Stop Press – Ships Move In Heavy Weather

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Stop Press – Ships Move In Heavy Weather
Jan 222008

With a brace of ships coming to grief in rough weather in recent months and the folks in Devon complaining that they can’t see the wood for the seas, one has to admit that there’s a fair amount of evidence to show that when the sea moves, so do ships. I’ll admit that MAC might be risking its hard-won credibility in saying that this unsuspected characteristic of vessels to roll around when the weather’s rough might actually be true, after all, there’s a lot of folk out there who appear to think otherwise.

The London P&I Club’s latest Stoploss Bulletin recounts several injuries incurred during bad weather: crew falling while working aloft, a hand injury as the result of a heavy auxiliary engine part shifting unexpectedly, and a chest injury suffered when a power tool slipped as the ship rolled. In each case, the officer doing the rick assessment was aware of the weather but didn’t take into account the ship’s motion.

The report highlights an intriguing entry in cases where a job was being carried out in the engine room. Under the risk assessment entry for “Weather and Sea Hazard” was written ‘not applicable’. Says the London Club, “While it is the case that dealing with rolling, for example, is less of an issue for someone on the bottom plates in the engine room than it is for a crew member on the monkey island, these recent cases are reminders that, when a ship rolls, the engine room moves too.”

Odd, that, isn’t it?

The Stoploss Bulletin  suggests checking the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency’s pamphlet’s on leadership and creating an onboard safety culture, which you can download from the website in English and Chinese. Note though, that the link to the Arthur D. Little report doesn’t work.

Maritime Safety News Today – 17th January 2008

 allision, collision, maritime safety news, oil spill, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 17th January 2008
Jan 172008

Cargo Ship Sinks Off Philippines

Rescuers were searching for 10 Filipino crewmen missing after a Taiwanese-owned cargo ship sank off the northern Philippines on Wednesday, coast guard officials said.

The Panama-registered MV Ho Feng sank off the northern Batanes island group with 20 crew on board, said coast guard spokesman Lt. Armand Balilo. He said it was unclear what caused it to sink.

“Six of the crewmen have been rescued by passing ships, four are still being rescued while 10 remain missing,” he said.

Ship carrying Chinese crew sank off Taiwan
Radio Taiwan InternationalTaipei,Taiwan
The ship set out from Hong Kong with a crew from China. It sank 20 nautical miles off Taiwan early Monday. The coast guard said that winds west of Taiwan

USCG – master charged in bridge allision

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the master of the tug that was towing a crane barge when it struck a bridge near Beaufort, South Carolina on April 26, 2007 has been charged in the agency’s administrative process with negligence and misconduct.  As part of a settlement agreement, the mariner has agreed to a six-month suspension of his license and will attend a bridge resource management class (how ironic).  A civil penalty process has been initiated regarding actions of the company operating the tug. (1/14/08).

Total gets guilty verdict in France’s worst oil spill (Pressemitteilung) – Wien,Austria
A year after the sinking, the European Union agreed on tighter controls on maritime safety, notably the phasing out of single hull tankers like Erika.

South Devon Herald Express – Torquay,England,UK
Pollution and collision fears now surround the sunken timber vessel Ice Prince, whose crew are still recovering in Brixham after being rescued by the Torbay

MEND takes responsibility for latest Nigeria oil town attack
Etomi had appeared on a local television channel saying that a fire Friday on a tanker ship berthed in Port Harcourt was caused by a “marine accident

Ice Prince Video

 MCA, Sinking  Comments Off on Ice Prince Video
Jan 152008

The Ice Prince, which weighs 6,395 tonnes and is 328ft (100m) in length” says the BBC, which really ought to know better.  The Ice Prince ran into trouble when it started rolling in a storm and it’s cargo of timber shifted, clearly visible in video of the rescue, check out the BBC report here.

Reuters also gets it wrong in this video report on the New Zealand Herald site.

Credit to the RNLI which gives the following report:

Cargo ship crew rescued


Image of Ice PrinceTorbay and Salcombe lifeboat crews are relieved to be back on dry land after rescuing eight crewmen from the stricken cargo ship Ice Prince.

The two stations’ all-weather lifeboats pushed through rough seas for hours to reach the vessel, 35 miles south east of Berry Head, after the master decided it was too dangerous for anyone to stay onboard. The vessel was listing and rolling in heavy seas, which caused its cargo to shift, endangering those onboard.

For each of the eight crew rescued from the 6,395-tonne Greek-registered vessel, the crew of the RNLI’s Torbay 17m lifeboat had to make five or six attempts to get alongside. Coxswain Mark Criddle says: ‘Getting people off ships at sea is never straightforward but despite the sea conditions last night we managed to rescue the remaining eight crew after their fellow crew members had earlier been airlifted to safety by Coastguard helicopter.

‘During the transfer, one of crewmen from the Ice Prince slid down the listing deck into an area of the ship that was covered in sea water. Luckily, he was able to get himself out. Two others got into difficulty while being transferred, but they were being held onto by lifeboat crew and so were quickly brought into the safety of the lifeboat.

‘These situations can deteriorate dramatically and rapidly, so it was good to know fellow RNLI lifeboat crew from Salcombe were close by on their all-weather lifeboat as back up.’

The lifeboats were asked to launch by the Coastguard at around 7.30pm on Sunday. They arrived on scene at around 9.30pm and were back on station at around 1am yesterday. The Torbay lifeboat has sustained some minor damage, but remains operational.

Winds at the time were gusting to force 8, and there was a 5m swell. The Ice Prince sank at 12.45am today in very rough weather.”

The RNLI has a regular podcast here.

Here’s the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency Report:


At a quarter to one this morning, the general cargo vessel `Ice Prince sank in very rough weather approximately 26 miles south south east of the Portland Bill (50 09.9N 002 02.08W).

She had been monitored throughout the evening and night by the French Coastguard tug Abeille Liberté and a further JP Knights tug, the `Anglian Earl. Salvors are aboard both tugs. Portland Coastguard along with their French Coastguard colleagues in Cross Corsen are warning other approaching shipping of the hazards in the area, particularly in the south west bound lane of the Casquets traffic separation scheme.

Just before she sank, the crew of the Abeille Liberté reported that further deck cargo had been lost to the sea and that the angle of the list had increased but that visibility is very poor at present in very rough weather. The tug is remaining on scene to act as a guard ship to the wreck.

The Ice Prince, which is more than 328ft (100m) long and weighs 6,395 tons, sent out an emergency call at 7pm yesterday after getting into difficulties..The vessels stern is now on the bottom and the bow is above the water.

An MCA counter pollution aerial surveillance aircraft will be making an over flight at first light this morning to see the extent of the debris on the surface of the water from the 5258 metric tons of sawn timber which the vessel carried. Over 2000 tons were being carried on the deck.

The vessel also carries amongst other lubricating oils in the engine spaces some estimated 313 metric tons of intermediate fuel oil. The Agency’s counter pollution team will also be urgently reviewing contingency plans at first light, and bringing forward any counter pollution stockpiles that may be needed to help disperse any oil that surfaces, if any are released from her bunkers. Wave energy in such very rough seas may also help disperse such released oil.

Police forces and local authorities in both Devon and Dorset have also been made aware of the sinking although any impact on the shoreline may be some days away given the distance of the foundering from the coast.”