That Old Familiar Tired Feeling

 accident reporting, bulk carrier, casualties, China, collision, fatigue  Comments Off on That Old Familiar Tired Feeling
Sep 202008
 

Pit a fatigued, overworked officer keeping a watch alone at night aboard a 68,000 DWT containership weaving his way through fishing boats off the coast of China against a 35,343 dwt bulker which has forgotten to switch on its navigation lightsd, with a wonky AIS, a bridge team that isn’t functioning well, concentrating on those same fishing boats and what you get is this:

That was the collision between the German-flagged boxship Hanjin Gotheburg and the Panama-flagged bulker Chang Tong on 15th September 2007 in the Bohai Strait, the busy gateway to Beijing. Still wedged together like mating mutts, the two ships were towed to calmer waters. Three days later a hurricane separated the two ships and the Chang Tong broke in two and sank.

Chang Tong breaks in two-

-And sinks

The investigation report by Germany’s Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung , the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation, has recently been released in English and can be downloaded here.

MAC has looked at fatigue before, in the Case Of The Cozy Captain, and The Case Of The Baffling Bays, among others, you’ll find links to further information on the podcast transcripts page.

Fatigue at Sea , A Review of Research and Related Literature (World Maritime University)

Development of a Fatigue Management Program for Canadian Marine Pilots (Transport Canada)

Fatigue in Ferry Crews (SIRC)

Guide for Maritime Operations (US Coastguard)

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Hard Hats Are Hazardous To Soft Heads

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Hard Hats Are Hazardous To Soft Heads
Aug 192008
 

A bit more education is obviously needed about the wearing of hard hats and here are three cases in which the victim didn’t get to learn the lesson:

Most recent, of course, is the dead of a worker at the Hanjin shipyard in Subic Bay, Philippines. Wind blew off his hard hat, he released himself from his safety harness and slipped, falling 29 metres to his death.

In 2004, another hard hat fell off, this time aboard a chemical tanker, Bow Wind, in Singapore. The wearer, a cargo surveyor, didn’t try to retrieve his hard hat and left the ship. The Pumpman did, however, try to get the hard hat from the tank. The tank was in an inerted state. He suffocated and died.

On the Oceanic – The Case Of The Acidic Assassin – the body of the victim, who’d fallen two dozen metres, was found several feet from his hard hat.

While there were several other factors involved in each of these deaths the common thread is that in each case someone wasn’t wearing his hard hat properly.

At the Hanjin dockyard, the wind would not have blown off the worker’s hard hat had it been worn properly. On the Bow Wind, the cargo surveyor would not have lost his hard hat if he’d been wearing it properly and the Pumpman would not have been tempted to enter an airless tank (There does appear to be a problem with cargo surveyors working unsafely, so always keep an eye on them). In the case of the Oceanic, the victim might have survived if his hard hat had been secured properly as he climbed the ladder.

Try this: This an eye out for crewmates who aren’t wearing their hard hats properly. That way you might remember to keep your’s fixed properly so the funeral you go to won’t be your own.

Don’t be a soft head, wear a hard hat properly.

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Maritime Safety News Today – 17th July 2008

 accident reporting, barge, bridge, Bridge procedures, bulk carrier  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 17th July 2008
Jul 172008
 

Bridge Alarms on the Button for Denmark

After the general cargo ship KAREN DANIELSEN collided with the Great Belt Bridge in 2005, Denmark and the Bahamas submitted a proposal to the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) on a carriage requirement for a bridge navigational watch alarm system. The system triggers an alarm if the OOW is incapacitated, e.g. has fallen asleep. The significance of such a system was once again made topical with the collisions off the Danish island Bornholm earlier this year.

Based on the Danish proposal the IMO Sub-Committee for Safety of Navigation (NAV) agreed to forward the proposal to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). MSC is now to decide if new ships must be equipped with a bridge navigational watch alarm system as of 1 July 2011. With regards to existing ships, the Sub-Committee agreed that, the equipment should be installed in connection with the first survey after 1 July 2012. The same applies to other ships over 3,000 GT. Ships below 500 GT and 150 GT the deadline for installation is 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2014 respectively.

The proposal from the Sub-Committee is now pending the approval by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at its session in November this year. Since it is a matter of new mandatory regulations, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) stipulates a number of provisions on the coming into force of the regulations, which leads to the above mentioned phasing in of the requirement on a bridge navigational watch alarm system.

Relevant podcasts

The Case Of the Cozy Captain

The Case Of the Seductive Sim

News Headlines

UK – caution advised during planned strike weekend

The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice advising mariners in UK waters to exercise caution this weekend (July 18-20) during the planned strike by some MCA employees.

Official: Norwegian ship hijacked by pirates in Nigeria, released
International Herald Tribune – France
Solberg says Wednesday’s incident aboard has been reported to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Barge Collision: 400 Tonnes of Diesel Spilled in Elbe River Germany
By OldSailor
How super absorbent Imbiber beads contain oil and chemical spills at sea; Vessel of opportunity skimming system for pollution response; Nanowire membranes of MIT to absorb and recover oil from oil spills at sea

Cruise Ship Passengers Rescued After Fall From Princess Cruise Liner
Lawfuel (press release) – Wellington,New Zealand
According to reports by Princess Cruise Line accident lawyers at Ehline Law, a spokes person for Crown Princess, Julie Benson have released information in .

Cruise Ship With 1200 Passengers Detained After Discrepancies Found
By cgnews
Further investigation by the Coast Guard team identified 66 discrepancies such as fire safety, lifeboat damages and life jacket issues on the vessel during an inspection that lasted from Sunday morning to Tuesday evening.

High drama as office goes up in smoke
Glebe – Sydney,Australia
“We thought the ship was on fire; it was very dramatic,” he said. “The smoke was thick and black, as high as a city skyscraper, and the flames were probably

Barge Collision: 400 Tonnes of Diesel Spilled in Elbe River Germany
By OldSailor
How super absorbent Imbiber beads contain oil and chemical spills at sea; Vessel of opportunity skimming system for pollution response; Nanowire membranes of MIT to absorb and recover oil from oil spills at sea

TASK FORCE HANJIN MEMBERS QUIT AFTER DEATH OF 13th WORKER
Philippine Headline News – Manila,Philippines
Gamolo succumbed to injuries the following day, making him the 13th fatality at the shipbuilding facility since it was established in Subic in 2006.

St. Louis – river re-opened to all traffic

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that, with the abatement of high water conditions, the Upper Mississippi River at St. Louis has been re-opened to traffic without restrictions.

Sulpicio fires 136 from 8 vessels
Sun.Star – Philippines
Suazo said he already submitted to the Marina Board a partial report of the audit conducted by a Manila team that he created shortly after the sinking of

Stern-wheeler Jean Mary Successfully Removed From the Water
By cgnews
Jack Perkins, the vessel master, was aboard the 80-foot stern-wheeler at the time of the sinking and immediately notified the Coast Guard when he noticed the vessel taking on water. The vessel sank Sunday morning in approximately

Tall ship carries unusual crew »»
The Independent Online – Brighton,Ontario,Canada
The Brigantine are seeking leads on fire extinguishers, marine varnish, paint, brushes, mahogany and quarter-sawn Douglas Fir for the decks. .

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Not Being John Cota

 allision  Comments Off on Not Being John Cota
Apr 112008
 

“Capt. Cota acknowledges the lack of situational awareness and does not expect it to happen again.”
Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays: Investigation into the grounding of the M/V Pioneer…on 20 February 2006.

Bay pilot John Cota’s week it wasn’t, starting April 8, 2008. Since the US Department of Justice has already charged him on two criminal counts, an act likely to hinder a helpful investigation, his lawyers advised him to claim the protection under the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution against self-incrimination and declined to give testimony at the public hearings of the US National Transportation Safety Board, a protection ironically, which the US government does not want extended to non-US seafarers.

The ship’s crew, currently detained as ‘material witnesses’ for Cota’s trial did not give testimony, either.

Much of the second day of the hearing was occupied by evidence on Cota’s medical condition and previous history of alcohol abuse – he was tested for alcohol immediately after the incident and found clear. After the incident, the US Coast Guard asked Cota to surrender his mariner’s license because “the listed potential side effects of those medications and how they may or may not have some impact upon his judgment, his ability to function, cognitive ability,” said Chief of the Regional Exam Center, George Buffleben.

A medical witness, Dr. Robert Bourgeois, told the hearing “I wouldn’t want anyone taking those medicines and having to make decisions in a safety-sensitive position”. When asked if he would let his children board a bus with a driver using such medication, he said “my kids would not be on that bus”.

John Cota, call sign Romeo, was evaluated for renewal of his license in January 2007 under a system that is currently undergoing changes. However, this does call into question the effectiveness of the medical examination process.

This does not necessarily mean that Cota was suffering impairment. If he was, the hearing was told, it would be difficult for the master or officers to tell whether or not he was so impaired as to present a hazard. Under US legislation ship’s officers are required to obey the orders of the pilot unless he is clearly incompetent or incapacitated.

There has been much comment about alleged problems with the radar, AIS and ECIDS, with Cota saying that the latter was confusing. It is clear for the VDR transcript that he was struggling with both. The pilot who had conducted the Cosco Busan inbound, Captain Nyborg, had no problems with radar or AIS, and these were found to be working after the incident.

He also had little problem communicating with the Captain, Mao Cai Sun, nor with the helmsman.

Captain Nyborg did notice a problem with the ECDIS, with the track being offset to the west. Nyborg disembarked the Cosco Busan and later went to the pilot conference centre for a monthly meeting. From there he saw the ship coming away from anchorage 7 and moving towards anchorage 9, “I was surprised because I recognized her as a ship I put in Oakland, and it would be very unusual for that ship to be coming to the wrong direction unless something had happened or something was wrong, like if they had a breakdown or something” said Nyborg. Other pilots present told Nyborg about the allision.

“I tried to remember where, you know, what issues I might have had with it, and what my, you know, if I had any difficulties or, you know, bad helmsman or anything like that. Nothing stuck out in my mind except that I, I remembered that, gee, I think that ECDIS display was showing a poor course as far as — a poor planned route through Delta Echo span, and I wondered if they had tracked the same deal coming outbound,” he told investigators.

Cota arrived at the meeting looking shaken: “(He) actually sat down within 3 or 4 feet of me, and I scooted my chair over and out of concern asked him, John, how you doing? He described how he was doing. Oh, my God, John, what happened? And, and he was visibly shaken. And I said you know what you should look into that – you should look into this ECDIS display because I believe it was, it was running West of where it should have been on my inbound. And of course I didn’t need it, but if you relied on it at all maybe it ought to be something that is investigated.”

Surprisingly, or prehaps not considering the possible emotional impact of the event, Cota forgot about the meeting: “John called me last night, and he had actually — didn’t recall me telling him that. He’s like there’s rumor around that you saw this or saw that, and I’m like, John, I talked to you at the meeting. Didn’t you remember that meeting? He said, no. I was really rattled, and I probably talked to people I didn’t, I don’t remember talking to. And that’s very understandable, you know,” said Nyborg.

To be continued

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