Queenland Pilotage – “Systemic Issues” Says ATSB

 grounding, maritime safety news, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on Queenland Pilotage – “Systemic Issues” Says ATSB
Jan 032013

The grounding of Atlantic Blue sparked the investigation

An investigation into Queensland pilotage operations has revealed “systemic safety issues” says Australian Transport Safety Bureau, ATSB. Under coastal pilotage regulations, no organisation, including the pilotage provider companies, has been made clearly responsible and held accountable for managing the safety risks associated with pilotage operations. This has meant that responsibility for managing the most safety critical aspects of pilotage has rested with individual pilot contractors instead of an organisation that systematically manages safety risk.

The investigation also identified systemic safety issues surrounding pilot training, fatigue management, incident reporting, competency assessment and use of coastal vessel traffic services. Continue reading »

Maersk Duffield Fire: Stud May Have led To Cranky Catastrophe

 Accident, Accident report, engine room, fire, maritime safety news  Comments Off on Maersk Duffield Fire: Stud May Have led To Cranky Catastrophe
Dec 192010

Damage to number three DG

Let’s start with the good news in the Australian Transport Safety Board, ATSB, report on the catastrophic crankcase fail, explosion and fire aboard  Maersk Duffield in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia on 10 December 2009:

“The decision to use the ship’s fixed CO2 fire extinguishing system was prudent and the prompt use of the ship’s fire dampers, remote valves and emergency stops almost certainly reduced the severity of the damage to the generator room… Engine room re-entry and ventilation did not occur until after it had been determined that the fire was extinguished and that it was safe to do so. This occurred almost 3 hours after the fire had started”.

In this case the fire had initially been attacked with hoses and extinguishers until the Chief engineer decided that the fire was too big and that the CO2 system should be used.

Fire spreads with astonishing speed and time is everything. In this case the chief engineer decided, at the right moment, to use the CO2 system and acted promptly.

While CO2 is a very effective smothering agent flammable material may still be above the temperature at which it will self-ignite for a long time afterwards. Letting air reach that material can set the fire off again.

CO2 should left alone to do its job and left long enough, sometimes hours, to ensure that flammables are below their re-ignition temperature.

Here is how it went down:

Continue reading »

Apr 232010

imageAustralia’s Minister for infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, has announced new measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef. The first of the measures will extend the mandatory ship reporting system.

The system requiring all ships to regularly report their location and route to
authorities, backed up by real-time radio and satellite tracking of their progress, will be extended to the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

An official announcement says: “This action is based on advice from the nation’s the independent safety regulator, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, AMSA. Once implemented it will improve maritime safety and provide further protection for one of our most precious environmental assets.

Continue reading »