Deepwater Horizon – Saviours Beware

 Accident, explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon – Saviours Beware
Apr 292010

Vessels responding to situations like that of Deepwater Horizon may encounter unexpected hazards with which they are unfamiliar and which are not immediately apparent.

A respondent on the gCaptain forum, Nomad, warns: “For any mariners responding to distress calls in circumstances such as this, it’s a good idea to stop – look – listen – before approaching too close. In this specific case, the venting hydrocarbons were ablaze, but in some cases there is no fire, just an uncontrolled flow. The presence of high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas is always a consideration, even with oil blowouts as there is often a gas component to the reservoir fluid.”

Hydrogen Sulphide, H2S, dangers are well known to offshore workers and vessels servicing them are usually equipped with H2S meters and alarms but others, such as fishing vessels will not. H2S is characterised by a ‘rotten eggs’ smell but the gas itself can disable the sense of smell in higher concentrations.

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2010 Offshore Industry Safety Awards Postponed

 Accident, explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, offshore  Comments Off on 2010 Offshore Industry Safety Awards Postponed
Apr 282010

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that the 2010 Annual Industry SAFE Awards Luncheon scheduled for May 3, 2010 at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas has been postponed.

The ongoing situation with the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling accident has caused the MMS to dedicate considerable resources to the successful resolution of this event, which will conflict with holding this ceremony next week.

The MMS will announce how the agency will proceed with the 2010 SAFE Award program during the next several weeks. The MMS apologizes for any inconvenience and thanks the organizers of the OTC for their understanding of our current situation.

Deepwater Horizon SitRep

 explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon SitRep
Apr 272010

NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of the Gulf of Mexico on April 25, 2010 using its Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. ocean. Under unique viewing conditions, oil slicks can become visible in photo-like images, but usually, radar imagery is needed to clearly see a spill from space.

Oil leaking from the site of the sunken Deepwater Horizon is expected to reach the US coast sometime during the coming weekend. Most appears to be little more than surface sheen with little depth.

Attempts by several remotely operated vehicles, ROVs, have so far failed to close the Blow Out Preventer and oil continues to leak at about 1,000 barrels a day. Additional options are still being developed to trigger the BOP.

Two drillships, Transocean’s Development Driller 3 and Discoverer Enterprise are moving into position to drill relief wells and stop the leaks. Continue reading »

Deepwater Horizon Update – Leaking Crude

 Accident, explosion, fire, maritime safety, offshore, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon Update – Leaking Crude
Apr 252010

image NOAA reports: “The situation remains highly dynamic with severe storms and high seas hampering response efforts. Winds have been 20-30 knots gusting higher, seas 7 1/2 feet, with a tornado watch for coastal waters. The Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), or rig, has been located on the seafloor approximately 1300’ northwest of the well. The riser has also been located and traced by remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Two leaks have been identified, preliminary estimates are that the well is leaking 1000 barrels (42,000 gallons) a day at a depth of 5000’. The estimates will be revised pending information from ROVs monitoring the seafloor and surface and overflight observations as weather conditions allow. A flotilla of response vessels and personnel are on-scene. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for 11 missing crewmembers on Friday, April 23.  NOAA extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the missing.

On April 24, aircraft observations indicated a 20-by-20-mile area of rainbow sheen and emulsified crude oil.  All available response assets are either mobilized to clean up existing oil or on standby in the event that the release worsens. Planning teams are considering potential response strategies to control the well and address the floating oil. These include application of dispersants, drilling of relief wells, shoreline protection and assessment, cleanup plans, and working with state and local governments.

The latest NOAA oil-spill trajectory analyses do not indicate oil reaching shore over the next 3 days; this assumes that the rate of oil release is steady and weather remains as forecast.

Deepwater Horizon Update – SAR Ends

 maritime safety  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon Update – SAR Ends
Apr 232010

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for the 11 missing crewmembers from the mobile offshore drilling unit, Deepwater Horizon, at approximately 5 p.m., Friday.

“Our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the families of these 11 crewmembers,” said Rear Adm. Mary Landry, commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District. “Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions a commander has to make.”

The 11 crewmembers had been missing since Tuesday, when an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon at approximately 10 p.m.  The Coast Guard searched continuously for three days with an effort consisting of 28 air and surface sorties, covering approximately 5,375 square miles.

Deepwater Horizon Lost – 11 missing

 explosion, fatality, fire, maritime safety, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon Lost – 11 missing
Apr 222010

Deepwater Horizon finally collapsed in flames and sank in more than 2000 metres just after 1700 on 22 April. Currently 11 people remain missing. a slick of pollution has become apparent and clean-up efforts are underway. Another drillship, Discoverer Enterprise, has been tasked with drilling a new well which will intercept the one beneath Deepwater Horizon to stop the flow of gas.

See also: Deepwater Horizon – Search Continues

Deepwater Horizon – Search Continues

 Accident, explosion, fire, offshore  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon – Search Continues
Apr 222010

Early reports that 11 people missing from the burning mobile offshore drilling unit, MODU, Deepwater Horizon about 42 miles Southeast of Venice, La.,  have been accounted for appear to be false. A statement from the US says that it is continuing to search for the missing. Reports indicate that there were 126 people on board the MODU at the time of the explosion.

The fire, with flames estimated to have reached more than 60 metres high, continues to burn. Attempts to close the well are being undertaken with two ROVs. Recent reports say the MODU is listing at 15 degrees and increasing and sinking at more than 1 metre an hour and she is shifting to starboard in more than 2000 metres.

It is too early to say with any confidence what caused the explosion and fire. The investigation is a cooperative effort between Mineral Management Service and the US Coast Guard. It is understood, but not confirmed, that  the rig had recently set and cemented a tapered 7″x 9 5/8″ tapered casing and were somewhere in the process of displacing the riser with seawater and subsequently setting a surface plug when the well blew out.

Further updates, with greater accuracy than widely available are available in the forum of gCaptain.


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Maritime Safety & Security News – 28 June 2009

 contact/allison, helicopter, oil pollution, oil spill, piracy  Comments Off on Maritime Safety & Security News – 28 June 2009
Jun 282009

Seven die in late-night helicopter crash ‘Tragic end to routine
By Webmaster
were instantaneously killed late on Sunday night when a Westland-Sikorsky S55 helicopter, in which they were making a regular nine-minute flight from land to an offshore oil-drilling rig, crashed into the sea about one mile from the

Fire razes a ship in West Lombok
Jakarta Post – Jakarta,Indonesia
Fire razed a passenger ship berthed at Lembar Harbor, West Lombok on Saturday. No fatalities were reported. The Nusa Sejahtera ship was under maintenance

Freighter crashes into pier at Port of Hueneme
Ventura County Star – Camarillo,CA,USA
Coast Guard officials from Santa Barbara were investigating the accident this afternoon. It is not known whether the ship will have to stay in port for

Coast Guard rescues sinking vessel in strait – KNDO/KNDU Tri
SEATTLE (AP) – A Coast Guard cutter from Port Angeles prevented a fishing vessel from sinking Wednesday night in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (FEW’-kuh) where

Coast Guard approves cruise ship movement to dry dock for repairs
By cgnews
Further investigation by the Coast Guard team identified 16 discrepancies including lifesaving, fire fighting, safety, and other maintenance deficiencies. Underwater divers hired by the cruise ship company have located the crack in the

Lady Mary owner’s theory says ship’s wave sank boat
Smith noted that lone Lady Mary survivor Jose Luis Arias was asleep and did not wake to the sound of a collision. Tim Smith woke up Arias, who said he immediately noticed water in the boat. "The bulbous bow pushes water ahead of it,

Facing the music

A Hapag-Lloyd containership that ploughed into a more than four mile long seismic streamer array being towed by an offshore survey vessel in the Gulf of Mexico has been judged to be two thirds responsible for the $25m of damage caused.

Loud music was playing on the bridge of the 3,200-teu St Louis Express (built 2002) judged by a London admiralty court to be mainly culpable for the costly incident.

Gibraltar is responsible for the New Flame sinking
Ecologistas en Acción – Spain
Gibraltarian government’s negligence led to the vessel’s sinking New Flame. This ship was loaded with 42000 tons of scrap metal and characteristics of the

California coastal herring fishery to close
Sacramento Bee – CA, USA
Early evidence also suggests pollution from the Cosco Busan oil spill in November 2007 may have harmed spawning that year, depressing the population that

Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
BP Marine has agreed to supply the Mission to Seafarers Dubai-run seafarer support vessel Flying Angel with her lube oil requirements for the following



Background Briefing on US Assistance to the Somalia Transitional …
US Department of State – Washington,DC,USA
The governments of Uganda and Burundi have troops on the ground in Mogadishu in support of the TFG, and we have provided material assistance to the TFG


Off The Radar

Ossining – Vessel in Distress – 06-26-09 –
Fire Apparatus Collision Repair 1811hrs-WCPD HQ advising Marine-4 that the vessel in distress is a 28′ sailboat, white in color, no other markings. Its sails are down, there are (4) females & (1) canine aboard, all wearing life vests.

(Good to know even the dog had a life-vest)

Musing On Ike

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Musing On Ike
Sep 192008

As battered offshore oil and gas platforms come back to life in the gulf of Mexico and merchant shipping gets back to normal in the wake of Hurricane Ike MAC mused upon a few questions and put them to our ‘Man in the Mexican Gulf’, a US Coast Guard commander involved in the operation to prevent a big blow becoming a maritime catastrophe.

Those familiar with the MAC podcasts The Case Of The Errant Hookers and The Case Of The Unlucky Hooker will know that warning and suggestions for precautions are sometimes not heeded, with results we know all too well, with results we all know too well.

MAC wondered whether commercial vessels, in particular those from outside the US, respond appropriately to the warnings that were issued? Apparently they did, although not necessarily of their own volition. Vessels of more tha\n 500 Gross tonnes were under mandatory VTS requirements and had to heed Captain of the Port Hurricane Port condition requirements.

MAC was told: ” The USCG Captain of the Port has a lot of authority here to control the movement of vessels and impose strict safety guidelines for the placement and disposition of vessels. As a preventative measure, we ordered all vessels remaining in port to submit applications and relay their mooring arrangements, etc to determine safe harborage. ”

Most problems were encountered with vessels under that size. While larger vessels handling navigation and anchor handling in bad weather quite well it appear that there is a need more familiarity among vessels smaller than 500 gross tonnes.

Oil and gas production platforms evacuated well in advance and took precautions appropriate to the predicted conditions. Losses and damage of the 3,800 platforms in the gulf was limited and mainly involved older facilities. Safety issues are generally dealt with by the US Minerals Management Service, MMS, which might review the weather hardiness of older rigs.

All in all, quite a creditable performance.