Jul 302014

westerntuggerTug tows generate such immense forces that when something goes wrong it goes very wrong and often tragically.In the case of Western Tugger a deckhand suffered fatal injuries while trying to release a tow wire attached to a capsized barge in a report from TSB Canada.

This was the third time that Western Tugger had towed the barge Arctic Lift I. This time the welded steel barge was loaded with rebar and bundled wood and the voyage went without problems for the next six days.

On 10 May at 0400, the mate on watch verified visually that the barge was towing normally.Footnote 10 Shortly after that, heavy fog rolled in, and the mate was unable to see the barge again during the watch. The master arrived on the bridge at about 0545, but was unable to see the barge. The mate left the bridge shortly after the master took over the watch. Continue reading »

Grounding: BBC Steinhoeft – Pilot Error Was On The Cards

 Accident report, grounding, maritime safety news, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on Grounding: BBC Steinhoeft – Pilot Error Was On The Cards
Jul 192012

view taken from the steering stand position on the bridge. When viewing in line with the forward mast from this point, the left-hand arrow indicates the reference point ashore being viewed, whereas the right-hand arrow indicates the reference point ashore as it would be viewed if one stood on the centreline and took a line of sight with the forward mast.

Pilots cannot know everything about your vessel – lack of critical information on the pilot card, or provided in the master/pilot exchange can put the ship and its crew at risk, as Canada’s Transport Safety Board points out in its report on the grounding of the multipurpose cargo ship BBC Steinhoeft in the South Shore Canal of the St. Lawrence Seaway in March 2011.

Says the TSB report: ”

While Pilot No. 1 was aware of the possibility of a parallax error in navigation due to the offset position of the steering stand, he estimated that error to be about 0.5° and therefore did not compensate for this when giving his navigation orders to the helmsman. The investigation determined that this error was in fact 1.6°.

In navigational areas where tolerances are small, such as in this occurrence, accuracy is of the utmost importance. However, the determination of the parallax error induced by an offset bridge layout is not something that can be accomplished accurately without specific information. In this occurrence, Pilot No. 1 was not provided with such information, and therefore underestimated the extent of the parallax error.”

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Explorathor Sinking, High Speed On The Rocks

 Accident, Accident report, Canada, contact/allison, Sinking  Comments Off on Explorathor Sinking, High Speed On The Rocks
Aug 302010

Explorathor sinks

About an hour after hitting one or more of three rocks at 28 knots the master of the whale-watching passenger vessel Explorathor realised his vessel was sinking. Canada’s Transport Safety Board has issued a report with a number of lessons worth wider coverage.

Of note: “When navigating in close proximity to shore and/or navigation hazards, best practices dictate that bridge personnel, while taking into consideration the prevailing circumstances and conditions, should demonstrate increased vigilance and heightened awareness. This includes:

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Canada – New Safety Regs, More Realistic Drills

 maritime safety  Comments Off on Canada – New Safety Regs, More Realistic Drills
May 192010

Canada’s government has announced new regulations that will enhance safety and better ensure that passengers and crew of vessels, including passenger ferries, understand what to do during emergencies.

“Our government has taken decisive action to help improve the safety of passengers and crew on board vessels at all times,” said Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird. “These new regulations set the highest standards Canada has ever had for safety on vessels.”
The Fire and Boat Drills Regulations enhance safety through regulations requiring that an accurate count of persons on board a vessel be available for search and rescue workers. They also require passengers and crew to know when to abandon a vessel, and how to react safely and efficiently to an onboard emergency.

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