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.

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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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Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008

 grounding, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008
Jul 092008
 

Fatal accident at Savannah ports
WTOC – Savannah,GA,USA
They say an International Longshoremen was working with the Stevedore Society of America near or on the vessel, The Saga Journey when the accident occurred.

The Spirit of Nantucket runs aground – again
The Virginian-Pilot – Norfolk,VA,USA
After about nine hours, the ship was refloated. Passengers were taken to an airport. A Coast Guard spokesman said it’s not clear whether the grounding was

Crew rescued from sinking ship
News24 – South Africa
Johannesburg – Thirty six crew members were rescued after a Spanish fishing vessel caught fire and sank off the east coast of southern Africa, the Cape Town


Crews still monitoring Miami cargo ship fire
Associated Press – July 8, 2008 10:24 AM ET MIAMI (AP) – Firefighters are still at the scene of a massive cargo ship fire that is smoldering on the Miami River.

14 boat migrants missing off Spain
International Herald Tribune – France
Maritime rescue official Miguel Zea said planes, boats and helicopters were searching the area, but there was very little chance of finding anyone alive,

Coast Guard OKs return of cruise ship to Juneau after grounding
International Herald Tribune – France
However, the ship does have structural damage which must be corrected before it can again carry passengers. Officials say the cause of the grounding remains

Ship Mona Lisa’s costly evacuation

RIGA- The freeing of the stranded ship Mona Lisa and evacuation of passengers cost Latvia 135,000 lats (EUR 192,000).

Ieva Aile, head of the governmental press service, told the Baltic News Service that Latvian lawyers are still negotiating with the insurer two financial positions that will decide whether value added tax is included in the total sum to be paid to Latvia.

2 BMI probers quit with guns blazing
Inquirer.net – Philippines
But veteran ship captains Rear Adm. Benjamin Mata and Commodore Amado Romillo went out with guns blazing against Sulpicio Lines Inc., owners of the

Philippineferry,Princess of the Stars,capsize,sinking, BMI, Savannah,port,fatality,death,Saga Journey,Atlantic,fire,Miami,

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Maritime Safety News – 7th July 2008

 capsize, containership, Ferry, fire, fire safety, Sinking, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News – 7th July 2008
Jul 072008
 

100 firefighters extinguish massive fire on cargo ship
Associated Press – July 6, 2008 11:44 AM ET MIAMI (AP) – More than 100 firefighters have extinguished a massive fire on a cargo ship on the Miami River.

Agency finds safety problems in Langkawi ferry service
weaknesses have been detected in the Langkawi ferry service that can threaten the safety of passengers, the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency’s (MMEA) Northern Region Enforcement chief Laksamana Pertama Zammani Mod Amin said. One of the shortcomings

Shipment of uranium transiting through the Port of Montreal

07 July 2008 01:56
PM Attention News Editors MONTREAL, July 6 /CNW Telbec/ – The Port of Montreal confirms that a vessel carrying a shipment of uranium arrived Friday in the Port of Montreal from Bagdad. The Port of Montreal is equipped and its employees have been trained

Philippine House inquiry on Princess of the Stars starts
In a fact-finding inquiry Monday, the House committee on transportation will also verify reports on defects of the Sulpicio Lines Inc. vessel, including the ship design and the lack of communication equipment.

Death toll rises to three in China boat sinking
China Daily – China
The vessel sank on the way to Yijiangshan islands at about 5 pm Friday. On board were 12 people, who went angling, according to the captain who was later

Rig workers who whistleblow over safety issues are ‘routinely sacked’
Sunday Herald – Glasgow,Scotland,UK
said the safety cutbacks combined with the pressures to extract oil, gas and other resources throughout the world will lead to another major accident.


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Jun 232008
 

Death came early this year. The typhoon season has only just started and already, brightly coloured flop-flop rubber sandals are arriving on the coastlines of Sibuyan in the central Philippines. They are very small slippers because many children were among the 800 or so aboard the 1984-built 23,824 tonnes Sulpicio Lines Princess Of The Stars that capsized on morning of June 21 in a typhoon known internationally as Fengshen and in the Philippines as Frank.

One can only say ‘or so’ because it is unlikely anyone will ever know exactly how many people were aboard. Passenger manifests are unreliable in a country where regulations are rarely enforced, even if they are supposedly adequate in the first place. In a grounding incident in 2007 a ferry had a manifest of a little more than two dozen people, the Philippine Coast Guard rescued more than a hundred. The true human cost of the Dona Paz disaster in 1987 remains unknown, except that it possibly exceeded 4,000.

Current known figures for the Princess Of The Stars are around 626 passengers, an unknown number of minors, and 212 crew. At the time of writing there are four confirmed dead and 34 known survivors.

Sulpicio Lines has a poor safety record. In addition to the Princess Of The Stars and the Dona Paz, other casualties include the Dona Marilyn in 1988 and the Princess of the Orient in 1998. The Philippine government has ordered it to stop operations and inspections of the company’s other vessels is underway. Volunteers against Crime and Corruption, VACC, has said it will file a class suit against Sulpicio Lines management.

The domestic ferry industry has a traditional safety problem: In 1994 the William Lines Cebu City collided with a Singaporean vessel, Kota Suria, and sank with the loss of 140 lives; Kimelody Cristy of Moreta Shipping caught fire and sank in 1995; in 1996: An overcrowded wooden ferry, ML Gretchen, capsizes close to shore of central Negros island, killing 54, including 31 children, and leaving 12 missing; Trans-Asia Shipping’s Asian South Korea, another ferry, sank in 1999;Maria Carmela, a ro-ro ferry owned by Montenegro Shipping, caught fire in 2002 with 2390 people on board of which 23 were confirmed dead and 27 missing;the wooden ferry Catalyn-D caught fire and sank in 2007 losing five lives out of 250 people on board.

Despite the regularity of maritime incidents in Philippine waters there is no full-time independent maritime investigation agency in the Philippines. Marina, the country’s maritime regulatory body delegates its enforcement functions to the Philippine Coastguard, which allowed the vessel to leave Manila as the typhoon was approaching. Both agencies will conduct the investigation.

Philippine President Gloria Magapagal Arroyo has, as is usual in high-visibility incidents, ordered a board of inquiry to be convened but there is no legal requirement for any of its members to be qualified maritime casualty investigators and consists of Coast Guard officers, Marina officials and members or graduates of the government-own Philippine Merchant Marine Academy. A lawyer is required to be one of the members but he, or she, is not required to have expertise in maritime law.

The aim of the Board is to establish liability, safety issues are secondary. Despite that, not a single ferry company or ship owner has been brought to book in any incident in the Philippines.

Casualty investigation reports are not made accessible to the public.

International maritime investigators would like to bring the Philippines within the fold and help it develop a more realistic and effective investigative capability but the political will is lacking, which may not be unconnected with the high level connections between ferry companies, shipowners and the country’s legislators.

It is unlikely that the Philippines will respond to the new IMO code of conduct for maritime casualty investigation any time soon. Despite becoming a member in the mid-1960s the Philippines has yet to lodge a single maritime casualty investigation report with the IMO, as it is mandated to do for serious casualties under the terms of its membership, despite the recent election of a Filipino, Neil Ferrer, as IMO deputy secretary general.

Currently, fingers are being pointed in all directions. The vessel left Manila at about 8pm on Friday, 20th June as Typhoon Fengshen approached the islands. Storm Signal Number One, the lowest level warning, had been issued by the Pagasa, the country’s under-funded and under-equipped weather bureau.

Although the typhoon was not predicted to present a threat on the vessel’s route, typhoons are notoriously erratic. Although not expected to hit the main island of Luzon, by 11.30 the highest level warning was issued, Number Three, but by then the Princess Of The Seas was in the Visayas region still heading for Cebu.

The vessel was allowed to leave Manila because it was believed that she would only enter the periphery of typhoon, but the typhoon suddenly changed direction, putting the vessel directly in its path. It reached Sibuyan Island at around 7am

According to reports, at about non on Saturday, 21st June, the ship’s main engine failed, but some survivors say the ship only slowed down as it encountered large waves. With winds of 73 miles an hour gusting up to 94 miles and hour the ship listed off the coast of Sibuyan Island in Romblon province and took on water. The master, Captain Florencio Marimon, who is still missing, ordered all passengers to abandon the ferry, which capsized 15 minutes later.

Reportedly, few passengers were able to board the 14 liferafts, a number of which flipped over in the large swells and high winds, and about half were able to don lifejackets before jumping off the ship.

Later, police in the town of San Fernando in Romblon province reported that the vessel was two or three kilometres offshore, upside down off the coast of the town, her bow-thrusters visible.

History suggests that the Princess Of The Stars tragedy will have little effect on the safety of Philippine ferry passengers or their crew. The Philippines will continue to ignore its obligations to the IMO and to the security of its travelling public because there isn’t the political will to do otherwise no matter how many children’s rubber slippers wash up on its beaches.

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Philippine Ferry Sinking

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Philippine Ferry Sinking
Jun 222008
 

We have reports of a ferry capsize involving the deaths of more than 800, four survivors. We’ll give more when it has been confirrned. The vessel was the Princess Of The Stars, operated by Sulpicio Lines.

It is probable that a board of inquiry will be convened. The Philippines has no independent casualty investigation agency and members of the board are not required to have any knowledge of casualty investigation.

The Philippines does not normally lodge casualty investigation reports with the International Maritime Organisation nor make reports publicly available.

 

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