Aug 192009
 

imageMalta’s Maritime Authority is investigating a fire onboard the Malta registered passenger ship Zenith on 18 August 2009 at the port of Firhamnen in Stockholm, while  alongside and when most passengers were on shore excursions. As a precautionary measure the master ordered the evacuation of all remaining passengers and non essential crew members.

Says the MMA: “The Malta Merchant Shipping Directorate has now been informed that the situation is under control. Two crew members have been treated for smoke inhalation at the local hospital.”

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Arctic Sea Update – Eight Detained

 maritime crime, maritime security, piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Arctic Sea Update – Eight Detained
Aug 182009
 

image Eight people have reportedly been arrested for the hijacking of the Arctic Sea. It is alleged that the group of four Estonians, two Latvians and two Russians, approached Arctic Sea in a dinghy requesting help to repair a vessel then took over the ship at gunpoint on 24 July.

Arctic Sea’s crew of 15 are safe and are being debriefed by Russian naval personnel. The vessel, missing for two weeks after disappearing in the English Channel was found by the Russian Navy off Cape Verde Islands two days after denials were issued that she had been seen there.

Stil unexplained is why a Russian naval vessel transmitted an AIS signal from the Bay of Biscay on Saturday.

According to Malta’s Maritime Authority, Arctic Sea is flagged in Malta, Finnish, Swedish and Maltese authorities are conducting investigations in close cooperation into the alleged offences relating to the cargo vessel Arctic Sea.

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Arctic Sea Update – Criminal Investigation Underway

 maritime crime, maritime security, news, piracy, pirates  Comments Off on Arctic Sea Update – Criminal Investigation Underway
Aug 172009
 

image Malta’s Maritime Authority has issued an update on the Arctic Sea, which is flagged in Malta, regarding an international criminal investigation:

The Finnish, Swedish and Maltese authorities are conducting investigations in close cooperation into the alleged offences relating to the cargo vessel Arctic Sea.

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A Bruised Queen Leads to Revolutionary Thinking

 accident reporting, collision, MAIB, maritime accidents  Comments Off on A Bruised Queen Leads to Revolutionary Thinking
Jul 242008
 

A Bruised Queen Leads to Revolutionary Thinking

What strange and dangerous thoughts roam the minds of the investigators of the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch might be glimpsed in its preliminary report on the contact between the 90,000 gross tonnes Queen Victoria and Valetta’s Pinto Pier in Malta last May.

The intention was to moor the not so venerable Queen – she was launched in 2007 – port side to, which required turning her around 180 degrees. Initially, the master stood at the centre bridge console to control the azipod propulsion units and bow thrusters. Oince the berth was open on the port side the master, the staff captain and the harbour pilot, went to the port bridge wing.

At the time the vessel was moving astern. The master adjusted the control to arrest the sternward movement and nothing happened. Not very regally, she made contact with the pier causing damage to her upper hull and to the pier.

The bridge team realised that the control of the azipod propulsion units had not been transferred to the port bridge wing. Once that was done the vessel manouevred happily alongside safely.

Shipowner Carnival Lines carried out an investigation with recommendations that are included in the MAIB preliminary report. Among those recommendations is a revolutionary proposal that masters should be included in the bridge and console design process.

Bridge design has influenced a number of incidents over the years. Involving those who have to use the equipment in its design sounds dangerously revolutionary. Someone had better keep a careful eye on these people, you never know what they might suggest next. If people who actually have to use this equipment actually get involved in designing them there’s no saying where it might lead.

Doubtless wiser heads will prevail against this egregious pampering of ship’s officers.

Other recommendations include enhanced training, a fleetwide cautionary notice, a review of procedures for transfer and testing of propulsion control and the feasibility of synchronous or follow-up systems.

Giving insight into the design issues are recommendations covering the size of the azipod control indicator lamps fitted to the control consoles, a review of the visual displays fitted on the vessel’s bridge wings, and insulation of noisy equipment on the port bridge wing.

MAIB Preliminary Report here

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