Safety Alert – Mixing Up An LEL

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Oct 242010

imageIt’s not only bosuns who can get explosive when agitated, so can certain types of waste warns the Marine Safety Forum. Although the safety alert concerns a close-call rather than an accident it’s advice is worth taking.

Says MSF: “There was a request from the platform to backload four packets of wet bulk waste, also known as “slops”, into the OSV’s mud tanks. All associated testing of the waste and paperwork were provided and agreement was reached by the vessel and installation to proceed with the backload.

The composition of the waste was 88% seawater, 7% base oil and remainder small percentages other solid additives.

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Bracket Caused Exploding Fire Extinguisher – Check Yours NOW!

 Accident, fire extinguisher, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Bracket Caused Exploding Fire Extinguisher – Check Yours NOW!
Jun 082010

imageNow would be a good time to go and check your bracket-mounted fire extinguishers. Although this particular extinguisher apparently exploded off of a bulldozer a similar incident could well happen aboard ship.

Over time, the head of a bolt supporting the bracket damaged the fire extinguisher cylindre, producing fatigue cracks that weakened it sufficiently for it to burst, tear off the bracket and fly several metres. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

Two other bracket mounted fire extinguishers showed a dangerous amount of wear from the metal retaining strap.

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Mar 282010

Adamandas – DRI hydrogen made her a floating bomb

P&I clubs are circulating an alert regarding the fire and explosion hazards of direct reduced iron. Worries have been increased significantly since the loss of life arising from the carriage of DRI on board the Ythan in 2004 and the deliberate sinking by the French Authorities of the Adamandas in 2003 with her cargo and bunkers on board.

The explosion and accompanying tragic loss of life on the Ythan resulted from the interaction between the vessel’s cargo of “HBI Fines” and the fresh water (moisture) contained in the cargo at the time of loading.  At the time of the incident the IMO Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargo (the Code) categorized two types of DRI, namely hot moulded briquettes or hot briquetted iron (subsequently re-designated as DRI (A)), and pellets, lumps etc. (subsequently re-designated as DRI (B)). The DRI/HBI fines cargo could not in reality be categorized as either (A) or (B) under the Code and the expert advice was to treat it as the more dangerous and reactive type of DRI (B).

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Maritime Safety News – 29 May 2009

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May 302009

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Two dead, one rescued in gas poisoning accident on Chinese ship
Xinhua – China
The navy ship was alerted for help because local maritime rescue ships could not approach Zheyuyu 1616 on the rough sea. Six hours later the navy reached .

2 hospitalized in La. after explosion on vessel
The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two crew members have been flown to a hospital after an explosion aboard a supply vessel off the Louisiana coast.

Fire breaks out on Italian ferry, all safe
The Associated Press
The cause of the fire was still being investigated. The ship, which belongs to the Italian ferry company Tirrenia di Navigazione SpA, was being towed

Ship runs aground in Bosporus strait
eTaiwan News – Taiwan
AP A maritime official says a St.-Vincent and Grenadines-flagged ship has run aground in Istanbul’s Bosporus. Salih Orakci, head of Turkey’s coast security,

Australian officials consider quarantine to keep cruise ship
USA Today – USA
The Brisbane Times reports only passengers who live in Brisbane or the surrounding state of Queensland will be allowed to leave the ship

Dead skipper’s family to sue trawler owners
New Ross Standard – Wexford,Ireland
However, a stability investigation to understand the stability profile of the vessel prior to the sinking was carried out by the MCIB

Harbour crash inquest witness admits to lie
ABC Online – Australia
In the statement she said she did not see or hear the HarbourCat, the Pam Burridge, prior to the collision.

Refrigerated cargo, indeed

A RUSSIAN ship captain has been charged with illegally transporting 56 passengers for four days, with a prosecutor alleging that they were essentially trapped in the refrigerated hold.

MCA publishes ‘Our Plans for 2009-10’

Maritime Journal – Fareham,UK
As part of its work towards tackling seafarer fatigue, MCA surveyors will be taking a critical look at the hours of work/rest records during surveys

Newcastle harbour chain secrets revealed
Newcastle Herald – Newcastle,Australia
Safety Bureau’s investigation into the Pasha Bulker grounding on Nobbys Beach for refit and another ship will take over the rest of the operation.

Eyes on the ocean
Times-Standard – Eureka,CA,USA
The system can be used to track oil spills — it helped during the massive spill from the Cosco Busan in San Francisco Bay — and to determine the direction

NOAA Says Changes in Vessel Operations May Reduce Risk of Endangered Whale Shipstrikes

Years of study and effort by NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard will pay off this summer when two changes to shipping lanes into Boston

NTSB: Expanded Release of Accident Investigations to Begin Next Week

Washington, DC (May 28th 2009): The National Transportation Safety Board today announced that it will begin to release all accident investigation public .


Kadhafi wants Somali exclusion zone to fight piracy
such as Frontex — the EU agency specialised in border security — to protect “our maritime wealth” and warned against the spread of piracy.

G8 discuss cooperation on organised crime and piracy
Reuters UK – UK
closer cooperation in fighting organised crime and greater aid to African states to tackle drug trafficking cartels and rising maritime piracy.

Maritime Safety News – 17th-20th June 2008

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Jun 202008

2 workers killed, 5 hurt in shipyard mishap
Straits Times – Singapore
Fourteen others were hurt in the explosion on the Rainbow Star. No explosion took place on Wednesday on board the ship that was being converted into a

Posted 06/18/08 at 08:42 AM

A 52-year-old Surrey man died after being crushed between two barges at a log sorting operation near Crofton, reported. The accident occurred just before midnight while the men were working on barges towed by tugboats in the Shoal Island area, near the Catalyst mill in Crofton

Labrador freighter runs aground
Western Star – Corner Brook,Newfoundland and Labrador,Canada
The Canadian Coast Guard received a distress call at around 1:30 am The ship’s 13 crew members abandoned the vessel in a life boat.

New Jersey – passengers ferried ashore after cruise vessel becomes disabled

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the passengers and crew of a 62-foot long harbor cruise vessel were transported ashore after the vessel’s propellers became entangled.

Edinburgh ship blaze could take week to bring under control, warn
Glasgow Daily Record – Glasgow,Scotland,UK
A BLAZE severely damaging a ship could take until the end of the week to extinguish, fire chiefs said yesterday. Ten firefighters are tackling the blaze on

UK. Torbay RNLI Lifeboat aids sinking fishing vessel; tows to Brixham
BYM News (press release) – Gibraltar,Spain
A nearby fishing vessel, the Marina, responded to the Pan Pan and proceeded to the sinking vessel. The Marina was requested to stand by the vessel until the .

Regulator failed to check vessel’s safety: coroner
Queensland’s maritime safety regulator failed to inspect an unseaworthy Torres Strait-based vessel in the years before a deckhand fell to his death, the state’s coroner has found.

Queensland coroner Michael Barnes found Maritime Safety Queensland had not inspected the vessel, The Alert, operated by company Torres Pilots for years prior to the 2004 death of 55-year-old Phillemon Mosby, despite receiving complaints that it was unsafe.

German-Based Operator of Ship and Chief Engineer Plead Guilty to
Biloxi Sun Herald – MS, USA
“The company and chief engineer used the ocean as a dumping ground for waste oil and tried to cover that up,” said David M. Dillon, Special Agent-in-Charge,

Boats, words collide in dispute between marina and shipper
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Milwaukee,WI,USA
By TOM DAYKIN A long-simmering dispute between two Milwaukee businesses has boiled over after a cargo ship operated by St. Marys Cement Inc. collided Monday

9 Non-British Ships Under Detention in the Uk During May

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced today that 9 foreign flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during May 2008 after failing Port State Control (PSC) inspection. read more.

Liquefied Natural Gas Tankers Remain Giant Terror Targets
The Cutting Edge – Washington,DC,USA
Foreign seafarers are not. US mariners will be subject to terrorism background checks through the TSA. Foreign Seafarers are not.

Somalia, French firm sign pact to tackle piracy.
By David Barouski(David Barouski)
Mombasa-based Seafarers Assistance Programme (SAP) says the move is laudable as it could enhance security of vessels and crew noting that many seagoing vessels and maritime insurers have been avoiding Somali coast because of piracy

Oil dealers raise alarm over danger of big spill at port
Business Daily Africa – Nairobi,Kenya
Marketers raise fears that KPA and the Kenya Maritime Authority may not have capacity to manage a spill of more than 1000 metric tonnes.

Singapore – IMO unique owner and registered owner ID number scheme

The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners and operators that, effective 1 January 2009, the IMO unique company and registered owner identification (ID) number must be reflected in a number of ship’s documents.  This includes the Continuous Synopsis Record (CSR), the Document of Compliance, the Safety Management Certificate (SMC), and the International Ship Security Certificate (ISSC), among others. Shipping Circular No. 11 of 2008 (6/16/08).

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Piper Alpha 20 Years On – Lessons In Listening for the Maritime Industry?

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May 302008

It’s almost a month away from the Piper Alpha tragedy which cost the lives of 167 men and led to major changes in the offshore industry. Jake Molly, regional organiser of the union Oil Industry Liason Committee believes the changes might not have been enough. Reading his statement on the Piper Alpha disaster and conditions today should strike a chord of familiarity in the maritime industry:

“This year, on July 6th 2008, twenty years will have passed since the terrible night which claimed the lives of 167 of our offshore workmates in the tragedy that was – Piper Alpha.

“It was a tragedy in many ways, but perhaps the most tragic aspect was the abject failure of the management systems and controls which should have prevented such an incident ever occurring. The subsequent inquiry found management controls such as the ‘permit to work’ system to be little more than a ‘paper chase’.

“There is no doubt that significant improvements in safety have been made across the industry in the twenty years since Piper. The industry specific regulations that have been introduced coupled with the installation of improved hardware ‘should’ prevent another disaster on the scale of Piper Alpha. I say ‘should’ because we can never say ‘never’. Regulations must be adhered to and the hardware will only ever be as good as the people charged with looking after it. ‘People’, are therefore key to ensuring safety standards are maintained and improved upon.

“With that in mind we should remember the words of the Occidental President, Glenn Shurtz, under cross examination during the Cullen Inquiry – “I had no reason to doubt that all was well. No one ever told me otherwise.” Twenty years ago people, and particularly the offshore workforce, were reluctant to raise safety concerns or challenge management for fear of being seen as trouble makers or not having the right attitude. Twenty years on many workers remain reluctant to challenge, and for the same reasons. Twenty years ago we had the threat of ‘NRB’ (Not required back). Today we still have the threat of NRB!

“I accept that NRB is not as prevalent as it was 20 years ago, but it’s the fact we are still living with it today which is relevant. Yet even where NRB is not a threat we still find major incidents occurring. Consider some of the incidents that have occurred down the years since Piper. Many of them could have led to multiple fatalities on a similar scale. In most cases it has been luck, rather than good management, that prevented an escalation. Consider also that in the run up to many of those incidents the workforce had been raising concerns about safety systems and hardware. Their concerns were either ignored or dismissed.

“In the run up to the incident which claimed the lives of two workers on Shell’s Brent Bravo in 2003, (which had the potential to kill over 150) workers were free to challenge management about safety issues but were ignored. Everything the workers had said was subsequently verified in the investigation into the incident. Since then, the HSE’s KP3 report has confirmed what thousands of workers have been saying for many years; that regulations were being breached and there is a lack of investment in hardware. In the run up to the Piper tragedy hundreds of workers expressed the view it was only a matter of time until a major accident occurred on Piper.

“Constructive dissent serves as an important monitoring force within organisations, a warning signal of danger ahead or of organisational decline. Industry leaders on the UKCS need to realise that internal dissent is not itself a crisis: it is priceless insurance against disaster. Until the ugly headlines appear and the consequences are unavoidable, senior managers too often forget that they will suffer more for ignoring principled dissenters than by giving them a hearing.

“Superficially manipulating a few priorities and satisfying oneself that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet does not constitute a ‘safety culture’. Beware of false consensus. “