Maritime Safety News Today 3rd January 2008

 collision, containership, fire, grounding, oil spill, oil tanker  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today 3rd January 2008
Jan 032008

Container Vessel Runs Aground Off South Coast of UK (Update1)
Bloomberg – USA
2 (Bloomberg) — A container ship ran aground in the Dover Strait, the world’s busiest shipping lane, the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard agency said.

Bering Sea – disabled freighter The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it is responding to a distress call from a disabled freighter in the Bering Sea 180 nautical miles northeast of Attu, Alaska.  The ship has a cargo of 28,000 tons of copper concentrate.  It carries a crew of 24 and has 760 metric tons of fuel. (1/1/08). (Update) Freighter adrift near Attu regains power Anchorage Daily News (subscription) – Anchorage,AK,USA Initial reports by e-mail from the crew indicated the ship was probably not in danger of sinking but the Coast Guard wanted to get a look first hand,

Lifeboat tows trawler to shore – Ireland
Four crewmen on board the vessel dealt with the blaze and stayed on board as it was towed back by the Dún Laoghaire lifeboat.

Three crew saved from sinking yacht near Corregidor
ABS CBN News – Philippines
A rescue ship was immediately dispatched after the yacht’s crewmen sent distress signals to PCG. PCG search and rescue vessel BRP Pampanga was reported to

ID system to become mandatory for all boats on Turkish seas
Today’s Zaman – Istanbul,Turkey
Officials from the Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs, under which the Search and Rescue Coordination Center operates, said the Automatic Identification

Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit and EC Monitoring and Information Centre, comprising experts from OCHA, UNEP, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, the EC Environmental Directorate-General and the European Maritime Safety Agency.

Washington issues long-awaited proposed rule requiring importers and carriers to provide cargo data not found on a ship’s manifest.

Ship emissions below estimate
Air pollution emissions from ships in the Mediterranean Sea might be 30%-40% lower than the estimates made in 2000, calling into question the need to designate the region as a sulphur emission control area, according to data collected by oil industry body Concawe which analysed ship movements and fuel use in the Mediterranean.

Passing Gas with a Whispa

 collision, MAIB  Comments Off on Passing Gas with a Whispa
Dec 282007

The UK’s MAIB has released the results of its investigation into the collision between the yacht Whispa and the LPG carrier Gas Monarch. The report comes in the wake of the clearing of manslaughter charges against a ship’s officer for the deaths of three yachtsmen following that boat’s collision with a large vessel.

The Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) carrier, Gas Monarch, collided with the sailing yacht, Whispa, in dense fog 6 miles ESE of Lowestoft on the evening of 16 April 2007. There were no physical injuries on either vessel. There was no damage to Gas Monarch and initial structural damage to Whispa was relatively minor. However, the damage to the yacht worsened due to progressive flooding as she was towed to Lowestoft by a lifeboat.

Gas Monarch was proceeding at full speed, in fog, when her master left the bridge in the hands of his third officer (3/O) and an able bodied seaman (AB), contrary to his own standing orders. The 3/O had been on watch for about 1hour 40 minutes when Whispa appeared out of the fog on a crossing course at very short range. Evasive action by both craft was unsuccessful and the vessels collided.

Prior to the collision, the 3/O on Gas Monarch had detected Whispa by radar and had calculated that the contact would pass clear to starboard. Gas Monarch lost Whispa’s radar contact at a distance of just under 3 miles, but carried on at full speed with no sound signals in the dense fog.

Whispa was motoring on her auxiliary engine with her skipper on watch and his crew member resting below. The yacht skipper had detected Gas Monarch by radar and monitored the target track close to his radar heading marker, for several miles. Whispa’s skipper had limited knowledge of his radar’s capabilities or limitations; without plotting, calculating a closest point of approach (CPA), or establishing Gas Monarch’s speed he concluded that the vessels were on a collision course. Whispa made a bold alteration to starboard when the vessels were just over a mile apart (and closing at fully 18 knots) but this action, instead of moving Whispa clear of Gas Monarch, brought the two vessels onto a collision path.

Gas Monarch’s bow struck Whispa’s port transom and rudder, slewing the yacht round to port and pushing her clear, which allowed the vessels to pass without further contact.

The 3/O on Gas Monarch was in a state of shock as a result of the incident and did not slow the ship. Hearing Whispa’s distress call stimulated him into calling the master, who rushed to the bridge, immediately stopped the ship, and identified Gas Monarch to the coastguard. Gas Monarch stood by Whispa until the yacht was taken in tow by the lifeboat.

The MAIB investigation identified a number of contributing factors to the accident, including:

• A failure by both vessels to abide by collision avoidance regulations
• Deteriorated performance and accuracy of both vessels’ radars
• Lack of experience by Gas Monarch’s third officer, compounded by lack of support from the master
• Inappropriate use of radar equipment by both vessels.

As a result of the accident, the managers of Gas Monarch have:
• Serviced and replaced magnetrons in both radars
• Implemented bridge team refresher training
• Reviewed and intensified its fleet audit procedures
• Recommended to her owners the replacement of electronic radar plotting aids with Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA)
• Accelerated S-VDR installation throughout its fleet.

As a result of the accident, Whispa’s owner has:
• Installed AIS “B” to improve detection by ships monitoring the system
• Installed a GMDSS DSC VHF radio
• Installed additional bilge pumps and bilge warning alarms.

In addition, the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has:
• Added a Radar Performance Monitor guidance note to its Vessel Inspection Questionnaires
• Proposed amendments to its Tanker Management Self Assessment tool to reflect that all vessels should be fitted with ARPA as best practice.

Recommendations have been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Comité International Radio-Maritime1 (CIRM) regarding small commercial vessel training requirements and radar training.