The Cosco Busan Hearings can be watched live here. heaRing start at 8.30 local time (NY).
Cosco Busan pilot John Cota has invoked his right under the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution, which protects accused persons from self-incrimination, not to appear at the US National Transportation Safety Board hearings which start on 8th April. Through lawyers, he claims that VTS personnel were betting on whether the 65,131 tonnes container ship would hit the San Francisco -Oakland Bay Bridge on November 7, 2007.
Sideswiping the bridge’s fenders, a gash was opened in the ship’s side that resulted in a 55,000 gallon spill of fuel oil.
The two-day public NTSB hearings will follow a 7th April conference to fix the final agenda. NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker, who will chair the hearing says, “This accident presents the Board with many questions, such as: Was the Cosco Busan’s bridge navigation equipment working properly? Was there adequate oversight of the San Francisco bar pilot? Did the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service exert the appropriate level of control over the Cosco Busan?”
A further issue may be the possible effect of medication being taken by Cota for sleep apnea.
Cota’s lawyers claim that the Coast Guard VTS service could have avoided the accident but did not clearly communicate their concern to Cota and that VTS personnel discussed and took bets on whether the Cosco Busan would hit the bridge, based on “waterfront rumours”. The letter also says that the Coast Guard did not warn mariners about the fog and that Cota “… prevented a worse catastrophe by his clear and cool thinking.”
Cota faces prosecution for two misdemeanors under the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. If found guilty, Cota could face a one year prison sentence or fines totalling $115,000. Some six members of the Cosco Busan crew, who have not been charged are in detention as ‘material witnesses’ pending Cota’s trial.
The Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun has charged Cota with misconduct and the US Coast Guard has demanded his Merchant Marine Officer’s license because it “believes he is not physically competent to maintain the license.”
Regardless of the results of Cota’s trial or the NTSB hearing, the incident will throw the spotlight on the relationship between Pilot and Master, recently the subject of a Maritime Executive editorial, As pointed out in the responses to that item, the pilkot, at least under US law, is more than merely an adviser, a master is required to obey the pilot, and the bridge crew are required to obey the pilot as if he was the master, unless there is clear indication of the pilot’s incapacity or incompetence.
By which it’s usually too late.
WNBC – New York,NY,USA
The Coast Guard Sector New York Vessel Traffic Service received notification from both vessels after the collision. A 33-foot Coast Guard Station New York
Fort Mills Times –
The grounding is under investigation. The Coast Guard said no pollution has been reported and river traffic remains unaffected.
Athens News Agency – Athens,Greece
The accident, where the tourist vessel ran aground on Platia, an islet north of the island of Poros in the Saronic Gulf, occurred on Thursday in excellent
Tampabay.com – St. Petersburg,FL,USA
… by some other vessel. The sea grass beds serve as a vital nursery and feeding ground for a variety of species, including manatees, lobster and redfish.
Toronto Star –
The RCMP has been investigating whether a crime was committed in the sinking of the vessel two years ago that killed passengers Shirley Rosette and Gerald
Three dead, one missing in SW China boat crash
Xinhua – China
… a local maritime source said on Tuesday. The accident happened on the Wu River in Changshou District at 8 pm when a passenger ship from the suburban
Another Oil Tanker Accident in Korean Waters
Chosun Ilbo –
Another oil tanker collided with a ship off the coast of , South Jeolla Province on Tuesday night. The collision between the 4050-ton oil tanker
Maritime agency grounds tanker that hit Cebu bridge
Inquirer.net – Philippines
By the time the Coast Guard and Maritime policemen arrived at the accident site, the vessel was already gone, Martin said. Martin said the crew of the
BC Ferries Responds to TSB Report on Queen of the North
Opinion250 News –
… change at Sainty Point, and that the vessel proceeded on an incorrect course for four nautical miles over 14 minutes until its grounding on Gil Island.
Bloomberg – USA
By Takashi Hirokawa Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — Two people are missing after a Japanese Navy destroyer collided with and sank a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean …
9:30 AM: Weekend collision at sea causes diesel spill
Beaumont Enterprise – Beaumont,TX,USA
The Grady Fagan, an offshore supply vessel, struck a rig, the Ocean Star, early Saturday morning roughly 140 miles southeast of Galveston, according to the
Freighter runs aground off Iniö in Finland
Newsroom Finland – Helsinki,Finland
… the ship, although damaged in the bow, carried on toward Naantali under its own steam. The captain, who was at the helm at the time of the grounding,
Disabled Russian navy vessel in Aegean Sea being towed
Xinhua – China
The ministry added all crew-members are safe and that there is no danger of the vessel sinking. The vessel reportedly faltered in rough seas due to engine
Old ferry sinks in Melbourne harbour
Sydney Morning Herald – Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
No-one was on board the ferry when it sank, but there were plenty of bystanders to witness the sinking. The 33-metre ferry is now eight metres below the
The barge that ran aground last Wednesday in the mouth of the Nanticoke River was refloated Thursday evening after a successful lightering operation. The double-hulled barge carrying 420,000 gallons of black oil was able to continue its voyage up the Nanticoke River after about a 1/3 of its cargo was lightered off the vessel reducing its weight.
Ship noise may hamper whale communication
Ventura County Star – Camarillo,CA,USA
McKenna says a joke among scientists is that you can measure America’s gross domestic product by sinking an underwater microphone in the ocean.
At 17.50 this evening Clyde Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) received a call from Estuary Control reporting that a cargo vessel the Minerva 2 had lost engine power in the River Clyde.
Monterey Bay science vessel runs into rocks in Mexico
Monterey County Herald – Monterey,CA,USA
Damage to the ship is still being evaluated, but McNutt said the accident caused the loss of “probably a half year of science.” “It’s too bad — all the work
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that a tank barge grounded while transiting the Nanticoke River in Maryland. There were no injuries and no pollution has been reported from the double-hull tank barge. A salvage plan is being developed. The incident is under investigation.
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that a freight ship broke from its moorings at a wharf just downriver from New Orleans. Before being brought under control, the ship allided with several other vessels and barges. The incident is under investigation.
Military Sealift Command large, medium-speed, RoRo ship USNS Seay conducted an at-sea rescue operation February 9 in the Straits of Gibraltar. At 12:50 a.m. the 950-ft. military cargo ship was notified by the Tarifa Rescue Coordination Center in Tarifa, Spain, that a small craft in their vicinity had issued a distress signal and needed assistance..
Bad weather delays trawler probe
BBC News – UK
A contract to remove the Spinningdale is in the process of being signed, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said. Fish, bait, fuel and oil on the boat
Tornado damages Bahamas box hub A severe thunderstorm spawned a tornado that severely damaged the container terminal at the Freeport Container Port, Bahamas.
INTERMANAGER ADDS VOICE TO HEBEI SPIRIT ROW
Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
PROMPTED by the prosecution of the Hebei Spirit’s master and mate, shipmanagers’ trade association InterManager,has thrown its weight behind the call for
NS MP: Allow access to seafarers
ChronicleHerald.ca – Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada
By TOM PETERS Business Reporter A Nova Scotia MP wants Ottawa to ensure unfettered access by a seafarer’s advocate to vessels flying flags of convenience to
PIRACY DECLINES AFTER INDIA RATIFIED REGIONAL AGREEMENT
Press Information Bureau (press release) – New Delhi,India
It enables the maritime forces to seize ships or aircraft involved in piracy and armed robbery besides information sharing, capacity building and
Titas pipeline on blaze after hit by trawler
The Daily Star – Dhaka,Bangladesh
“Soon after the propeller of the vessel hit the pipeline with a bang, a huge swirl was created in the river and we thought our boat was sinking,” said
Crippled ship is rescued
Melbourne Herald Sun – Australia
“She was en-route from New Zealand to India to be scrapped when she broke down and Maritime Safety Authorities asked us to take her in tow,” Capt .
OJ Freighter Hits Ship in NJ
The Associated Press –
The vessel was later stabilized and in no danger of sinking, though the extent of the damage was not immediately clear. The Orange Sun was on its way to a
Coast Guard assists sinking tugboat’s crew
Peninsula Daily – Port Angeles,WA,USA
The crew put on survival suits and got into the water as the vessel was sinking. A fishing vessel, the Kilchis, picked up the crew, and took them to a
3 men rescued from sinking fishing boat
KING5.com – Seattle,WA,USA
AP SEATTLE – The Coast Guard says it has rescued three men from a fishing vessel that was taking on water after hitting a jetty at the exit to Grays Harbor
Dragger sinks near Trenton
Ellsworth American – Ellsworth,ME,USA
The Department of Marine Resources Marine Patrol and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) responded to the sinking. The vessel reportedly was attached to .
Trial opens over SKorea’s worst oil spill
The accident happened after a line connecting one of two tugboats to the barge snapped, leaving the barge drifting uncontrollably towards the Hebei Spirit .
Hong Kong Tanker Owners Protest South Korean Indictment of Crew in …
Voice of America – USA
Last December, the Hebei Spirit, a Hong Kong-registered tanker, was at anchor off the west coast of South Korea. A drifting South Korean crane barge,
KIRIBATI MAN DETAINED IN CHINA
Niu FM – Auckland,New Zealand
Auckland 8am: A maritime recruitment agancy says very little is known about a Kiribati seafarer being detained in China for drug smuggling – so the
Lawyers Plan to Meet Today Over Cosco Busan Oil Spill
KCBS – CA,USA
Friday, lawyers are supposed to discuss whether the process is on course for an April 28 hearing into the Cosco Busan’s collision with the Bay Bridge,
Unions discuss FOC shipping with Irish ministers
Shipping Times – UK
They explained how crucial this was in light of the number of seafarers who disappear without a trace – some 1500 annually. Requests for assistance were
53 ships docked without safety norms, SC told
Times of India – India
Since the September order, the nodal Gujarat Maritime Board has not given permission for ship-breaking because no shipbreaker has provided the requisite
UK – update re sinking of ICE PRINCE The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the estimated clearance over the wreck of the ICE PRINCE is 46.8 meters, but that an Irish Lights vessel will examine and confirm the clearance. In the meantime, a temporary exclusion zone of 1000 meters is in effect. Bundles of the floating timber are breaking up, but may still present a hazard, particularly for smaller vessels. An incident report provides further details. (1/17/08).
Bourbon Dolphin findings delayed
BBC News – UK
The publication of an official report into the sinking of the Bourbon Dolphin off Shetland has been delayed. The vessel capsized during an anchor handling
Man attempts suicide in protest at SKorea oil spill payout
A barge drifting in stormy weather smashed into the 147000-ton Hong Kong-registered tanker Hebei Spirit on December 7, causing the tanker to spill some
Harbor pilot pulled from chilly gulf
The News Herald – Panama City,FL,USA
Knowles guided a 300-foot cargo ship bound for Mexico through the St. Andrew Pass and out to sea Wednesday afternoon. The captain used a ladder to climb out
Ship Hits Bay Area Bridge…Again
KCBS – CA,USA
(KCBS) — For the third time in three months a ship has collided with a Bay Area bridge. The US Coast Guard says that around 2:30 Wednesday morning,
Grounded Fishing Vessel’s Damage Assessed Transit Plan Developed
SitNews – Ketchikan,AK,USA
… boom continued to surround the vessel as a precaution and there have been no reports of petroleum leakage after the vessel’s initial grounding.
FG explains oil vessel explosion in PH
The Tide – Port Harcourt,Niger Delta,Nigeria
… Harcourt on Friday was caused by an accident. Our correspondent reports that a ship carrying 5000 tonnes of petrol exploded at the Port Harcourt Wharf.
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the initial report on the COSCO BUSAN incident has been prepared and forwarded to Headquarters for review. The report, prepared by the Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) team, focuses on the first two weeks of the response to the November 7, 2007 allision of the freighter with a pier of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the ensuing oil spill. Public release of the report is expected in approximately two weeks. (1/16/08).
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the container ship that grounded in the Savannah River has been refloated with the assistance of two towing vessels. The ship has been moved to an anchorage area until the problem causing the grounding has been identified and repaired. The incident is under investigation. (1/16/08).
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the salvage plan has been approved for the laker that partially sank after striking a submerged object while approaching its pier in Duluth. Deballasting is expected to take several days. Then repairs can be effected. (1/16/08).
Dock owner stands firm over pilot’s sacking
Liverpool Echo – UK
The member of trade union Unite was dismissed after an incident involving the grounding of a pilot vessel. No-one was hurt but he lost his job after
Rescuers were searching for 10 Filipino crewmen missing after a Taiwanese-owned cargo ship sank off the northern Philippines on Wednesday, coast guard officials said.
The Panama-registered MV Ho Feng sank off the northern Batanes island group with 20 crew on board, said coast guard spokesman Lt. Armand Balilo. He said it was unclear what caused it to sink.
“Six of the crewmen have been rescued by passing ships, four are still being rescued while 10 remain missing,” he said.
Ship carrying Chinese crew sank off Taiwan
The ship set out from with a crew from . It sank 20 nautical miles off early Monday. The coast guard said that winds west of
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that the master of the tug that was towing a crane barge when it struck a bridge near Beaufort, South Carolina on April 26, 2007 has been charged in the agency’s administrative process with negligence and misconduct. As part of a settlement agreement, the mariner has agreed to a six-month suspension of his license and will attend a bridge resource management class (how ironic). A civil penalty process has been initiated regarding actions of the company operating the tug. (1/14/08).
Total gets guilty verdict in France’s worst oil spill
PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) – Wien,Austria
A year after the sinking, the European Union agreed on tighter controls on maritime safety, notably the phasing out of single hull tankers like Erika.
COLLISION FEARS AT WRECK SITE
South Devon Herald Express – Torquay,England,UK
Pollution and collision fears now surround the sunken timber vessel Ice Prince, whose crew are still recovering in Brixham after being rescued by the Torbay
MEND takes responsibility for latest Nigeria oil town attack
Etomi had appeared on a local television channel saying that a fire Friday on a tanker ship berthed in was caused by a “marine accident“
After US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation that would pass authority from the ship’s master to VTS operators in US waters, MAC left a message at her website asking whether the legislation provided a waiver against responsibility for any damages that might result should following VTS orders result in a pollution incident.
The following is her reply, and my response:
Dear Mr. Couttie:
Thank you for writing to me in support of the State of California ‘s petition for a waiver to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your dismay that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied California ‘s petition.
As you may know, in 2002 California passed landmark legislation to set aggressive greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles, and in 2005 the State wrote rules to implement that law by setting standards to greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent by 2016. As provided for under Clean Air Act section 209(b), California asked EPA for a waiver approving the standards.
EPA has unconscionably denied California ‘s waiver application, despite a clear ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act and that EPA already has all the authority it needs to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles now.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson based his denial on the premise that in passing an Energy Bill containing increased fuel economy standards, Congress had somehow preempted any state’s efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions. Hiding behind this legislation as an excuse flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s findings and the Energy Bill itself.
Again, thank you for writing to me – and for supporting California ‘s efforts to lead the way in the fight against global warming. Be assured that I will do anything in my power to overturn this decision and protect our state’s right to control greenhouse gas emissions.
United States Senator
Please visit my website at http://boxer.senate.gov
My query was regarding the liability of VTS Operators vs ships masters should your bill become law.
I wrote nothing in support, or otherwise of your petition for a waiver regarding vehicular pollution in California.
Thanks you for your response which adequately demonstrates your knowledge of maritime pilotage issues.
Maritime Accident Casebook