Arrested Captain Goes Home

 collision, contact, maritime safety  Comments Off on Arrested Captain Goes Home
Oct 052010

imageIndian news agency DNA reports that Captain Glen Aroza reached his home in Mangalore on Monday, 4 October, after languishing 17 months in a Taiwan prison.

Aroza was placed under arrest after his Panama-flagged crude tanker, Tosa, allegedly collided with Shingtong Cheng 86, a Taiwanese fishing trawler, killing two persons.

Besides the captain, a second officer from Bangladesh and a seaman from the Philippines were also arrested by the coastal police of that country on April 17, 2009.

It was also reported that Tosa had not collided with the trawler, but the boat capsized in the wake of the bigger vessel.

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Abandoned crews expose shipping’s global shame

 Articles  Comments Off on Abandoned crews expose shipping’s global shame
Sep 172009

“the root of the problem is rampant, uncontrolled greed” says MAC’s UK correspondent Bill Redmond.

image The worst shipping slump since the 1930s, says the International Transport Workers Federation, ITF, has left many crews abandoned without pay, provisions and contact with their ships’ owners. A typical example was the Russian-crewed Yeya 1 which saw their victuals down to just macaroni and flour after lay up on the river Fal, England, in June this year. Without pay, they relied on the Mission to Seafarers’ gift of £400 of fresh fruit, vegetables and meat to prevent malnutrition.

A worse case was the 1,324 dwt reefer, Rioni, stuck at Banana in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With little food and water, the Ukrainian crew on the Bolivian-flagged vessel saw one crew member die with the ship owners reportedly refusing to repatriate the corpse or pay overdue wages to the survivors.

The river Fal is no stranger to cold lay ups, having seen as many as 50 ships laid up for want of work during past recessions but the pace of change has been stunning.

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Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand
Oct 302008

The Ann RousingHaving your eyes open isn’t much good unless they’re pointing in the right direction. That’s a lesson learned the hard way by an OS aboard the Danish registered general cargo ship Ann Rousing in August at El Ferrol, Spain.

The ship is equipped with heavy metal folding hatch covers that roll along a coaming and are controlled by a lever in a box around 30cm to 40cxm above the deck. When the lever is released the hatch coivers stop moving automatically.

With his foot an OS was operating a lever to close a folding hatch cover, supporting himself with a hand on the hatch coaming. Another OS was working nearby. As he operated the lever, the OS took his eyes of his job and looked over to his crewmate.

It was then that the hatch cover rolled over his hand, inflicting an undoubtedly painful fracture that required hospital treatment.

Where not to put your hand

A moment of distraction that could have happened to almost anyone, true, but the incident highlights the need for procedures to be followed properly.

At the time of the incident, the injured OS had been aboard for 10 days but had worked a previous contract for four weeks. Shipboard familiarisation was given and a check list, with a box for ‘Deck cranes/derricks and
‘, was completed. He wasn’t instructed in hatch cover operations ands was just told to go away and read them. Among the written instructions was the warning “Injuries of hands if You are holding to the hatch coaming while operating…” (sic).

That, frankly, is not a good way of emphasising safety issues and the Danish investigators have recommended that the shipowner include instructions in its ship board familiarisation process.

Placement of lever set a trap for the unwary

So, perhaps the first lesson: ensure that safety related instructions are given, and demonstrated, during shipboard familiarisation, don’t rely on the seafarer to read up on them.

Placement of the lever wasn’t thought through very well. When operated with a foot it was a natural, and dangerous, act to put a hand on the hatch coaming for support. If there’s one like it on your ship, it’s a trap waiting to snap at the unwary. Recommendations from the investigators include moving the lever to a location at which hands can’t rest on hatch coamings or installing screening arrangements at control stations. You might take a look at arrangements on your ship.

The official report also notes that no safety watch was kept with someone standing by to press the emergency stop button. When moving heavy equipment, which includes hefty metal hatch covers, it’s wise to set up a safety watch – it could save more than your hand.

Not specifically mentioned in the report is a Job Safety Assessment,JSA, and toolbox talk. The warning in the written instructions suggests that a JSA had been done and the hazards known. It’s seems fairly obvious that there was no toolbox talk prior to the job being carried out. A toolbox talk, which need only take a couple of minutes, involves clarifying who is going to do what, the equipment available, the hazards and the safety procedures to mitigate those hazards.

Chances are that that if there had been a toolbox talk, the injured OS would have kept his eye on the job and his hand off the coaming.

Official Report here

Booking Seafarers

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Booking Seafarers
Oct 262008

The Macbookcross

Booking For Seafarers

MAC’s ecletic reading occasionally includes The Publican, aimed at managers and owners of public houses, pubs, in the UK, Britain’s great contribution to culture and civilised society. A recent issue mentions The Steamboat in Mill Dam, South Shields and an intriguing project called Bookcrossing, which seems a great idea for seafarers, hence it deserves a plug from Maritime Accident Casebook.

It works thusly: Get a book, register on the free Book Crossing site and get a Book Crossing ID number. Write the number inside the cover of the book and leave the book for someone else to find. The finder goes to the Book Crossing site and reveals where they found the book, then leaves it somewhere else for someone to find.

So, you could pick up a book at The Steamboat, let Book crossing know where you found it then drop it off, say, at a seaman’s mission or where ever in Brazil. Another seafarer picks it up, let’s Book crossing know where he found it then drops it off at his or her next port.

You can track your book at the Book Crossing site as it travels the world.

It seems such a cool idea that MAC has made up some free bookplates in pdf format that you can download here, print out and stick inside your book. If you find a book with a MAC bookplate we’d love to hear where you find it.

Download the MAC bookplate, get a Bookcrossing ID number and stick it inside your book.


Saga Rose Death: Another Candle To Light

 accident reporting, enclosed space, MAIB  Comments Off on Saga Rose Death: Another Candle To Light
Jun 132008

Five investigators from the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch spent the night of Wednesday June 11 aboard the cruise ship Saga Rose, docked at Southampton, inquiring into the death of a 43 year old second bosun, one of two Filipino crewmen trapped in one of the vessel’s ballast tanks. The ship’s 300-strong crew is devastated, they’ve been together for 10 years, they’ve lost one of their own, and yet another family in the Philippines will lit yet another candle in a cemetary at All Soul’s in November.

It will probably be many months before the MAIB’s final report is released, it would be unwise to speculate on details, but already it is evident that safe entry procedures were not followed.

Initially, the two men were thought missing and a search was conducted, which eventually found them trapped inside a ballast tank. One man had breathing apparatus and survived, the other died almost certainly because of lack of oxygen in the ballast tank atmosphere.
That reveals that no safety watch was kept at the access to the tank with a means of communication in case something went wrong.
The tank was not adequately ventilated prior to entry. If it had been, the crewman would probably not have died.
It seems unlikely that the atmosphere in the tank was tested prior to entry or during the inspection they were apparently carrying out.

None of the ship’s officers appear to have known that the two men were in the tank. If proper procedures had been followed they would have known and been able to monitor events.

Because procedures were not followed a man is dead, a close-knit crew is distraught, a family is grieving.

The unnerving consistency with which these events occur is unacceptable and indicates something deeply amiss in training, competency and safety behaviour throught the industry.