Yes it can. Today is the 90th anniversary of the Halifax explosion that followed the collision of a munitions ship and a relief ship in the habour of Halifax, Nova Scotia, killing more than 1,600 people, laying waste the town over a two kilometre area radius, and creating a blast that was not to be exceeded until the the explosion of the atomic bomb at Alamagordo almost 30 years later.There are more details on CBC Canada’s website here so we’ll just cover a little of the background.

A war was on, the 1914-1918 conflict, and the French cargo ship Mont Blanc was loaded in New York with almost 230 tonnes of TNT, 1,600 tonnes of wet picric acid – a corrosive yellow explosive kept wet to prevent it exploding plus 544 tonnes of dry picric acid, both used in bombs and explosive shells, 56 tonnes of guncotton, n explosive material use in cannons and field guns, and 223 tonnes of benzol, an additive to extend fuel for military aircraft. Her master,Aimé Le Médec, set sail for Halifax that night.

Halifax was a bustling harbour under a confusion of control that included the Royal Navy and the Canadian Navy. It’s pilots were independent and, although regulations insisted they maintained communication about their movement they seems to have studiously ignored them.

Mont Blanc picked up the pilot, Frances Mackey, at 4pm but submarine nets had been strung across the harbour entrance and the ship had to wait until the next morning.

On the other side of the net was the Imo, a Belgian relief ship, bound for New York in ballast. Her master was Captain Haakon From. Her coal had been delivered latem so now she would be delayed by a day. So when the submarine net went down she was in a hurry, with a pilot aboard.

To cut to the chase, both ships tried to occupy the same space at the same time. Poor communications and lack of adherence to collision regulations resulted in a collision and fire at 8.40. Many Halifax rubber neckers went to the shore to see the spectacle of fire and small explosions, then, 20 minutes later the Mont Blanc’s entire cargo exploded.

Everything within two kilometres of the harbour’s edge was flattened. The Mont Blanc’s anchor was found three kilometres away, part of a gun was found five kilometres away. A ‘tsunami 18 metres high swept the shore. More than 1,600 were dead or dying, many to remain nameless. It was burned into the memories of those who survive to this day.
Much of Halifax looked like this. Film of the time looks remarkably like Hiroshima.

So, overlapping, confused authority, lack of communications, speed taking precedence over safe navigation and that old favourite: contraventions of colregs for the sake of convenience.

Perhaps the question isn’t ‘what lessons can we learn’ but ‘when will we start learning?’

Dec 042007

Five Egyptians die in Nile river cruise ship fire
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
The accident occurred shortly after an Italian tourist was lightly injured when a charter plane bound for the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm 

Bauxite carrier runs aground in Gladstone Harbour
Courier Mail – Australia
It is feared the grounding might cause the port to be closed for days. Early indications are that a large ocean-going tug from Sydney might be needed to 


VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that the federal government has successfully prosecuted the Motor Vessel Andre, a Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier for spilling over 7,500 litres of oil into Vancouver Harbour. The pollution incident occurred on July 4, 2006 while the vessel was bunkering fuel oil at anchorage in the Port of Vancouver.

EC – reasoned opinions regarding port security The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it is sending reasoned opinions to Estonia, Malta, Spain, and the United Kingdom for failing to transpose the European rules on enhancing port security into their national law. (11/30/07).

Bunker Convention to Enter Force in ’08

Posted 12/03/07 at 10:48 AM

Pollution damage from fuel oil carried on ships will be covered in 2008 with entry into force of international bunkers liability and compensation convention The last significant gap in the international regime for compensating victims of oil spills from ships is set to be closed, with the entry into force on 21 November 2008 of an international.

Customs expanding cargo risk analysis

Official says agency’s participation in Security Filing Initiative and the Import Safety Action Plan underscores its efforts to leverage its resources through risk-based assessments.

Maritime Safety News Today – 30 November 2007

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Nov 302007

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AHTS Sinks – Crew Evacuates Safely

Alam Maritim Resources Berhad HAS announced that one of its vessels had an accident on November 29, 2007.

The incident happened in the vicinity of Resak Platform while MV Setia Mega was sailing from Kemaman Supply Base to Dulang B Oilfield. The vessel had taken in a large quantity of water during an adverse weather condition and was fully submerged. The extent of the damage is still being assessed.


The body of a crewman from the towing vessel Jeff Boat was recovered today after falling from a barge while transisting through Lock and Dam number 14 near Leclaire, Iowa on the Upper Mississippi River.

Niu FM – Auckland,New Zealand
Auckland 6am: Talks are underway between Chinese and German authorities over the fate of a Kiribati seafarer who’s being kept behind bars in China.

UN maritime agency urges action to curb piracy off coast of Somalia 29 November 2007 – The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) today renewed its call for measures to prevent and suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia. Piracy jeopardizes the delivery of much-needed aid to Somalia, which is facing a deteriorating humanitarian situation.

IMO Assembly issues renewed call for action on piracy off Somalia
Renewed calls for action to prevent and suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships, in particular off the coast of Somalia, were made by the 25th session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), when it adopted a new resolution on Piracy and armed robbery against ships in waters off the coast of Somalia today (Thursday, 29 November).
Ferry complaints up, along with overtime bill
Brisbane Times – Brisbane,Queensland,Australia
“There’s not enough people in the joint,” said the branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, Warren Smith. “The guys are doing a 45-hour week and