Maritime Safety News Today – 8th February 2008

 alert, grounding, oil, oil spill, Pollution  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 8th February 2008
Feb 082008
The burning ship has started to move away from shore, and the emergency centre in Pula has announced that the drama will continue overnight.

Blazing freighter threatens oil spill off Croatia

Guardian Unlimited – UK
Tug boats were cooling the shell of the Turkish ship to prevent it from melting and allowing the ship’s cargo to pollute the sea. The accident happened 13  

Safety Assessment of Container Ships

Container ships have been increasing in size noticeably in recent years, and very large container ships with load capacity exceeding 10,000 TEU have been completed worldwide. Very large 8,000 TEU class container ships have already been built to NK class. With the increasing size of the hull, very thick steel plates exceeding 70mm in thickness are being used in the hull structure around the upper deck. Laboratory studies in recent years, however, have reported that brittle cracks that occur in the welds of very thick steel plates in fact propagate in straight lines without swerving and may not stop even after penetrating the parent material, which is contrary to conventional wisdom.

Owner sues US over grounding

NEW YORK, NY 7 February – Seaspan Ship Management and Seaspan Corp, owners of the container ship New Delhi Express are suing the US government over an April 2006 grounding in Kill Van Kull – blaming the mishap on inaccurate charts and an out-of-position buoy. The $3M lawsuit was filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Seaspan’s behalf by the maritime law firm of Chalos, O’Connor & Duffy. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff charges that the vessel grounding occurred because the ship was relying on Bergen Point Lighted Buoy 14 while making a turn in heavy fog. The suit alleges that, “unbeknownst to the master, compulsory docking pilot or to the plaintiff”, the buoy was some 25 yards away from its charted position and that the pilot and crew relied on the charts. The suit specifically blames the USCG, which maintains the buoy, and the National Ocean Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which maintains charts for the area. An earlier finding by the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the pilot in the grounding of the 4,253-TEU Hapag-Lloyd-operated ship.

DFA warns seamen
Tempo – Manila,Philippines
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has warned Filipino seafarers against illegal recruitment agencies in Singapore that promise high-salaried jobs as 

Posted 02/06/08 at 10:17 AM
A repair ship began work at the site where an Internet cable was cut last week in the Persian Gulf, and a second vessel was to arrive later that day at the spot north of Egypt where two other cables were cut just two days earlier, FLAG Telecom said…

Maritime Safety News Today – 31st January 2008

 collision, grounding, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 31st January 2008
Jan 312008

Two Chinese cargo ships collide, at least 15 dead
Reuters – USA
Rescue operations are continuing and an investigation into the cause of the accident has begun, said the news agency. (Reporting by Kirby Chien)

At least 100 feared dead in Congo boat accident
Earthtimes – London,UK
It was unclear what caused the accident but a Congolese maritime official told the BBC all passengers were thought to be dead. 

Posted 01/30/08 at 09:57 AM
The Coast Guard responded to a cargo ship that ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay. The Mediterranean Shipping Company vessel Japan, a 796-ft. Panamanian flagged cargo ship, ran aground near Sandy Point Light approximately one mile north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge…

Council proposes Napoli inquiry
BBC News – UK
The grounding of the MSC Napoli in Lyme Bay is to be subject to a local inquiry held by Devon County Council. The MSC Napoli was beached in Lyme Bay last

Jan 192008

Total Responds to Erika Verdict

Total Responds to Erika Verdict

The French oil giant is “disappointed” that the Paris Criminal Court imposed a fine for the maritime pollution that occurred as result of the 1999 sinking of the tanker Erika.

UK – update re sinking of ICE PRINCE The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the estimated clearance over the wreck of the ICE PRINCE is 46.8 meters, but that an Irish Lights vessel will examine and confirm the clearance.  In the meantime, a temporary exclusion zone of 1000 meters is in effect.  Bundles of the floating timber are breaking up, but may still present a hazard, particularly for smaller vessels.  An incident report provides further details. (1/17/08).

Bourbon Dolphin findings delayed
BBC News – UK
The publication of an official report into the sinking of the Bourbon Dolphin off Shetland has been delayed. The vessel capsized during an anchor handling

Man attempts suicide in protest at SKorea oil spill payout
A barge drifting in stormy weather smashed into the 147000-ton Hong Kong-registered tanker Hebei Spirit on December 7, causing the tanker to spill some

Harbor pilot pulled from chilly gulf
The News Herald – Panama City,FL,USA
Knowles guided a 300-foot cargo ship bound for Mexico through the St. Andrew Pass and out to sea Wednesday afternoon. The captain used a ladder to climb out

Ship Hits Bay Area Bridge…Again
(KCBS) — For the third time in three months a ship has collided with a Bay Area bridge. The US Coast Guard says that around 2:30 Wednesday morning,

Grounded Fishing Vessel’s Damage Assessed Transit Plan Developed
SitNews – Ketchikan,AK,USA
boom continued to surround the vessel as a precaution and there have been no reports of petroleum leakage after the vessel’s initial grounding.

FG explains oil vessel explosion in PH
The Tide – Port Harcourt,Niger Delta,Nigeria
Harcourt on Friday was caused by an accident. Our correspondent reports that a ship carrying 5000 tonnes of petrol exploded at the Port Harcourt Wharf.

Posted 01/18/08 at 10:26 AM
Commodore Goodwill sustained damage to its hull during high winds on December 10 and it is not known when it will be back in service. The ship usually delivers some food and goods to Guernsey. Condor Ferries has chartered the Triumph. The replacement ship will begin daily sailings to Guernsey from 1 February. Source: BBC

San Francisco Bay – initial report on Cosco Busan incident prepared

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the initial report on the COSCO BUSAN incident has been prepared and forwarded to Headquarters for review.  The report, prepared by the Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) team, focuses on the first two weeks of the response to the November 7, 2007 allision of the freighter with a pier of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the ensuing oil spill.  Public release of the report is expected in approximately two weeks. (1/16/08).

Savannah River – grounded vessel refloated

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the container ship that grounded in the Savannah River has been refloated with the assistance of two towing vessels.  The ship has been moved to an anchorage area until the problem causing the grounding has been identified and repaired.  The incident is under investigation. (1/16/08).

Duluth – salvage plan approved for partially sunken laker

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the salvage plan has been approved for the laker that partially sank after striking a submerged object while approaching its pier in Duluth.  Deballasting is expected to take several days.  Then repairs can be effected. (1/16/08).

Cyprus and Syria Sign Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Pollution

The agreement entails “. . . combating marine pollution, training and rehabilitation, research and the possibility of holding twining among the Syrian and Cypriot ports.”

Dock owner stands firm over pilot’s sacking
Liverpool Echo – UK
The member of trade union Unite was dismissed after an incident involving the grounding of a pilot vessel. No-one was hurt but he lost his job after

Nov 152007

Once the US National Transportation Safety Board has produced the transcripts of the voyage data recorder from the Cosco Busan (Formerly the Hanjin Cairo, the Hanjin name remains on the ship side) we’ll have a better idea of who said what to whom and when. Currently only the pilot’s version of events is available and it is raising a number of questions.

A malfunctioning radar appears to have been an element, though not the cause, of the incident and so far there has been no indication regarding the second radar on the ship’s bridge. Given that there was poor visibility, was the speed of the vessel excessive? Should departure have been delayed until the fog cleared.

The pilot was not familiar with the ECDIS equipment onboard, which does not appear to have malfunctioned. When the pilot asked the Captain to point out the centre of the bridge span the captain allegedly pointed to the bridge support and the pilot navigated accordingly.

With an apparently malfunctioning radar and a lack of familiarity with the primary method of navigation,  did the pilot seek to confirm the vessels position with the VTS and/or the accompanying tug?

VTS informed the pilot that the ship was off course, which the Pilot disputed and shortly afterwards a lookout shouted a warning that there was a bridge support ahead and the vessel went hard right and allided with the Delta bridge support.

There also appears to have been a lack of detail in the master/pilot exchange when the latter took conduct of the vessel, as the pilot’s lawyer admits. Would the missing information have been enought to prevent the incident?

There may also have been communications problems between the American pilot and the bridge team who were Chinese. Of there were, to what extent did they reduce the pilot and the bridge team’s situational awareness?

It is not uncommon for pilots to ‘go it alone’ rather than work with a bridge team with whom communication is problematic. This increases the workload on the pilot and reduces his situational awareness. Had the pilot and the bridge team undergone bridge team/bridge rsource management training?

Incidents such as this rarely have a single cause, or a single responsible individual. They are usually the result of systemic problems with Bridge Team Management, leadership, culture and navigational practices.

It will be a while before we know the full story of the Cosco Busan, but we’ll hit that bridge when we get to it.