Another Victim Of A Ship’s Elevator

 Accident, Accident Investigation, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Another Victim Of A Ship’s Elevator
Jan 212016

Within days of the gruesome Carnival Ecstasy tragedy a shipboard lift/elevator claimed another victim by crushing. Yet again the issue of safety when working on or around lifts is highlighted.

Steve Summerside, a 45-year old engineer was working on a lift aboard the Irish Ferries owned Ulysses, the biggest vessel of its kind when launched in 2000. Ulysses was in dry dock for its annual refit. Details are scanty but reports say that Summerside became trapped between the lift and the lift shaft and was crushed.

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Flying Cloud MOB Fatality, Separation, Knives and Lifejacket Might Have Saved Life

 Accident, Accident report, fishing, fishing boat,, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Flying Cloud MOB Fatality, Separation, Knives and Lifejacket Might Have Saved Life
Dec 032010

image An MOB fatality might have been avoided by separating crew from the back rope of a fishing vessel while carrying multiple sets of creels; providing knives that can be used quickly in an emergency; and, the wearing of lifejackets or personal flotation devices while working on the open deck says the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

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Bow De Jin Fatality: Checklists Make Great Condoms

 Accident, Accident report, confined space, enclosed space, SafeSpace  Comments Off on Bow De Jin Fatality: Checklists Make Great Condoms
Nov 132010

Checklists make good condoms

Checklists are like condoms: Used properly they’ll protect you against deadly hazards, if not used properly they give a false sense of security. That is, perhaps, the key lesson to be learned from the death of a chief mate aboard the New Golden Shipping-owned chemical tanker Bow De Jin in Hong Kong on 22 November 2009..

The incident also re-enforces the basic brutal truth that confined spaces kill regardless of experience, rank or age. In this case the victim was 41, had been a seafarer since 1993. He had sailed as a ship’s officer since November 1995 and first sailed as chief mate in September 2003. He joined Bow De Jin in Singapore on 26 May 2009.

Says the just-released report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau: “22 November 2009: “The ATSB investigation was unable to determine why the chief mate, who had sailed on tankers for most of his seagoing career, did not follow industry standard and specific company safety procedures before he entered the cargo tank. Continue reading »

Drunk Chief Engineer Refused Lifejacket, Died

 Accident, Accident report, lifejacket, Man Overboard  Comments Off on Drunk Chief Engineer Refused Lifejacket, Died
Aug 062010

Top: Martin N Bottom: OW Copenhagen

Three times a chief engineered refused a lifejacket as he attempted to transfer from a snow and ice-covered launch to the oil and chemical tanker OW Copenhagen using the pilot ladder. He boasted that he had never worn a lifejacket. He fell from the pilot ladder and drowned.

Seawater temperature was at freezing point and air temperature was about -5 °C.

His body was taken from the sea 50 minutes later.

Says the Danish Maritime Authority report: “On 1 February 2010 at approximately 1700 hours, the launch MARTIN N was engaged to transfer a chief engineer who had been on leave from shore to the oil and chemical tanker OW COPENHAGEN that was at anchor on Copenhagen roads.

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Shanghai Carrier Fatality – Brazil Wants IMO Procedures On Steam System

 Accident report, burns, explosion  Comments Off on Shanghai Carrier Fatality – Brazil Wants IMO Procedures On Steam System
Apr 192010

image Brazil’s Maritime Authority, Marinho Do Brazil, has recommended that the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, should standardise procedures for the “verification, tests and inspections of the artefacts of steam should be standardized by the IMO and not just defined by each classification society in conformity with their own criteria”. The recommendation is made in the authority’s report into the death of a seafarer aboard the bulker Shanghai Carrier on 9 November 2009.

It is believed that an engineering officer on watch opened a drain valve on a steam pipeline too quickly. A water hammer developed which led to the bursting of a drainage tank near the drain valve. The officer suffered burns, resulting from the
direct impact of live and condensed steam accumulated in the drainage tank and, despite being rescued, died later from injuries suffered.

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Spirit of Esperance Fatality – Routine Violations

 Accident report, Crane, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Spirit of Esperance Fatality – Routine Violations
Apr 132010

imageCrew aboard the Maltese-registered containership Spirit of Esperance “routinely violated the working aloft procedure by climbing the emergency ladder adjacent to the hook’s cradle without a permit or appropriate personal protective equipment” says Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau.  The result was that a seafarer fell 4 metres to his death.

Although ATSB identified a number of serious issues, the incident highlights the critical importance of following working aloft procedures and wearing personal protective equipment such as fall arrestors even if the job seems simple.

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Accident Report – Wrong Insert Led To Anchor Handling Fatality

 Accident report, AHTS, tug  Comments Off on Accident Report – Wrong Insert Led To Anchor Handling Fatality
Apr 112010

image Use of an oversized, and worn, U-shaped insert in a wire stopper failed to restrain a pennant wire that came under tension, resulting in the death of an AB on an anchor handling tug, reports the International Maritime Contractors Association.

Says IMCA: “A member has reported a fatal incident which occurred during anchor handling operations. The incident occurred on an anchor handling tug (AHT) whilst crew were attempting to disconnect an anchor buoy weighing 1.4 tons from its pennant wire shortly after retrieval.

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Chicago Express – Not Enough Handrails, Boxship Weather Performance Concerns

 Accident report, weather  Comments Off on Chicago Express – Not Enough Handrails, Boxship Weather Performance Concerns
Feb 072010
Damage caused during the fall in the dark

An AB died and a master remains unable to work a year later because they didn’t have enough to hold onto when their containership, Chicago Express, rolled by up to 44 degree in a typhoon. Germany’s Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, BSU, has also expressed concern that “on the basis of the current state-of-the-art alone, the establishment or energetic promotion of a clear, internationally binding framework is needed, which facilitates greater recognition and practical utilisation of available scientific findings in relation to the vulnerability of vessels at sea”.

The report on the incident also discusses the issue of voyage data recorder failures.

Says the BSU synopsis: “At about 0245 in the morning on 24 September 2008, a very serious marine casualty occurred on board the 8749 TEU container vessel Chicago Express in which a Philippine crew member was fatally injured, the German Master of the vessel suffered serious injuries, and four more German seamen suffered minor injuries.


At about 1730 on the previous day, the vessel put to sea from Hong Kong and sailed for Ningbo following instructions to shipping from the local port authority because of the approaching Typhoon Hagupit. At about 1945 , immediately after

reaching the open sea, Chicago Express encountered heavy winds and swell from a south-easterly direction; this exposed the vessel to rolling motions of up to approximately 32 degrees.4 The ship’s command therefore decided to deviate from the intended general north-easterly course towards Ningbo and weather the storm, which at the time of the accident had reached a wind force of 10 with gusts of up to 12 Bft, by steering variable courses against the direction of the wind and swell. This led to the roll angle being reduced to values of about 20 degrees.

Hardly a handhold in sight, especially in the dark

At about 0245 h, the vessel, which at the time was under the control of the Master and steered by the Helmsman manually, was suddenly hit by a particularly violent wave coming from starboard just as she rolled to starboard. Following that, Chicago Express keeled over severely several times, at which the inclinometer registered an uncorrected maximum roll angle of 44 degrees for an estimated 10 seconds.

Due to the enormous accelerative forces on the bridge, the Master, the Helmsman and the Lookout also present lost their footing and were thrown across the bridge. The Officer on Watch, who was the only person on the bridge able to hold on to the chart table, hurried to the helm and stabilised the vessel’s course.

Is enough known about containership stability in bad weather?

The uninjured Helmsman was able to regain his footing relatively quickly and after a short period of orientation, he and the Officer on Watch found both the Master and the AB lying unconscious on the floor with bleeding wounds. While the Master regained partial consciousness shortly after, in spite of immediately initiated first aid measures carried out with the assistance of other summoned crew members and guided by medical consultations by radio, they were unable to save the unconscious AB. At 0417, resuscitative measures were discontinued.

During the ensuing weeks, the Master, who was in acute danger of losing his life for an extended period because of the severity of his internal injuries, initially received medical care in Hong Kong and was flown back to Germany after his fitness to travel was restored. Thanks to the excellent medical treatment his initial acutely life-threatening condition was stabilised after several weeks.”

Look around your bridge and imagine rolling to an equivalent angle, in the dark, and figure out what you, and others on the bridge are going to hold on to and how to address such a hazard before it becomes, literally, painfully apparent.

A solution for the helmsman

The other issue is that those on watch did not have enough information on how a ship of this kind behaves in such a situation. Says the report: “A central question requiring clarification within the framework of the expertise was whether the crew would have been able to recognise the danger and whether the accident would have thus been avoidable. It was also a matter of ascertaining whether the vessel’s high level of stability caused the accident and if so whether, at reasonable expense, such a high level of stability ought generally to be avoided with this type of vessel…

“…It is clearly possible to explain such accidents using currently available calculation technology. To some extent, this may be interpreted as progress. However, with the regulatory documentation and instruments generally used in the construction, approval and operation of vessels it is currently not possible to formulate recommendations for action or guidelines that would definitely help the crew to avoid such accidents. In this context, the expert makes reference to the still existing need for developing dynamic stability criteria for the intact stability of vessels, which are physically correct as regards mapping the swell-related stability effects.”