Maritime Safety/Security News – 17 June 2009

 Accident report, explosion, fire, news, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Maritime Safety/Security News – 17 June 2009
Jun 172009
 

Three missing after Vietnam oil ship explodes: Official
Times of India – India
“We have to wait until we can bring up the vessel, to understand why the explosion occurred,” Phi said. State-linked VNExpress news website said the ship,

French court scraps Senegal minister warrants over Joola disaster
Africasia – London,UK
In Senegal, several ministers and high-ranking military officers were fired after the accident and compensation offered to the victims’ families

Probe launched into sinking of tug
Aberdeen Press and Journal – Aberdeen,Scotland,UK
By Jamie Buchan SEA accident investigators have begun an inquiry into the sinking of a tug boat near a north-east harbour. The Dutch-registered Ysselstroom

Lady Mary divers float collision theory
In two dives on the vessel, which lies 210 feet down, they have taken several pictures and video showing damage they argue must have come from a collision.

Owner of ill-fated vessel sells another ship
Inquirer.net – Philippines
By Jhunnex Napallacan CEBU CITY, Philippines—Almost a year after the Princess of the Stars sinking, Sulpicio Lines Inc. (SLI) sold another of its ships,

12 overboard incidents on cruises in 2009
United Press International – USA
Yet Cruise industry officials, as well as industry critics, insist most overboard incidents typically do not involve a simple accident,

Shipping firms pay price for US visa restrictions
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
A TIME limit on seafarer stays mandated by their visas is causing operational difficulties to chemical carrier and lightering companies operating in the US

PIRACY

Seized ship with Lankans heads to Somalian coast
Australia.TO – Sydney,NSW,Australia
According to the state news agency Saba, at least four Yemeni fishermen have been killed this year when they have come under fire from international

Interpol compiling Somali piracy suspect database
The Associated Press
“Small skiffs will find it difficult to operate in these conditions,” said Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau.

V.Ships’ Sea Owl aims to detect piracy threats – Lloydslist.com
By John McLaughlin
SHIPMANAGEMENT giant V.Ships has developed maritime threat-detection technology that it hopes to see deployed soon in the Gulf of Aden as a non-lethal response to pirates, writes John McLaughlin . Sea Owl was developed over two years

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Maritime Safety News – 5th February 2009

 maritime accidents, piracy  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News – 5th February 2009
Feb 052009
 

Seen an event? Want to report an event? email news@maritimeaccident.orgGot news about your maritime safety or security related products or service? Send it to news@maritimeaccident.org.

Somali pirates to free Ukraine tank ship: source
Reuters Kenya – Kenya
A Kenyan-based piracy monitoring group, the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme, could not confirm the ransom payment or the imminent release of the

Woman drowns as car backs off local ferry boat
Shanghai Daily – Shanghai,China
but I am expecting the Yatong company and the maritime safety administration to come to clear conclusions about what led to this accident and my wife’s .

US sailor missing in Gulf of Aden after boat flips
International Herald Tribune – France
AP DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The US Navy says a sailor from the USS San Antonio is missing after an accident during personnel transfer from one ship to .

GMANews.TV – 30 passengers safe after banca capsizes off Bohol …
The vessel, which was carrying 30 passengers and crew including 10 children, had left Pasil Fishport in Cebu City at 11 a.m.. Crewmembers of the vessel managed to maneuver the banca to a shallow part of Kabul-an village in Buenavista town,

Vroon supply vessel damaged in North Sea collision – Lloydslist.com
By Martyn Wingrove
DUTCH shipowner Vroon is looking for a repair yard in east England to fix the hull of its 2007-built platform supply vessel Supply Express after it struck the Ensco 92 rig in the North Sea. Vroon is investigating how the 3600 dwt vessel

Marine inquiry raises trawler safety fears
Essex Echo – Basildon,Essex,UK
By Christine Sexton » CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of small fishing vessels, following the sinking of a Leigh trawler.

South Africa,Israel,S. African dock workers won’t unload Israeli goods
The Associated Press
Randall Howard, general secretary of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union, said it appeared a ship carrying goods from Israel was nearing

,OCIMF,

House panel hears testimony on how to beat the pirates
Marine Log – New York,NY,USA
fire and explosion. The OCIMF booklet says there are differing views on whether the AIS should be switched on or off during the time that the ship is in

Too toxic to dismantle in India – so ‘ghost ship’ heads for Britain
Scotsman – United Kingdom
“A lot of people do not want Hartlepool turned into a toxic dumping ground for the rest of the world.” NAMED after France’s First World War prime minister

GMANews.TV – Sulpicio faces string of cases over alleged unpaid
The PAO earlier submitted to the Maritime Industry Authority the testimony of Engineer Nelson Ramirez of the United Filipino Seafarers questioning the seaworthiness of Sulpicio’s ships. On June 21 last year, the MV Princess of the Stars

Piggy-back ride home for sorry ice patrol ship
Portsmouth News – Portsmouth,England,UK
The accident left her adrift. With help from the Chilean Navy the ship was recovered and towed initially to Punta Arenas in Chile, and then on to the

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Maritime Safety News Today – 18th October 2008

 capsize, explosion, maritime safety, maritime safety news, piracy, Sinking  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 18th October 2008
Oct 192008
 

Cargo ship blows up at Southpoint
New Straits Times – Persekutuan,Malaysia
The blast is believed to have ripped open the bottom of the vessel, causing it to start sinking immediately. The fire department, marine police and the

Pirates Hijack 8 Nigerian Vessels
THISDAY – Apapa,Lagos,Nigeria
“We appeal to the Navy to allow the status quo to remain to enhance safety and marine activities to thrive,” she said. According to her, the immediate

Panama freighter in danger of sinking in Vietnam coastal
VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi,Vietnam
The hope to rescue the ship has gone. A Vietnamese tanker is taking oil off the sinking ship. The Panama-flag New Oriental was carrying 11500 tons of iron

UK. Commercial fisherman prosecuted following collision
BYM News (press release) – Gibraltar,Spain
At a hearing today in Truro Magistrates Court, the owner/skipper of a small fishing vessel was successfully prosecuted following a collision off Falmouth on

(Update) Start of retrieval of bodies inside ‘Princess’ moved to
GMA news.tv – Quezon City,Metro Manila,Philippines
Still, he said Sulpicio Lines Inc., owner of the capsized ship, will send a vessel to the area. He also said retrieved remains will be brought to Cebu for

EU sues Britain over maritime safety
The European Commission decided Thursday to take Britain to court for failure to respect European Union (EU) legislation on ship-source pollution and on penalties for those responsible for polluting discharges.

IMO charts passage through choppy waters
AsiaOne – Singapore
The grim outlook was provided yesterday by the head of a global maritime body who was visiting Singapore. ‘We must acknowledge that since 2004,

EU states slow to ratify maritime laws
Lloyd’s List – London,UK
The same holds true for the EU’s own maritime safety laws. The European commission is constantly having to cajole and threaten member states with court .

Japan looks at sending anti-piracy ships to Somalia
Mareeg – London,England,UK
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso expressed a positive view Friday on the possibility of sending Maritime Self-Defence Force vessels to guard commercial

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Princess Of The Stars – fixing the blame, but not the problem

 accident reporting, capsize, IMO, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Princess Of The Stars – fixing the blame, but not the problem
Aug 302008
 

While the report of Board Of Marine Inquiry, BMI, in the Philippines on the capsize of the Princess Of The Stars in a typhoon with the loss of more than 700 lives, has met its primary objective, establishing liability for the incident and recommending measures to be taken against those deemed at fault, how those recommendations will enhance safety remains open to question.

The report’s key recommendations are that the master’s licence should be revoked, since he is found liable for sailing in potentially unsafe conditions and that the Certificate of Public Convenience of the ship owner, Sulpicio Lines, should be withdrawn, theoretically.

Revoking Captain Florencio Marimon’s license is unlikely to contribute to safety, being almost certainly dead, along with the rest of the bridge team, he is not likely to need it. Sulpicio Lines accounts for around 40 per cent of interisland traffic, much of which is given to monopolies, and withdrawing its certificate of public convenience will do little more than open up a free-for-all by other ferries companies to take over Sulpicio’s routes. Some of those ferry companies have a worse safety record than Sulpicio.

The report makes no firm recommendations regarding safety issues. It makes no recommendation regarding the lashing of cargo. Movement of inadequately lashed cargo almost certainly made a major contribution to the listing and subsequent capsize of the vessel. No evidence is presented regarding the adequacy or inadequacy of the lashing arrangements.

Inadequate lashing of cargo is common element in maritime incidents in the Philippines.

The report does not consider in any depth changes made to the wagon deck, deck C, of the ferry. As originally designed, for vehicles, Deck C had no0 windows. A refurbishment adapted the deck for passengers, with non-watertight windows, and inadequate escape routes.

No firm recommendations are made regarding the watertight integrity of passenger spaces or emergency access.

The report does not consider the introduction of voyage data recorders, instruments that might allow monitoring of a vessel’s safety.

The report does not address the training of the crew in evacuation procedures or their familiarity with lifesaving appliances.

The report does not address the lack of GMDSS in the Philippines, the shortfall in emergency response or the lack of appropriate equipment or training to deal with a sadly common occurrence.

The report does not address the lack of appropriate procedures for the investigation of maritime casualties.

It does not address the ineffectiveness of regulation or enforcement.

It must be emphasised that the purpose of the BMI is merely to establish liability, so much that is not covered by the report is, in fact, not within its remit.

Most of all, it doesn’t address the issue of “where do we go from here?

The Philippines is not the only country without an adequate, safety-oriented maritime casualty investigation regime, nor the only one to cling to a concept rooted in a long-gone colonial past, and certainly not the only one to avoid its obligations to the International Maritime Organisation.

More than anything else it represents a model of the challenges faced in establishing competent, professionalised maritime accident investigation in much of the rest of the world.

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Princess Of The Stars – Dead Masters Can Speak Through VDRs

 accident reporting, capsize, Ferry, Filipino  Comments Off on Princess Of The Stars – Dead Masters Can Speak Through VDRs
Aug 092008
 

Not unexpectedly, the master of the Sulpicio Lines ferry Princess Of The Stars will be deemed liable by a Board Of Marine Inquiry for its capsize and sinking with the loss of 800 lives. All other factors such as inadequate lashing of the cargo, modifications which punched holes through what was once a wagon deck so that it could be used for passengers and which may have allowed her to take on water and lose her main engine power as she listed, the possible lack of guidance to the master in the company’s safety management system are merely contributory and those responsible for those actions/inactions are faultless because the master, in theory, has ultimate responsibility.

The finding has the significant advantage of blaming a man who can no longer speak for himself, short of a spiritualist – the master is among those who lost their lives, along with the rest of the officers on the bridge at the time. His fault was to depart at a time when a typhoon was entering the Philippines, the assumption being, apparently, that ships of the size of the Princess Of The Stars, around 24,000 tonnes, simply naturally capsize and sink in a storm.

The view of every master MAC has spoken to is that the Princess Of The Stars should have been able to survive the storm, if with some discomfort to its passengers. The forensic evidence to establish the mechanism by which she sank remains underwater and apparently unwanted.

Yet there is a way in which the master could have spoken to us post mortem – a voyage data recorder, VDR. A device similar in concept to the ‘black box’, actually bright orange, carried by every commercial passenger aircraft in the Philippines. Earlier this year, following the sinking of the ferry Queen Of The North, which was not so equipped, the Canadian maritime authorities mandated that every ferry must be equipped with VDR.

So should the Philippines.

The VDR would have revealed what was actually said during radio traffic, discussions between the bridge team and what was showing on the instruments available to the bridge team, and whether those instruments were actually working.

It would tell us much that we need to know in order to learn the lessons needed to avoid similar incidents in the future, which is the aim of maritime investigation.

Through that device we would understand better the nature of the decisions made by the master. He could have spoken to us through it. It would have empowered the BMI, MARINA – the Philippine Maritime authority – and the Philippine Coastguard to do their jobs of making Philippine seas safer.

Despite hours of debate, however, VDR, possibly the greatest contribution to objective maritime accident investigation in the Philippines has yet to be mentioned.

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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.

Relevant podcasts

The Case Of the Cozy Captain

The Case Of the Seductive Sim

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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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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