Can IMO Fix Domestic Ferries?

 Ferry, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Can IMO Fix Domestic Ferries?
May 022015

Since 2000, in South East Asia there have been 163 accidents in the region involving ferries, killing more than 17,000 people. Over the years there has been little effective action to reduce that toll among the countries with the most losses – the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Now, following a conference in Manila in late April, has adopted guidelines to aid the process of reducing the mounting toll of accidents involving such vessels by addressing the question of whether a ship is fit for purpose.

(Below, Stephanie Coutrix spoke with IMO’s Lee Adamson who was there for the conference.)

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At Last, Container Weight Regs May Improve Safety

 container accident, containership, maritime safety news  Comments Off on At Last, Container Weight Regs May Improve Safety
Jun 142014
Image courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

Image courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

At long last the IMO Safety Committee is expected to adopt new regulations demanding container weighing at its Autumn session this year despite much opposition from some quarters. Mis-declared weights and uncertainty have led to a variety of serious accidents, ranging from stack collapse and loss of containers overboard to bringing ships to grief.

Denmark’s Maritime Agency says: ” It is a milestone that the IMO has now approved international SOLAS regulations. The regulations ensure that a container is not loaded without its weight having been verified in accordance with specific regulations and without the shipper having informed the ship and the loading terminal about this”.

Incidents such as the foundering of the MSC Napoli and the MOL Comfort, the collapse of container stacks on the Husky Racer and Annabella have all helped drive the new regulations.

At the same time, container ships are getting larger and larger it has become of even greater importance to the ship’s stability and hull integrity that exact weight data are available about the cargo.

It is possible to determine the correct weight of a container in two ways. Either by weighing the loaded container at an approved weighing station, or by ensuring that the individual elements in the container are weighed and added to the container’s own weight.

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Will Schatt-Harding Break From The Pack?

 Accident, davit-launched, freefall, lifeboat, lifeboat accidents, lifeboat safety  Comments Off on Will Schatt-Harding Break From The Pack?
Jan 282011

Lifeboat manufacturer Schatt-Harding’s recent statement that the IMO and some parts of the shipping industry need to move more quickly to a consensus on vital lifeboat safety issues which have important consequences for the safety of seafarers is a welcome sign that at least part of a safety-critical industry understands that it has a credibility problem and that It is time to get its act together is welcome. Whether not it indicates that a key supplier of LSA is breaking from the pack is another question.

Schatt-Harding cerainly has good reason to want the new SOLAS requirements in place: Its new Seacure hooks are intended to met the new regulations and sales are likely to be limited until the new measures are mandatory. The company may have been as disappointed at the deliberate delay in introducing those regulations as most of the industry was. Continue reading »

IMO Wants ECDIS Glitches Confidentially

 ECDIS, ENC, navigation  Comments Off on IMO Wants ECDIS Glitches Confidentially
Dec 292010

ECDIS: IMO wants glitches fixed

Operating ‘anomalies’ have been identified within some CDIS Systems says the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, which is looking for feedback on the issue.

In a recent circular the IMO says: “The Maritime Safety Committee, at its eighty-eighth session (24 November to 3 December 2010), was informed of anomalies in the operation of some ECDIS systems relating to display and alarm behaviour in particular system configurations. The anomalies were discovered by the inspection of ENCs within a small number of ECDIS systems and the committee considered it possible that other anomalies remain to be discovered… Given the widespread use and the impending implementation of the ECDIS carriage requirement, the Committee considered it important that any anomalies identified by mariners are reported to and investigated by the appropriate authorities to ensure their resolution.

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Nov 232010

imageAmendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, which will make the International Code for the Application of Fire Test Procedures, 2010 FTP Code, mandatory and aims to  improve lifeboat release hooks  are set to be adopted when the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, MSC, meets at the organization’s London headquarters for its 88th session from 24 November to 3 December 2010.

The agenda also includes discussion on  piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the implementation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking of ships, LRIT, system.

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New IMO Recommendations for Confined Space Entry Drafted

 confined space, enclosed space, maritime safety, SafeSpace  Comments Off on New IMO Recommendations for Confined Space Entry Drafted
Sep 302010

image During the 15th session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers, DSC, held from 13 to 17 September 2010 session, the work on revised draft IMO Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces was finalised. The draft will now be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for adoption.

The revision was caused by a continued high frequency of accidents in connection with entry into enclosed spaces. What is new is that now enclosed spaces are to be identified in each individual ship, that clear guidelines and procedures for entry into these spaces are to be determined, and that training must be provided for their evacuation.

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Sep 262010

A new resource to advance the legal protection of seafarers across the world has been launched: Seafarers’ Rights International.

Inaugurated at the International Maritime Organization , Seafarers’ Rights International is a centre for research and analysis that will raise awareness of seafarers’ legal concerns. It will work to ensure that the protection afforded to seafarers through national and international laws is improved.

Funded by a start-up grant from the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the centre, which will be based at ITF headquarters in London, UK, is an independent organisation. It will carry out a number of tasks including: research on strategic topics, monitor legal developments affecting seafarers’ law, and coordinate and participate in cross-border networks of researchers, research bodies and universities. Other activities include: promoting educational activities and delivering legal training and consultancy.

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Piracy: Is Closing Africa The Answer?

 maritime safety, piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Piracy: Is Closing Africa The Answer?
Sep 262010

This pirate whaler was just tapa for the Spanish naval vessel Galicia

“Rarely, if ever, in the annals of piracy have so few cost global logistics so much as the 1,000 or so Kalashnikov-toting Somali pirates. And rarely has the international response been so supine and dismissive that, in earlier times, would have appalled and shamed less spineless generations in dealing with an age-old crime” says MAC’s UK Correspondent, William Redmond.

At the IMO London offices’ handover of a piracy petition on World Maritime Day, September 23, David Cockroft, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation, ITF, chastised the majority of those who make most from shipping for “doing little or nothing.” But are the ship owners themselves contributing to the crisis, helped by the insurers, because they have adopted the ‘calculated risk’ approach which is much cheaper than a final solution to the problem?

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New IMO Provision to Fight Fatigue

 fatigue, IMO  Comments Off on New IMO Provision to Fight Fatigue
Jun 292010

image Under what are already being termed the Manila Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, watchkeeping officers and those whose duties involve designated safety, prevention of pollution and security duties are required to be provided with a minimum of 10 hours of rest in any 24 hour period and 77 hours in any 7 days.

The hours of rest may be divided into no more than two periods, one of which shall be at least 6 hours in length, and the intervals between consecutive periods of rest shall not exceed 14 hours.

Inevitably there are exceptions “to ensure a continued safe operation of ships in exceptional conditions”. Under these conditions the rest period may not be less than 70 hours in a seven day period and the exceptional arrangements must not last for more than two consecutive weeks. Intervals between exceptions may not be less than twice the duration of the exception. In addition: Continue reading »