May 012009
 

Got news? Know something others should? Email news@maritimeaccident.org

Search crew find missing oilman’s body
Upstream Online – Oslo,Oslo,Norway
It is believed Lindsay, who was not wearing survival gear, was carrying out routine checks on the
oil platform when he vanished sometime between midnight

Skipper dies after trawler sinks
Fish Update – Edinburgh,UK
THE Norwegian authorities are preparing to hold an investigation into the
sinking of a relatively modern Russian fishing vessel off their northern coastline

Sailor dies while working on ship’s drains
Stars and Stripes – Washington,DC,USA
By Erik Slavin, Stars and Stripes A sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis died Friday after being crushed while working on the
ship’s .

Authorities: Man injured when canister explodes
MiamiHerald.com – Miami,FL,USA
Authorities say a cruise
ship passenger was injured when a canister exploded, in one of two separate incidents at Port Everglades.

Murphys injured in car crash
Cape Cod Times – Hyannis,MA,USA
He had no other details of the
accident. Murphy, a 2001 graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, was supposed to be honored at this morning’s formation

Replica Chinese junk sinks one day from end of epic journey
Telegraph.co.uk – United Kingdom
Despite the
sinking, Mr Peng of the Chinese Maritime Development Society, said he believed the ship had “accomplished its mission”.

Trade vessel sinks at St. Kitts port
SKNVibes.com – Basseterre,St. Kitts and Nevis
SKNVibes spoke to Winston Hendrickson, Manager of the TDC Shipping Department, who said that he could not speak to a specific cause for the
accident at this

Teenage boy survives fatal boat accident by using his dead
Daily Mail – UK
Mr Che Hassan, southern regional commander of Malaysia’s
Maritime Enforcement Agency, said: ‘We are still trying to put together the pieces of the puzzle,

Helicopters grounded after two crashes in space of weeks
The Edinburgh Journal – Edinburgh,Scotland,UK
The ill-fated helicopter was carrying two crew members and fourteen
oil workers from a BP offshore oil rig. The most recent incident report from the Air

Oil & Gas UK Comments on AAIB Report into Helicopter
Apr 13, 2009 Oil & Gas UK Comments on AAIB Report into Helicopter Accident

Owner of Korean Commercial Cargo Vessel & Chief Engineer Plead Guilty to Marine Pollution Related Charges

WASHINGTON—STX Pan Ocean Co. Ltd. (STX), headquartered in Seoul, Korea, and the owner of the commercial cargo ship, M/V Ocean Jade, pleaded guilty to conspiracy as well as falsifying and failing to properly maintain records meant to ensure compliance with maritime pollution laws, the Justice Department announced. The chief engineer

Wrecked vessel’s crew wants investigation into sea strike
Honolulu Star-Bulletin – Honolulu,HI,USA
Stewart said that about 15 minutes before the
collision, the crew on watch noticed the freighter change direction and head toward the TaiPing.

Genco Shipping & Trading Limited Announces First Quarter 2009
PR Newswire (press release) – New York,NY,USA
As previously announced, the Genco Cavalier, a 2008-built Supramax
vessel, was involved in a minor collision caused by another vessel in its vicinity during

Survivors and crew of sunken BC ferry still seeking compensation
CBC.ca – Toronto,Ontario,Canada
(CBC) A BC Ferries worker who barely escaped the
sinking Queen of the North ferry says that after three years of struggling with mental and physical

Selendang Ayu Settlement
Alaska’s SuperStation – AK,USA
Four years ago the
ship became grounded and broke apart off of Unalaska Island. IMC Shipping, out of Singapore, has paid the state nearly 845-thousand

Brazil: a growing poaching presence
FIS.com (Registro) – Tokyo,Argentina
Incidents involving gun firings and even a
collision attempt directed by a Brazilian ship against a Uruguayan military ship have gone beyond the occasional

Piracy

JTF Kills 6 Militants, Frees Hijacked Vessel
THISDAY – Apapa,Lagos,Nigeria
He said they returned
fire, drowning six of the militants suspected to be members of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in the process,

Walk the plank? No, gun the skiff

THE CREW of the box ship Boularibank found a novel way to repel Somali pirates, the vessel’s owner said today: tossing large planks of wood at them.

Canada’s release of pirates “nuts,” expert says
Globe and Mail – Canada
Canada is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which makes
piracy an international crime, formalizing maritime law that dates back

At former British prison, Somali pirates tell their side
McClatchy Washington Bureau – Washington,DC,USA
Five of those prisoners are serving 15-year terms for
piracy. |

Ship captain: Just arming crews won’t stop piracy
The Associated Press
Armed with knives and
fire hoses, Phillips and his crew of about 20 tried and initially failed to fight off a raid by young pirates armed with automatic

Armed Cruise Ship Security Team Fights Off Somali Pirates
InjuryBoard.com – Tampa,FL,USA
and he Israeli security guards opened fire with small arms. The pirates backed off but continued to follow the ship for about 20 minutes firing at it.

New pirate attacks on Italian ship
Ansa news in English – Rome,Rome,Italy
On Wednesday the
ship’s crew fended off another attack 300 miles south-east of Mogadishu after a small boat with seven pirates approached it and opened fire

Maersk to increase its ships’ precautions, but no guns
The Virginian-Pilot – Norfolk,VA,USA
Chalk said Maersk should continue having its ships transit through
maritime corridors where naval ships keep watch. But smaller shipping companies aren’t

Russians detain 29 suspected pirates
United Press International – USA
The would-be hijackers, armed with automatic weapons and grenade launchers, opened
fire on the vessel but were outmaneuvered, a company statement said.

Government studying other measures to protect seamen
Philippine Star – Manila,Philippines
The same circular also gives Filipino
seafarers the option to disembark if he feels any threat passing Somalia. But Roque said not a single seafarer opted

Filipino Seafarers Top Victims of Somali Pirates
Voice of America – USA
“Our experience has been that we have not had any
casualty from among those The International Maritime Bureau says pirate attacks off the Somali coast

Spanish navy arrests pirates
Monsters and Critics.com – USA
with security personnel returning fire. According to Campain Ciro Pinto, the ship was slightly damaged, but none of the passengers suffered any injures.

Share

Princess Of The Stars – Dead Masters Can Speak Through VDRs

 accident reporting, capsize, Ferry, Filipino  Comments Off on Princess Of The Stars – Dead Masters Can Speak Through VDRs
Aug 092008
 

Not unexpectedly, the master of the Sulpicio Lines ferry Princess Of The Stars will be deemed liable by a Board Of Marine Inquiry for its capsize and sinking with the loss of 800 lives. All other factors such as inadequate lashing of the cargo, modifications which punched holes through what was once a wagon deck so that it could be used for passengers and which may have allowed her to take on water and lose her main engine power as she listed, the possible lack of guidance to the master in the company’s safety management system are merely contributory and those responsible for those actions/inactions are faultless because the master, in theory, has ultimate responsibility.

The finding has the significant advantage of blaming a man who can no longer speak for himself, short of a spiritualist – the master is among those who lost their lives, along with the rest of the officers on the bridge at the time. His fault was to depart at a time when a typhoon was entering the Philippines, the assumption being, apparently, that ships of the size of the Princess Of The Stars, around 24,000 tonnes, simply naturally capsize and sink in a storm.

The view of every master MAC has spoken to is that the Princess Of The Stars should have been able to survive the storm, if with some discomfort to its passengers. The forensic evidence to establish the mechanism by which she sank remains underwater and apparently unwanted.

Yet there is a way in which the master could have spoken to us post mortem – a voyage data recorder, VDR. A device similar in concept to the ‘black box’, actually bright orange, carried by every commercial passenger aircraft in the Philippines. Earlier this year, following the sinking of the ferry Queen Of The North, which was not so equipped, the Canadian maritime authorities mandated that every ferry must be equipped with VDR.

So should the Philippines.

The VDR would have revealed what was actually said during radio traffic, discussions between the bridge team and what was showing on the instruments available to the bridge team, and whether those instruments were actually working.

It would tell us much that we need to know in order to learn the lessons needed to avoid similar incidents in the future, which is the aim of maritime investigation.

Through that device we would understand better the nature of the decisions made by the master. He could have spoken to us through it. It would have empowered the BMI, MARINA – the Philippine Maritime authority – and the Philippine Coastguard to do their jobs of making Philippine seas safer.

Despite hours of debate, however, VDR, possibly the greatest contribution to objective maritime accident investigation in the Philippines has yet to be mentioned.

Share
May 262008
 

In The Case Of The Electric Assassin I suggested that, if you’re going to enter an enclosed space without the proper equipment or precautions then dig two graves, one for yourself and one for the poor sods who’ll try and rescue you. That recommendations was validated by two virtually identical incidents, several thousand miles apart, within just 24 hours.

There’ll be little wonder that maritime casualty investigators grind their teeth in frustration when these enclosed space incidents occur, partly because they keep happening and partly because little is done to stop them happening.

On 20th May this year at Port Everglades a dock superviser, Hyman Sooknanan, entered an enclosed space aboard Madelaine, a 110 metre cargo ship, to investigate a suspected leak of argon from a container gas tank.

He didn’t return, nor did he respond to radio calls. Worried, a second docker, James Cason, wrapped a shirt around his face and entered the space to find out what happened to Sooknanan. He didn’t reappear either. Now a third man, Rene Robert Duterte did the same, with the same result.

In 20 minutes, three men were dead, the last two because they’d tried the help the first.

Argon isn’t chemically poisonous but it does displace oxygen in the air, asphyxiating the victim. It gets you almost without warning and wrapping something around your face isn’t going to stop it happening when there’s no oxygen in the atmosphere to breathe.

On 22nd May in Chongming Dadong Shipping Yard, Shanghai, 21st May in Florida, three Filipino seafarers died and 10 were injured, all from a single vessel, the Hakone, in an incident involving leakage of another suffocating gas, carbon dioxide.

As research by Don Sheetz of the Vanuatu Registry for the Maritime Accident Investigators International Forum shows, these were not isolated incidents. In just three months, Sheetz gathered reports on 120 enclosed space incidents with 228 from just 16 flag registries over a period of about 10 years. With figures from the largest registries still not available, some estimate that the true figure may be as high as 1,000 deaths.

Says Sheetz:”We are concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg and will ultimately become a larger issue than, say, dropping of lifeboats.

The numbers are simply too high, and the incidents too frequent, to dismiss as unfortunate one-offs. It is unsatisfactory to conclude that it was the victims’ faults, because they, and their would-be rescuers, didn’t follow procedures, and close the book

What they show is that there is something deeply wrong with the system and with the industry that allows deaths on such a scale without a qualm. If there were qualms, there would be a solid drive to find a solution and there isn’t one. It’s a record of which the industry should be ashamed.

It is self-evident that training is inadequate in the first place and the necessary drills are not being carried out onboard or alongside in the procedures for safe entry and rescue from confined spaces.

Training will be ineffective unless backed-up by a positive management level commitment to managing safety, assessing competence onboard and developing a safety culture from company head-office to the master to the deputy chief assist cook’s chief assistant deputy. All too often putting a safety management system on a ship is little more than a butt-covering exercise to avoid liability when the worse happens.

Let’s look at it another way. If the estimates of deaths in enclosed spaces are reasonably accurate, and there’s every reason to believe they are, then enough lives have been lost to put crew on 40 to 50 cargo ships. Currently the industry is going through paroxysms of recruitment to fulfill manning needs of the future, maybe they should spend just a little more time trying to keep alive the ones they’ve already got.

Share

Whatever Happened To MAC Pinoy?

 Filipino, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Whatever Happened To MAC Pinoy?
Dec 172007
 

Ok, most people reading this will know that Filipinos represent the largest single nationality in the global maritime workforce, around 25 per cent, and that will probably increase over the coming years. Most Filipinos speak English, the Philippines is the world’s third largest group of English speakers so most don’t have a problem with the MAC podcasts or the transcripts (The majority of Filipinos are actually tri-lingual, fluent in their own regional language as well as Tagalog, the national language, and English).

BUT, it’s MAC’s policy to reach out to seafarers in the most effective way and in the most effective language so we decided to launch MAC episode editions in Tagalog.

The first four episodes have been translated by Ami Jacinto, a translator and well-know voice talent in the Philippines who will be presenting the audio podcasts. We announced the coming service earlier this year.

SO what happened? As we were preparing to record the Tagalog episode, IDESS Interactive Technologies revealed that it was about to construct a purpose-built sound facility and offered to let MAC use the facility to record its podcasts. Needless to say we were delighted and wanted to launch the Tagalog service using those facilities.

Construction should be complete in January so we decided to put the Tagalog service on hold so we could launch it using the new facility.

So, yes, the Tagalog service is coming we hope to broadcast the first episodes in late January/early February.

The Tagalog service will be on trial. If there is demand from Filipino seafarers and we can secure sponsorship we’ll keep it going.

Share

Maritime Safety News Today, September 4, 2007

 BMA, collision, fatality, Fife, Filipino, Gibraltar, MAIB, New Flame, oil spill, South Africa  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today, September 4, 2007
Sep 042007
 

UK. Red Ensign fly’s to mark Merchant Navy Day
BYM News (press release) – Gibraltar,Spain
Merchant Navy Day honours their memory, and also looks forward to a brighter future for British shipping and seafarers.

Spain contracts EU vessel for clean up operations
gibfocus.gi – Gibraltar
The decision has come after reports of hydraulic oil spill from the New Flame cargo vessel stranded off Europa Point since the 12th August after a collision

Spain calls in EMSA as ‘New Flame’ deteriorates
bunkerworld – London,UK
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has responded to a Spanish request for assistance as the condition of the stricken cargo vessel New Flame has 

Bodies found of two Slovak sailors killed in ship collision – Summary
Earthtimes.org – USA
Tel Aviv – Israeli rescue services found the bodies Friday of two Slovak sailors, who died in a shipping accident the previous night off the coast of the

9 seamen in ship sinking recall harrowing ordeal
INQ7.net – Philippines
lone fatality in the accident, was found three hours after the rest of the crew were rescued by the South African Air Force and maritime authorities.

Boat sank ‘after chance accident’
BBC News – UK
The MAIB said the Meridian was considered to be a modern and well-maintained vessel in the hands of an experienced skipper. The case could be reopened –

Share