Deepwater Horizon Investigation – “Highest level of effort”

 Accident, explosion, fire, offshore, oil pollution, oil spill, Sinking  Comments Off on Deepwater Horizon Investigation – “Highest level of effort”
May 142010


A briefing on the US Coast Guard investigation into the Deepwater Horizon tragedy

On April 27, under authority provided by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and in accordance with a pre-existing Memorandum of Agreement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Interior directed the U.S. Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service to conduct a joint investigation into the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon incident that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The incident resulted in the loss of 11 lives, the burning and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, and the ongoing discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico eco-system.

The Coast Guard has classified its investigative efforts as a Marine Board of Investigation, the highest level of investigative effort following a maritime casualty. These investigations are intended to determine the cause of the casualty to the fullest extent possible, promote safety of life and property at sea, and obtain information for the purpose of preventing or reducing the effects of similar casualties in the future. If the investigation reveals criminal misconduct on the part of any involved parties, then the Coast Guard will determine if the matter should be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

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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)

May 012009

Got news? Know something others should? Email

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 – 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 (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


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 – 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 – USA
with security personnel returning fire. According to Campain Ciro Pinto, the ship was slightly damaged, but none of the passengers suffered any injures.

Euro-Rogues Are Upon Us

 accident reporting  Comments Off on Euro-Rogues Are Upon Us
Oct 262008

Time for the surfboardJudging by search statistics, one of MAC’s most popular posts is ‘Give Us A wave’, a look at rogue waves – mountains of water that can reach 20 metres or more and which were once thought to be exaggerations by credulous seafarers who didn’t know any better. Now Europe’s Maritime Safety Agency is taken them very seriously.

In its recently released Maritime Accident Review for 2007, EMSA comments:

A new phenomenon has recently appeared in EU waters, or perhaps it is an old one which has been given better media coverage than before. Rogue waves are those which are much bigger and much more dangerous than others, and they can cause significant damage. The largest of these have been reported by oil rig workers in the North Sea at up to 20 metres high, although smaller ones have inflicted significant damage. Continue reading »

Piper Alpha 20 Years On – Lessons In Listening for the Maritime Industry?

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Piper Alpha 20 Years On – Lessons In Listening for the Maritime Industry?
May 302008

It’s almost a month away from the Piper Alpha tragedy which cost the lives of 167 men and led to major changes in the offshore industry. Jake Molly, regional organiser of the union Oil Industry Liason Committee believes the changes might not have been enough. Reading his statement on the Piper Alpha disaster and conditions today should strike a chord of familiarity in the maritime industry:

“This year, on July 6th 2008, twenty years will have passed since the terrible night which claimed the lives of 167 of our offshore workmates in the tragedy that was – Piper Alpha.

“It was a tragedy in many ways, but perhaps the most tragic aspect was the abject failure of the management systems and controls which should have prevented such an incident ever occurring. The subsequent inquiry found management controls such as the ‘permit to work’ system to be little more than a ‘paper chase’.

“There is no doubt that significant improvements in safety have been made across the industry in the twenty years since Piper. The industry specific regulations that have been introduced coupled with the installation of improved hardware ‘should’ prevent another disaster on the scale of Piper Alpha. I say ‘should’ because we can never say ‘never’. Regulations must be adhered to and the hardware will only ever be as good as the people charged with looking after it. ‘People’, are therefore key to ensuring safety standards are maintained and improved upon.

“With that in mind we should remember the words of the Occidental President, Glenn Shurtz, under cross examination during the Cullen Inquiry – “I had no reason to doubt that all was well. No one ever told me otherwise.” Twenty years ago people, and particularly the offshore workforce, were reluctant to raise safety concerns or challenge management for fear of being seen as trouble makers or not having the right attitude. Twenty years on many workers remain reluctant to challenge, and for the same reasons. Twenty years ago we had the threat of ‘NRB’ (Not required back). Today we still have the threat of NRB!

“I accept that NRB is not as prevalent as it was 20 years ago, but it’s the fact we are still living with it today which is relevant. Yet even where NRB is not a threat we still find major incidents occurring. Consider some of the incidents that have occurred down the years since Piper. Many of them could have led to multiple fatalities on a similar scale. In most cases it has been luck, rather than good management, that prevented an escalation. Consider also that in the run up to many of those incidents the workforce had been raising concerns about safety systems and hardware. Their concerns were either ignored or dismissed.

“In the run up to the incident which claimed the lives of two workers on Shell’s Brent Bravo in 2003, (which had the potential to kill over 150) workers were free to challenge management about safety issues but were ignored. Everything the workers had said was subsequently verified in the investigation into the incident. Since then, the HSE’s KP3 report has confirmed what thousands of workers have been saying for many years; that regulations were being breached and there is a lack of investment in hardware. In the run up to the Piper tragedy hundreds of workers expressed the view it was only a matter of time until a major accident occurred on Piper.

“Constructive dissent serves as an important monitoring force within organisations, a warning signal of danger ahead or of organisational decline. Industry leaders on the UKCS need to realise that internal dissent is not itself a crisis: it is priceless insurance against disaster. Until the ugly headlines appear and the consequences are unavoidable, senior managers too often forget that they will suffer more for ignoring principled dissenters than by giving them a hearing.

“Superficially manipulating a few priorities and satisfying oneself that everyone sings from the same hymn sheet does not constitute a ‘safety culture’. Beware of false consensus. “