Dec 222010

image Amongst the abuse seafarers have to undergo from incompetent shipowners is, of course, an abominable lack of concern for their safety. As Christmas dawns, give a thought to folk who had to undergo the privations evident in nearly every one of the six vesels detained by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in November.

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency, MCA, says that six foreign-flagged ships were under detention in UK ports during November 2010 after failing Port State Control, PSC, inspection.

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SOS – Ships Of Shame: What the Zeus?

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Oct 162009

imageThis ship of shame, the Panama-flagged bulker Zeus 1, owned by Falcon Shipping Inc, can hardly be described as a rust bucket, her keel was laid as recently as 2007, but she was, and perhaps still is, a death trap for the seafarers working on her.

She was detained for 15 days by Maritime New Zealand due to a long list of frightening shortfalls that would have doomed those aboard her in an emergency.

What sort of emergency? With significant contamination in the galley exhaust trunking creating a risk of fire, perhaps assisted by a busted fuel oil quick closing valve, let’s look at that first. The official record says ‘Demonstrated fire drills not to the required standard”. Hardly surprising since manufacturer’s stickers were still on the facemasks, suggesting that fire drills were few and far between.

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Osama Caught – Ships Of Shame

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Dec 182008

Not that Osama. This one was a Syrian flagged bulker filled with 2,320 tonnes of potatoes that arribed in Trieste on 30th March 2007. Due to the appalling state of the ship the port state control inspection took two days. Dewtails from the ParisMOU’s Caught in the Net project.

Let’s start with the bookwork. The company name on the ship security certificate did not match the one on the ship’s security plan. You can bet the CIA has that on its terrorism database.

The Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus was not type approved. A great comfort to the seafarers on board, no doubt.

NAVTEX? What Navtex? It hadn’t worked for around a week.

Chart? Who needs charts? The one’s for the previous and next voyage hadn’t been updated.

The N1 GMDSS VHF/DSC didn’t work. N2 two way portable VHF radios didn’t work. Ah, but the main GMDSS station worked, but not under emergency power.

Want to fight a fire? Don’t bother, bits were missing from the forecastle fireman’s uniform. where did they go? Obviously, nobody cared.

There's A Hole In My Rust Bucket...

Ballast tank No. 2 had a nice hole that connected with the No. 1 cargo hold and the bulkhead between cargo holds 1 and 2 had a convenient hole to water the potatoes.

At least the folk in the engine room didn’t have to worry about being smothered by the CO2 extinguisher system. It was disconnected.

Cargo hold ventilation shutdown, operated by the CO2 release didn’t work either.

The vessel’s fuel and diesel oil quick closing valves couldn’t quick close because they were too rusted up.

Did we mention that lights serving the lifeboats area, the navigation lights and so on didn’t work under emergency power?

On 6 April the vessel was released from detention after numerous permanent fixes.

SOS – Ships Of Shame

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Aug 282008

Introducing a new monthly feature: Ships Of Shame. The title is self-explanatory: vessels that put the maritime industry to shame. In moist cases the photographs were taken following the vessel’s detention following a Port State Control inspection.

This month’s example comes from the Paris MOU’s excellent, and worrying, “Caught In The Net” gallery, highlighting particulary notably bad examples. Caught In The Net can be found here

Sunlight Bey

MV Sunlight-Bey Ex-Warsan(IMO 7619525)

GT: 6,056

Type: Ro-Ro converted to livestock carrier

Flag: Lebanon

Class: International Naval Surveys Bureau (INSB)

Detained: Canary Islands, Spain

Total Deficiencies: 25

Detainable Deficiences: 6

Corrosion through the ship affecting deckplate and pipes

Firefighting equipment equipment missing or in poor state, leaks in fire main and hoses

Poor maintenance of LSA launch equipment, note the poor state of the winch. Given the state of this equipment it is unlikely that lifeboat drills were being conducted as required.,

Engine room dangerous due to very oily condition. Oil filter not working

Crew accomodation poor and unsanitary. Note blockage of what is the access to the port lifeboat muster station. If this is the state of the crew accomodation, imagine how the livestock must be treated.

On June 12th 2008, after 16 days of detention and having carried out temporary repairs, the ship was allowed to proceed to a repair shipyard in Constanta (Romania) for permanent repairs. It failed to call at the repair yard and is now banned from ports covered by the Paris MOU.

Possible scenario; Engine room fire started by spontaneous combustion of oily rags. Crew unable to fight fire effectively, fire spreads. Some crew trapped in accommodation block, fatalities due to smoke inhalation. Abandon ship ordered, crew attempt but fail to launch lifeboats and other LSAs fail necessitating direct entry into water. Loss of vessel and lives.