Maritime Safety News Today – 11th March 2008

March 12, 2008

Three dead, one missing in SW China boat crash
Xinhua – China
The accident happened on the Wu River in Changshou District at 8 pm when a passenger ship from the suburban Fuling District crashed with the cargo ship 

Boat slams bridge
Sun.Star – Philippines
The head of the Mandaue City 701st Maritime Station, Chief Insp. Greg Togonon, said the accident was recorded in their blotter.

Late-winter storm in northwest of France beaches a Dutch cargo
Web in France Magazine – Miami,USA
The Dutch cargo liner was sailing empty, and so luckily the accident caused no pollution, according to the French maritime prefecture of the Atlantic.

USS John S. McCain Rescues ROK Fishing Vessel Crew Members
Posted 03/11/08 at 10:22 AM

Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) assisted in the rescue of 11 crew members of a Republic of Korea (ROK) fishing vessel off the Korean Peninsula, March

Crew kin send SOS to Sonia
Daily News & Analysis – Mumbai,India
The families of missing crew of MV Rezzak, on Monday, demanded a CBI inquiry into the ship’s disappearance. They have written a letter to Congress president 

Crewing becoming ever more serious issue says broker
Offshore Shipping Online – Ledbury,England,UK
“With the Bourbon Dolphin report due out at the beginning of April, there is no doubt that safety offshore will be receiving close scrutiny over the coming

Marine pilots, tugs to rescue when ship breaks free
Mackay Daily Mercury – Australia
Maritime Safety Queensland Pilotage Services, Mackay, has been commended for its handling of the emergency. Strong northerly winds snapped mooring lines on 

Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
THE European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is launching a new procurement procedure for stand-by oil spill recovery vessels in the Black Sea and North Sea 

Ship owners must pay – lawsuit
Legalbrief (subscription) – Durban,South Africa
was part of an early settlement reached in a lawsuit his office filed against Regal Stone Ltd. of Hong Kong, which owns the Cosco Busan container ship. 

Start of Napoli grounding inquiry
Dorset Echo – England,UK
AN INQUIRY into the grounding of the MSC Napoli off the world heritage coast was launched yesterday at Branscombe, near where the storm-damaged ship was

Global Warming to Affect Transport
The Associated Press
The resulting lower water levels would reduce vessel shipping capacity, seriously impairing freight movements in the region, such as occurred during the .


Maritime Safety News Today – 13th February 2008

February 14, 2008

25 feared dead in Uganda boat collision
Sixteen managed to swim away… but 25 are believed dead,” he said, adding the feared death toll would make the collision one of Uganda’s deadliest ever 

Storms Upset Miss. River Ships, Kill 1
The Associated Press –
The Coast Guard also said a ship was grounded on the riverbank. There were no indications of serious levee damage, and the ship was not sinking,

Ships collide on river
The Times-Picayune – – New Orleans,LA,USA
The accident happened near the shore but did not cause any damage to the levee. “One ship hit another and it did get close to the shoreline,” said Jerry 

Mystery surrounds Cammell Laird contamination
Liverpool Daily Post – Liverpool,UK
MYSTERY still surrounds why three workmen on board a ship moored in Birkenhead fell ill and needed to undergo unpleasant decontamination. 

LNG Ship Disabled off Cape Cod
Posted 02/12/08 at 09:47 AM

The Unified Command at Coast Guard Sector Boston is continuing to monitor and assist the Liquefied Natural Gas tanker Catalunya Spirit, which lost propulsion and became disabled and adrift east of Cape Cod Monday morning.

Navy Cargo Ship Assists at-Sea Rescue
Posted 02/13/08 at 12:10 PM

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.

ship adrift as wild weather hits
Sydney Morning Herald – Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
Thirty-seven passengers and crew were winched to safety from a sinking yacht in the Whitsundays. Two yachts have been wrecked, a train derailed, 

Sinking pleasure boat caused minor spill
Seattle Post Intelligencer – USA
why there was fuel in the boat’s bilges. A Seattle Fire Department vessel helped pump water from the sinking vessel. It was towed to the Elliott Bay Marina.

Sunken Ferramales oil leak is not “an environmental risk”
MercoPress – Montevideo,Uruguay
Penguin News confirmed that the Islands Marine Officer is conducting an investigation into the sinking of the vessel. Falklands’ Director of Fisheries John 

CG marks sinking that led to rescue swimmers – Springfield,VA,USA
service to create its rescue swimmer program — the sinking of a cargo ship off Virginia whose crew Coast Guard rescuers were powerless to help.

Sea unions seek war bonus after Nigeria attacks
Reuters South Africa – Johannesburg,South Africa
By Stefano Ambrogi LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Seafarers‘ unions are urging shipping firms to grant crews emergency rights such as war-risk bonuses for 

Greece wants sunken cruise ship owners to pay for cleanup
LHC has blamed the accident on a mistake in local nautical charts. Presenting its own hydrographic survey, the company said that the reef which the ship 

Norwegian seafarers not welcome on US land
Aftenposten – Oslo,Norway
Thanks to ever-strengthening anti-terror laws, Norwegian seafarers are finding themselves stranded on their ships while they are in US ports. 

Doors Damage Digits

February 13, 2008

When going through firedoors watch your fingers. Better still, make sure the door closure is properly adjusted in the first place, say the Marine Safety Forum.

Heavy Doors in Heavy Weather
A seafarer crushed one of his fingers in a fire door and had to be airlifted ashore for
treatment. The injured party (IP) was going to the laundry, accessing it through two fire doors. The weather was worsening, and at the time of the incident the sea state was 3.5 metres with the wind was blowing approximately 36 knots.

The IP opened the first door and stepped through. As he took his hand off the outside
handle to put it on the inside handle, the door started to shut suddenly and he was unable to hold it back. His finger was fractured when it was caught between the door and the door frame.

There are some misconceptions concerning the closure units on doors, the first of which is that they should close gently. This is not true and means adjustments are being made to them unnecessarily and, in most cases, incorrectly. Doors need to close securely, and on a rolling ship this will necessitate a fairly heavy closure. They should close slowly (closing speed) up until the last few inches or so and then close fairly heavily to ensure that they are closed securely (latching speed). It is important to remember this if you are approaching a closing door.

The second issue is the fact that people think the arm of the door should be adjusted in
order to adjust the closing speed. This is also incorrect as the arm is set up when the unit is fitted and should not need to be adjusted. There are many different types of closing units and the main ones are covered here. Basically, there are screws either at the end of the unit or at the front. There can be anything from two to five screws which are used to adjust the different closing cycles. These are:

Closing Speed
This is the speed that the door will initially close until it gets to the latching point which is, as stated previously, approximately 2-3 inches from the fully closed position. Generally, the screw is turned a full clockwise turn to slow the closing speed, and a full turn anticlockwise to speed this up.

Latching Speed
This is the speed that governs the final part of the closing mechanism which is the last few inches. Once again, it is a full turn clockwise for a slower latching speed and a full turn anti-clockwise for a faster latching speed.

Delay Action
Some door closures have what is known as a delay action. This is basically the delay from the time that the door gets to the latching position and the time when it closes. Turn the screw one full turn clockwise to increase the delay and one full turn anti-clockwise to reduce the delay time.

Back Check
Turn the back check adjusting valve clockwise to reduce the opening capacity. This
function is to avoid the door, handle or door closer coming in contact with a wall, etc.
This is a guide only and some may be on the top, some on the bottom or sides. With the
Dorma unit, you may need to remove the cover but it has nothing to do with the arm.

Root Causes:
• Faulty dampening system due to slight leak, making the door close more
violently than it should have.
• Worsening weather conditions. The vessel followed best practice by heading
into the weather, turning and running with the weather. This minimizes side-to-side
movement and allows the vessel to ‘ride’ the waves, but would have
increased the weight of doors when being used.
Actions Taken:
• Inspect all door closure units and report any faults
• Try to identify what types of units you have onboard and identify the adjusting
• Take into account weather conditions when moving about the vessel

Box Clever In Heavy Weather

February 4, 2008

In the latest issue of its loss-prevention newsletter Signals  the North of England P&I club reports that container damage and loss continues to be a problem on container ships.

‘Container losses and collapsed stows in heavy weather continue to occur,’ says the club’s head of loss-prevention Tony Baker. ‘Such weather is not altogether unexpected and it has highlighted a number of areas of poor practice that need to be rectified if the industry is to keep a lid on spiralling claims costs.’

Container claims can be particularly expensive. In 2006/7 North of England reported 16 cargo claims estimated in excess of US$1 million; only two related to container losses but these accounted for 30% of the total value.

Baker says there are four principal factors behind recent incidents: failure of automatic twist-locks in lashing systems; failure to stow and secure containers in accordance with the ship’s cargo securing manual; mis-declared overweight containers; and failure to anticipate and minimise the effect of heavy weather.

‘All of these factors can be resolved if shipowners and their officers take a more diligent approach to stowing and securing containers,’ says Baker. ‘Problems with fully automatic twist-locks are well-documented and stack heights should be reduced or heavy weather avoided until suspect equipment is replaced. If heavy or high-cube containers form part of the mix, there shouldn’t be a problem if stowage and lashing is done in accordance with the cargo securing manual. Making proper use of the ship’s planning software, and understanding any shortcomings, is also crucial.

‘Mis-declared overweight containers may be spotted by crane strain gauges and can possibly be prevented by closer shore-side monitoring of container stuffing. And finally, with the extent and increased accuracy of weather information and weather-routeing systems today, it should be possible for container-ship masters to amend voyage plans to minimise the effect of heavy weather,’ he says.

Ice Prince Video

January 15, 2008

The Ice Prince, which weighs 6,395 tonnes and is 328ft (100m) in length” says the BBC, which really ought to know better.  The Ice Prince ran into trouble when it started rolling in a storm and it’s cargo of timber shifted, clearly visible in video of the rescue, check out the BBC report here.

Reuters also gets it wrong in this video report on the New Zealand Herald site.

Credit to the RNLI which gives the following report:

Cargo ship crew rescued


Image of Ice PrinceTorbay and Salcombe lifeboat crews are relieved to be back on dry land after rescuing eight crewmen from the stricken cargo ship Ice Prince.

The two stations’ all-weather lifeboats pushed through rough seas for hours to reach the vessel, 35 miles south east of Berry Head, after the master decided it was too dangerous for anyone to stay onboard. The vessel was listing and rolling in heavy seas, which caused its cargo to shift, endangering those onboard.

For each of the eight crew rescued from the 6,395-tonne Greek-registered vessel, the crew of the RNLI’s Torbay 17m lifeboat had to make five or six attempts to get alongside. Coxswain Mark Criddle says: ‘Getting people off ships at sea is never straightforward but despite the sea conditions last night we managed to rescue the remaining eight crew after their fellow crew members had earlier been airlifted to safety by Coastguard helicopter.

‘During the transfer, one of crewmen from the Ice Prince slid down the listing deck into an area of the ship that was covered in sea water. Luckily, he was able to get himself out. Two others got into difficulty while being transferred, but they were being held onto by lifeboat crew and so were quickly brought into the safety of the lifeboat.

‘These situations can deteriorate dramatically and rapidly, so it was good to know fellow RNLI lifeboat crew from Salcombe were close by on their all-weather lifeboat as back up.’

The lifeboats were asked to launch by the Coastguard at around 7.30pm on Sunday. They arrived on scene at around 9.30pm and were back on station at around 1am yesterday. The Torbay lifeboat has sustained some minor damage, but remains operational.

Winds at the time were gusting to force 8, and there was a 5m swell. The Ice Prince sank at 12.45am today in very rough weather.”

The RNLI has a regular podcast here.

Here’s the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency Report:


At a quarter to one this morning, the general cargo vessel `Ice Prince sank in very rough weather approximately 26 miles south south east of the Portland Bill (50 09.9N 002 02.08W).

She had been monitored throughout the evening and night by the French Coastguard tug Abeille Liberté and a further JP Knights tug, the `Anglian Earl. Salvors are aboard both tugs. Portland Coastguard along with their French Coastguard colleagues in Cross Corsen are warning other approaching shipping of the hazards in the area, particularly in the south west bound lane of the Casquets traffic separation scheme.

Just before she sank, the crew of the Abeille Liberté reported that further deck cargo had been lost to the sea and that the angle of the list had increased but that visibility is very poor at present in very rough weather. The tug is remaining on scene to act as a guard ship to the wreck.

The Ice Prince, which is more than 328ft (100m) long and weighs 6,395 tons, sent out an emergency call at 7pm yesterday after getting into difficulties..The vessels stern is now on the bottom and the bow is above the water.

An MCA counter pollution aerial surveillance aircraft will be making an over flight at first light this morning to see the extent of the debris on the surface of the water from the 5258 metric tons of sawn timber which the vessel carried. Over 2000 tons were being carried on the deck.

The vessel also carries amongst other lubricating oils in the engine spaces some estimated 313 metric tons of intermediate fuel oil. The Agency’s counter pollution team will also be urgently reviewing contingency plans at first light, and bringing forward any counter pollution stockpiles that may be needed to help disperse any oil that surfaces, if any are released from her bunkers. Wave energy in such very rough seas may also help disperse such released oil.

Police forces and local authorities in both Devon and Dorset have also been made aware of the sinking although any impact on the shoreline may be some days away given the distance of the foundering from the coast.”

Maritime Safety News Today – 1 December 2007

December 2, 2007

Communication Lost With Hijacked Ship

Communication was lost with MV Al Marjan, which was hijacked by Somali pirate on October 17.

Coast Guard assists damaged freighter

BOSTON – The Coast Guard is assisting a damaged freight vessel today about 150 miles southeast of Cape Cod, Mass., after the vessel’s master requested permission to enter Boston to repair damage sustained during a storm.

Coast Guard Sector Boston received the call around 5 p.m., Wednesday, from the vessel RSCL Express, a 350-foot vessel registered in the Pacific Marshall Islands.  The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, a 210-foot cutter from Cape May, N.J., on a routine patrol in the area was diverted and headed toward the vessel’s location.

Man and son rescued from sinking ship
San Francisco Chronicle – CA, USA
Responding authorities found the ship’s captain, Leo Morelli, on his vessel, the Lou Denny Wayne, not far from shore. Morelli was rescued by helicopter.

Fishing vessel crashes into rocks at Pigeon Point in San Mateo County
San Jose Mercury News – CA, USA
The collision caused the vessel, which was carrying an estimated 600 gallons of diesel fuel, to sink. Hunter said responding personnel did not see oil in

Vessel Operator Sentenced to Pay $525,000 for Environmental Crime

WASHINGTON – A federal district court in Maine sentenced Petraia Maritime Ltd., late yesterday, to pay a fine of $525,000 and serve two years probation for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution From Ships (APPS), the Justice Department announced.

Petraia had been convicted following a jury trial in May 2007 of failing to maintain a record of its overboard discharges of oily bilge waste, which it made without using required pollution control equipment, from the M/V Kent Navigator, a vessel that it owned and operated. Two chief engineers serving aboard the Kent Navigator had previously pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Coast Guard for their role in the attempted cover-up of Petraia Maritime’s discharges of oily waste.


HALIFAX — The Government of Canada laid pollution related charges in Halifax Provincial Court today against the M/V Alida Gorthon. The vessel faces two charges under the Canada Shipping Act related to the unlawful discharge of a pollutant and failure to report the discharge of a pollutant. The charges relate to a pollution incident which took place June 22nd 2007 in which an oil slick of less than 50 litres was spotted in the wake of a vessel transiting Canadian territorial waters approximately 200 kilometres south of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

SF ship pilots group reviewing practices after Bay fuel spill
San Jose Mercury News – CA, USA
The group says other possibilities include restricting vessel movement in difficult maneuvering areas when there’s heavy fog.

Liberia Mounts Explorer Investigation

THE Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, confirms start of investigation into the incident which led to passengers being evacuated from the passenger vessel Explorer.

Update on Black Sea Oil Spill

Approximately 17,500 tons of oil product waste has been collected; environmental damage has been estimated at $265 million.

2007 Inaugural IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea

The inaugural IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea has been presented to two seafarers who risked their lives to save others in a dramatic rescue operation in gale-force winds.

Bulgaria Gets New Brussels Warning over Seafarers
Sofia News Agency – Bulgaria
Bulgaria: Bulgaria is set to receive a new warning from Brussels after failing to transpose the rules on seafarers mobility and crew skills into their

INTERTANKO Hosts Successful Seafarers Vetting Seminar Philippines

Over one thousand seafaring officers attended INTERTANKO’s first ever Seafarers’ Vetting Seminar.
Dockside power for ships examined
Charleston Post Courier – Charleston,SC,USA
While “grounding” and “earthing” essentially are the same process, they may have a different meaning in Japan than in Sweden. An ISO standard must be just