Maritime Safety News Today – 26th March 2008

March 26, 2008

US Coast Guard hunting for lost crew member
Edmonton Sun – Alberta, Canada
By AP ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard searched throughout the night for a crew member missing from a fishing vessel that sank off Alaska’s Aleutian

China sends 44 divers to find missing Ukrainian sailors
UNIAN News Agency – Kiev,Ukraine
Meanwhile, Anatoliy Prisyazhnyuk, the owner of the Ukrainian vessel, blamed the Chinese dry cargo ship for the collision. “The Chinese dry cargo ship should

US ambassador apologizes over Suez Canal incident (2nd Roundup)
Monsters and Critics.com – USA
‘We are really sorry over this outcome (of the accident). We will open an inquiry into it,’ Ricciardoni said. The crew of the Global Patriot had warned the

Capsized oil tanker to be salvaged tomorrow
Thanh Nien Daily – Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam
Nguyen Minh Tung, director of the salvaging Sao Mai Maritime Company, said a final detailed survey of the wreckage would be conducted Tuesday prior to

Swift Assists Vessel in Distress Off Liberian Coast
Posted 03/25/08 at 10:08 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Campbell, Africa Partnership Station Public AffairsWhile transiting off the coast of Monrovia, Liberia as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS), March 20 High Speed Vessel 2 Swift received a distress call, relayed from the Maritime Regional Coordination Center (RMCC) in Lisbon, of a Portuguese…

Grounded ship could contain illegal aliens
KUAM.com – Dededo,GU,USA
As well, officials are concerned about the potential pollution the vessel’s grounding could cause to the surrounding water.

TSB takes aim at voyage data recorders on ferries
OHS Canada – Toronto,ON,Canada
The TSB notes that the hull received “extensive damage” and the ship drifted for more than an hour before sinking. “Essentially, the system failed that

Ship owners warned over non reporting of accidents
The Herald Eastern Cape – Port Elizabeth,Eastern Cape,South Africa
The alert has been issued by Tony Edwards, of Shepstone &0x0026; Wylie‘s International Transport, following the SA Maritime Safety Authority‘s (Samsa‘s)

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Maritime Safety News Today – 16th March 2008

March 16, 2008
Tanker, Vessel Collide In NY Harbor
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

Dozen barges run aground on Ohio River in western Ky.
Fort Mills Times – Fort Mill,SC,USA
The grounding is under investigation. The Coast Guard said no pollution has been reported and river traffic remains unaffected.
Probe into maritime accident
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

Investigators say Suncruz casino boat may have damaged sea grass
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.
Damaged Vessel Repaired
Posted 03/14/08 at 09:57 AM
A P&O cruise liner damaged in stormy weather on its way from Southampton to the Caribbean has left port after being fully repaired, BBC reported.  Artemis, carrying 1,188 passengers, made an unscheduled call at Falmouth, Cornwall, for the work…
RCMP to take new look at BC ferry sinking
Toronto Star – Ontario, Canada
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 

TSB Launches Discreet Queen Of The North Report

March 13, 2008
Queen Of The North

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board blames poor watchkeeping practices which lead to a course change not being made for the loss of the  8,889 gross tonnes ferry Queen Of The North on March 22, 2006 at Gil Island, Wright Sound, British Columbia, but has declined to provide details of a personal 14 minute conversation between the ship’s fourth officer and the quartermaster on the bridge immediately before the accident.

Speculation about what was said or happened has been of particular interest because  the female quartermaster and the male fourth officer had been in a relationship which ended two weeks before the incident. This was the first watch they had been on together since the break-up.

Despite aggressive questioning from some Canadian journalists, TSB chairman Wendy Tadros declined to give details of the conversation except to say “we have no evidence that it was a fight.”

Behind the discretion is concern about the willingness of crews to  provide information relevant to future investigations. While maritime accident investigations do not depend wholly on crew statements and recollections, often the weakest of evidence, they are still an important element and the co-operation of crew in giving information could be compromised by revealing personal details that do not directly relate to making travel safer.

Said Tadros “We learned what was happening with the vessel… we learned what we needed to learn.”

TSB has recommended the introduction of Voyage Data Recorders, VDRs, the maritime equivalent of aviation’s “little black box”, onto Canadian vessels. These record instrument data as well as what is spoken on the bridge.

About half the investigation’s $900,000 cost went on an ROV dive to recover data from the ship at a depth of some 1,500 metres.  The vessel’s Transas ECS was recovered, together with the AIS, GPS and DSC radio. The ECS data was able to be extracted.

The Queen of the North grounded and sank after failure to make a course change which the fourth officer believed he had ordered. Several distractions may have contributed to the failure. As second course change was due 27 minutes later but he did not monitor whether the first change had been made as he was involved in a personal conversation with the quartermaster for the next 14 minutes.

When he did realise that the vessel was off course, his actions were too little, too late, to prevent striking the island. ECS alarms that might have given a warning were switched off.

There a further delay in responding to the situation because the quartermaster was not familiar with the bridge equipment and did not know how to switch off the autopilot and revert to manual steering.

There should, in fact, have been at least two qualified officers on the bridge but the second officer was on a scheduled meal break at the time of the incident.

“Accidents speak to a failure of the system,” said Tadros, “Essentially, the system failed that night. Sound watchkeeping practices were not followed and the bridge watch lacked a third certified person.”

In its conclusions , the TSB report notes: “The working environment on the bridge of the Queen of the North was less than formal, and the accepted principles of navigation safety were not consistently or rigorously applied. Unsafe navigation practices persisted which, in this occurrence, contributed to the loss of situational awareness by the bridge team.”

At 08:00 p.m. on March 21, 2006, the passenger and vehicle ferry Queen of the North departed Prince Rupert, British Columbia, for Port Hardy, British Columbia. On board were 59 passengers and 42 crew members. After entering Wright Sound from Grenville Channel, the vessel struck the northeast side of Gil Island at 12:21 a.m. on March 22.

The vessel sustained extensive damage to its hull, lost its propulsion, and drifted for 1 hour and 17 minutes before it sank in 430 m of water. Passengers and crew abandoned the vessel before it sank. Two passengers were unaccounted for after the abandonment and have since been declared dead.

The full report can be downloaded here.


Maritime Safety News Today – 5th March 2008

March 5, 2008

Felixstowe cranes collapse in high winds

Two ship-to-shore gantry cranes at Felixstowe’s Landguard Terminal ended up in a mangled heap on the quayside at the weekend after a ship delivering three new ship-to-shore cranes to the port broke loose from its moorings in high winds and crashed into them.

Bangladesh ferry toll reaches 45, police say
AFP –
DHAKA (AFP) — Rescuers in Bangladesh found six more bodies Sunday as the death toll from a ferry accident last week near Dhaka reached 45 with several still

Fishing crew airlifted to safety
Newstalk ZB – New Zealand
winds are hampering the efforts of an oil spill response team heading to the site of a grounding of a commercial fishing vessel in the Far North.

Japan warship collides with freighter in Vietnam
Reuters – USA
The reason for the collision in Vietnam, which scratched paint off the Cambodian ship and bent a flag pole on the Japanese vessel, was not yet clear,

Oil spilled by freighter forces closing of Boca Chica beach
Dominican Today – Santo Domingo,Dominican Republic
The Dominican Navy and Environmental Police agents retained the ship after the accident, said Environment minister Omar Ramirez, after meeting with the

Ship insurer pays $2M over San Francisco oil spill
Business Insurance – Chicago,IL,USA
By Judy Greenwald SAN FRANCISCO—The insurer of a ship that spilled fuel oil into San Francisco Bay following a November accident has made an initial payment

Desal workers strike over safety fears
ABC Online – Australia
Maritime Union of Australia secretary Warren Smith says basic safety standards are not being met on the site. “These are basic issues, such as no recovery

Salvage Team Assessing Boat Grounded on Reef
Scoop.co.nzNew Zealand
with the grounding has now improved significantly. An Auckland-based salvage team appointed by the Seawyf’s owner had headed out to the grounded vessel

Workboats Fiji to remove vessel
Fiji Times – Suva,Fiji
Crew discovered that the vessel listed on the starboard side, that the Ground Deck was full of water, the cargo hold half full of sand, there were further

Turkey hints at maritime fraud behind missing Rezzak
Daily News & Analysis – Mumbai,India
Surprisingly, other sophisticated gadgets like the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon had also

One dead in boat collision off Bamfield
BCLocalNews – Victoria,BC,Canada
A 30-year-old female passenger was thrown from the vessel entering the inlet. She was recovered from the water and both CPR and first aid were administered.

Storm sinks “pirates” ship in Bahamas
Sebastian Sun (subscription) – Sebastian,FL,USA
The 104-foot dive boat SV Juliet, which was departing Turks and Caicos at the time, heard the USCG call and diverted 45 miles to the sinking boat’s location

Companies swap accusations over SKorea’s worst oil spill
AFP –
They have said it was impossible for the ship to have weighed anchor in time to avoid a collision, which took place nine minutes after the towlines snapped.

Commandant demands USCG treat mariners with “professionalism and
Marine Log – New York,NY,USA
The Coast Guard has been making a major effort to get the maritime safety mission back on track since a House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Navigation

Times Colonist – Victoria,British Columbia,Canada
was a very substantial period of time between the sinking of the vessel and the RCMP to have access to any of the individuals on the ship,” she said.

Singapore – safety of towed ships and other floating objects The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners, operators, and masters to observe relevant portions of the IMO Guidelines on the Safety of Towed Ships and Other Floating Objects.  Shipping Circular No. 7 of 2008 (2/27/08).

TSB to release report on ferry sinking next week in Vancouver
The Canadian Press – VICTORIA
Two people were killed, while 101 others were rescued before the 37-year-old ship sank about an hour after the collision. Three crew members lost their jobs

 


Maritime Safety News Today – 30th January 2008

January 30, 2008
Language Barrier Caused Coast Guard To Underestimate SF Bay Oil Spill
AHN – USA
crew and inexperience in assessing the accident prompted them to initially estimate the oil spill from the m/v Cosco Busan at 140 gallons. 
Royal Navy finds sunken wreck of ms EXPLORER
Shipping Times – UK
The seabed in the search area was flat and featureless, but a contact was detected at a range of 4373m from the reported sinking position of the vessel.
Data on sunken ferry held back
Vancouver Sun – British Columbia, Canada
BC Ferries has lost an appeal against a BC Supreme Court ruling that prevents the company from publishing a further report on the sinking of the ferry Queen 
ISU Conference to Include Casualty Simulation
Posted 01/29/08 at 10:41 AM
The significance of Lloyd’s Form (LOF), will provide the focus for the International Salvage Union’s Associate Members’ Day conference in London on April 2. This theme was chosen as 2008 is LOF’s centenary year…

Maritime Safety News Today – 8 October 2007

October 8, 2007

Ship in distress off China coast
RussiaToday – Russia
Chinese emergency teams are rescuing a distressed vessel off the Chinese coast with 27 crew members on board, among them citizens of Russia, 

Who was/wasn’t on the bridge? Queen of the North plot thickens
Vancouver Sun – British Columbia, Canada
Bricker, though still in training, was regarded as competent to serve as quartermaster, official title for the crew member at the helm of the vessel.

CSI: South Portland Environmental enforcement officers use
Central Maine Morning Sentinel – Augusta,ME,USA
The number of maritime spills nationally has dropped over the years, according to Coast Guard statistics, from 8960 in 1994 to 3894 in 2004,

Cruise ship crime jurisdiction often murky
San Diego Union Tribune – United States
Investigating shipboard incidents – and prosecuting when appropriate – is hampered by special maritime laws. A cruise ship is essentially a floating foreign