Maritime Safety News Today – 19th January 2008

January 19, 2008

Total Responds to Erika Verdict

Total Responds to Erika Verdict

The French oil giant is “disappointed” that the Paris Criminal Court imposed a fine for the maritime pollution that occurred as result of the 1999 sinking of the tanker Erika.

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
AFP –
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.

Freighter to Replace Damaged Ship
Posted 01/18/08 at 10:26 AM
Commodore Goodwill sustained damage to its hull during high winds on December 10 and it is not known when it will be back in service. The ship usually delivers some food and goods to Guernsey. Condor Ferries has chartered the Triumph. The replacement ship will begin daily sailings to Guernsey from 1 February. Source: BBC

San Francisco Bay – initial report on Cosco Busan incident prepared

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).

Savannah River – grounded vessel refloated

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).

Duluth – salvage plan approved for partially sunken laker

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).

Cyprus and Syria Sign Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Pollution


The agreement entails “. . . combating marine pollution, training and rehabilitation, research and the possibility of holding twining among the Syrian and Cypriot ports.”

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


Maritime Safety News Today – 13th January 2008

January 13, 2008
Two dead in Baltic Sea lifeboat accident
Sydney Morning Herald – Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
Two people died and one was seriously injured in a lifeboat accident onboard a container freight ship in the Baltic Sea, officials said. 
Oil Tanker on Fire at Nigerian Port
Posted 01/11/08 at 10:31 AM

Reuters reported that an oil tanker burst into flames at Nigeria’s Port Harcourt on Friday after two loud explosions were heard, oil industry sources said. The tanker was berthed in a general cargo area, not at an oil exporting terminal, and crude exports from the world’s eighth largest oil exporter were not affected, the sources said..

Ferry Collision in Fog Near Macau Injures 140 People (Update1)
Bloomberg – USA
Low visibility may have caused the collision, Shun Tak- China Travel Ship Management Ltd., the operator of the two jetfoils, said in an e-mailed statement

Mozambique: Search for Shipwreck Bodies Called Off
AllAfrica.com – Washington,USA
The maritime authorities in the central Mozambican province of Sofala have called off the search for further survivors or bodies following the sinking of a 

Coal ships stranded as fog causes power crisis
Shanghai Daily – Shanghai,China
The Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration yesterday opened emergency water channels to allow coal-supply vessels to make deliveries. 

Chief Engineer Sentenced

WASHINGTON—Mark Humphries, the former chief engineer of the M/V Tanabata, an American-flagged car-carrier ship based in Baltimore, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to six months in prison for conspiracy to make illegal discharges of oily waste and lying to the Coast Guard, announced Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

CHEMICAL TANKER TOWED TO SAFETY
Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
Units on scene reported that it was a close run thing that the vessel did not ground given the prevailing swell conditions and wind conditions which 

Drama in the Bay
Dorset Echo – England,UK
By Laura Kitching A TANKER at risk of grounding in Weymouth Bay is today secure at Portland Port. The 77000-tonne Mariella had drifted to within 200 metres 

Ship that hit bottom slightly damaged
The Grand Rapids Press – MLive.com – Grand Rapids,MI,USA
The Coast Guard was notified of the incident in Muskegon, as required after any reportable grounding, and a hull inspection showed minor damage to the 

Strong current, human error probable causes of barge hitting bridge
San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA
However, maritime sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said a likely cause was that the barge got away from the tug Pacific Wolf because of strong 

RNLI’s broadside after alert over ferry passenger
Basingstoke Gazette – Basingstoke,England,UK
A LIFEBOAT charity has called on Red Funnel to review the way it counts passengers on and off its vessels. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution said the 

Scientists Unveil Cause of Estonia Ferry Disaster
Spiegel Online – Berlin,Germany
By Ulrich Jaeger Scientists in Hamburg have simulated the sinking of the Estonia, the 1994 Baltic Sea ferry disaster that killed 852 people. 


Maritime Safety News Today – January 10th 2007

January 10, 2008

Body recovered after boat capsizes near Gabriola Island
Vancouver Sun – British Columbia, Canada
A body was recovered this morning after a herring vessel capsized near Nanaimo late Monday night. Five fishermen made it to shore on Gabriola Island, .

Runaway trawler caught by Norwegian coast guard
Barents Observer – Archangel,Russia
The ship was then drifting without engine power. In addition, one of the crew members was serious injured after a burning accident, NRK reports.

Fire Tragedy
Korea Times – South Korea
The collision might have been avoided if the two vessels and the local maritime office took appropriate steps in advance. Negligence of safety measures is 

High on the fog – and more to come
Shanghai Daily – Shanghai,China
The Wusong Maritime Safety Administration issued a go-slow go-ahead for vessels yesterday afternoon as water visibility improved. 

USCG – crew of disabled cargo vessel rescued

The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that it rescued the seven crew members of a cargo vessel that experienced engine failure and was taking on water off the coast of the Dominican Republic.  The cargo vessel is being towed into port by a commercial tug. (1/7/08).

Jetboat investigation to continue all week
Radio New Zealand – Wellington,New Zealand
A Maritime New Zealand expert has finished examining the scene of a jetboat accident on the Waiau River. However, the organisation expects investigations
See all stories on this topic

Crane falls off SF pier into bay
San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA
Neff said officials from National Response Corp., a private company contracted by the government to help clean maritime spills, will be on scene later today

Sea Hauler Victims Press On With Demands
The Bahama Journal – Nassau,Bahamas
He was referring to the Wreck Commission that examined the circumstances surrounding the accident. Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) and Port Department were 

US Coast Guard Slaps Fine on Barge Owner
Posted 01/08/08 at 12:10 PM

According to pacificnewscenter.com, The United States Coast Guard filed three notice of violations (NOV) and imposed penalties amounting to $8,000 against the owner of a barge that ran aground in Agana last month.. South Korea to ban single-hull tankers by 2011
Oil & Gas Journal – Houston,TX,USA
The Hebei Spirit was fitted with one hull, according to Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay, which assigns ship-registration numbers. An international ban on such

Hong Kong steps up war on pirates with extradition law
By Keith Wallis
SECURITY officials in Hong Kong are planning to introduce legal changes that would allow maritime piracy and robbery suspects to be extradited to or from other Asian countries, including Japan and Laos, that do not have extradition 


Maritime Safety News Today – 17 December 2007

December 17, 2007

19 missing after ship collides with China fishing boat: report
ABC Online – Australia
The accident occurred late Saturday off the coast of China’s Zhejiang province, Xinhua news agency said, citing the local Maritime Affairs Bureau.

Caustic soda ship sinking on Yangtze
ABC Online – Australia
Rescue work was being hampered by heavy fog, with little visibility as other vessels tried to reach the sinking ship, according to Xinhua.

Oil spill investigation shows that tugboat crew may have been out
ÇÑ°Ü·¹½Å¹® – South Korea
Officials of the Taean maritime police and Daesan Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Office confirmed on December 14 that no action was taken for more than an

Officer Says He Steered Ship Wrong
The Associated Press –
After the accident, the ship returned to Port Canaveral. At the time of the incident, seas were calm and there was no indication a rogue wave or foul play.

Fishermen arrested over cayuco sinking
Fortnightly Tenerife News – Tenerife,Spain
The vessel is said to have accidentally run down the open boat at dead of night. According to the Mauritanian authorities, the captain and crew,

Mazaruni River
Stabroek News – Georgetown,Guyana
Police said that as a result of the collision which occurred around 8:40 pm, the wooden vessel capsized and some of the men aboard sustained injuries

Cosco Busan Cleared to Leave SF Bay
KRON 4’s Terisa Estacio and Charles Clifford report.

Offloading regulatory responsibilities
By Dieselduck(Dieselduck)
BRISBANE 14 December – A board of Inquiry report into the Wunma incident, in which an Australian ore carrier was abandoned in Cyclone Nelson, has slammed Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) for its excessively “hands off” approach


US Coast Guard : Cosco Busan Pilot “Incompetent”

December 11, 2007

John J. Cota, who was the pilot aboard the Cosco Busan when it contacted the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been asked to surrender his Merchant Marine Officer’s license to the US Coast Guard.

An announcement from the Coast Guard says:

C”oast Guard Sector San Francisco has requested Capt. John J. Cota to voluntarily deposit his Federal Merchant Marine Officer’s license with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard believes he is not physically competent to maintain the license.

Capt. Cota was the ship’s pilot, operating under the authority of a State of California pilot’s license, at the time of the incident.

Voluntary deposit is an administrative procedure used in cases where there is evidence of mental or physical incompetence. The mariner deposits his license with the Coast Guard on condition that the Coast Guard will not return it until the Coast Guard receives satisfactory evidence that the mariner is considered fit for full duty without qualification, and the mariner initiates action to regain his credentials. This gives the Coast Guard an assurance that the mariner is not working as a vessel pilot or officer.

If Capt. Cota refuses to voluntarily deposit his Federal Merchant Marine Officer’s license, the Coast Guard has the option to charge Capt. Cota with incompetence and request a hearing before an administrative law judge to seek suspension or revocation of his license.”

Captain Cota is currently facing charges of misconduct from the  the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun.


New Podcast – The Case Of The Confused Pilot

November 28, 2007

Pilotage and bridge team management have come to the fore this month with the allison between the Cosco Busan and the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge so the latest MAC episode, The Case Of The Confused Pilot is a timely reminder of the issues at stake.

Check out the podcast.home page at http://www.maritimeaccident.org for the audio podcast, the illustrated transcript is under construction and will be available by the weekend.


Cosco Busan – Questions,Questions,Questions

November 15, 2007

Once the US National Transportation Safety Board has produced the transcripts of the voyage data recorder from the Cosco Busan (Formerly the Hanjin Cairo, the Hanjin name remains on the ship side) we’ll have a better idea of who said what to whom and when. Currently only the pilot’s version of events is available and it is raising a number of questions.

A malfunctioning radar appears to have been an element, though not the cause, of the incident and so far there has been no indication regarding the second radar on the ship’s bridge. Given that there was poor visibility, was the speed of the vessel excessive? Should departure have been delayed until the fog cleared.

The pilot was not familiar with the ECDIS equipment onboard, which does not appear to have malfunctioned. When the pilot asked the Captain to point out the centre of the bridge span the captain allegedly pointed to the bridge support and the pilot navigated accordingly.

With an apparently malfunctioning radar and a lack of familiarity with the primary method of navigation,  did the pilot seek to confirm the vessels position with the VTS and/or the accompanying tug?

VTS informed the pilot that the ship was off course, which the Pilot disputed and shortly afterwards a lookout shouted a warning that there was a bridge support ahead and the vessel went hard right and allided with the Delta bridge support.

There also appears to have been a lack of detail in the master/pilot exchange when the latter took conduct of the vessel, as the pilot’s lawyer admits. Would the missing information have been enought to prevent the incident?

There may also have been communications problems between the American pilot and the bridge team who were Chinese. Of there were, to what extent did they reduce the pilot and the bridge team’s situational awareness?

It is not uncommon for pilots to ‘go it alone’ rather than work with a bridge team with whom communication is problematic. This increases the workload on the pilot and reduces his situational awareness. Had the pilot and the bridge team undergone bridge team/bridge rsource management training?

Incidents such as this rarely have a single cause, or a single responsible individual. They are usually the result of systemic problems with Bridge Team Management, leadership, culture and navigational practices.

It will be a while before we know the full story of the Cosco Busan, but we’ll hit that bridge when we get to it.