Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 2008 A Interesting Start to the Maritime New Year!

January 2008 has started out as a lion for the maritime acccident business.

To date (January 16, 2008) there have been some 68 reported casualities world wide. of the 68 incidents, 19 were due to heavy weather with approximately 13 total deaths reported.

There was one reported casuality reported due to terrorism.

Make Light Of Heavy Weather - 16 January 2008

The London P&I Club has warned of the risk accidents caused by heavy weather.

In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the club notes, “The types of incidents reported have included injuries to crew members falling while working aloft, a hand injury when a heavy auxiliary engine part unexpectedly shifted while being removed for maintenance, and a chest injury suffered when a power tool slipped as a ship rolled.”

It adds: “Where a risk assessment had been carried out in respect of the accidents involving deck crew, the responsible officer had been fully aware of the prevailing conditions but had not made sufficient allowance for the ship’s motion. Interestingly, in the cases where the task was being performed in the engine room, the entry on the risk assessment form for ‘Weather and Sea Hazard’ was in each case “not applicable”.”

The Club concludes, “While it is the case that dealing with rolling, for example, is less of an issue for someone on the bottom plates in the engine room than it is for a crew member on the monkey island, these recent cases are reminders that, when a ship rolls, the engine room moves too.”

Here are just a few new incidents.

U. S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit responds to sinking laker McCarthy at Hallet

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Duluth responded to the partial sinking of the 1,000-foot laker McCarthy at the Hallett No. 8 Dock at approximately 11:30 a.m. yesterday The vessel has been made fast to the pier until a salvage plan is in place.

There are no reports of oil in the water. The Coast Guard is working closely with the vessel's owner, the city of Duluth and both the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin to protect the environment. The McCarthy, owned by American Steamship of Buffalo, N.Y., was docking into a slip when it struck an object and began taking on water in the engine room.

The after section of the ship sank to approximately 20 feet at the dock, while the rest of the ship remained above water. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Three crew airlifted to hospital as freak wave hits vessel


THREE offshore workers were airlifted to hospital yesterday after a freak wave hit their ship in a storm. They were securing cargo on the storage offloading vessel Bleo Holm when the incident occurred, 50 miles north-east of Aberdeen.

The three were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by air ambulance but the extent of their injuries was not clear last night.

The vessel, owned by Talisman Energy (UK), had a crew of 70 on board.

A spokeswoman for the firm said: "We can confirm that four personnel have sustained injuries following an incident on board the Bleo Holm.

"All 70 people on board have been accounted for.

"The injuries were sustained after items broke free on the deck of the vessel during bad weather, with wind speeds in excess of 40 knots and a swell of nine metres.

"One person sustained minor injuries and has remained on board. Three personnel were airlifted onshore by helicopter for medical treatment."

Last year the firm admitted its safety procedures needed to be improved following the death of an employee on the same vessel on 6 January.

Matthew Grey, 59, of Darlington, suffered fatal injuries while fitting pipes in one of the cargo tanks.

Nick Walker, Talisman UK's vice-president, later admitted that some of its safety systems were not sufficiently robust.

From the BBC
Timber hazard after ship wrecked

Measures are being put in place to protect shipping in the area where a cargo ship sank off the Dorset coast.

The Greek-registered Ice Prince went down about 26 miles (42km) off Portland Bill after being damaged in a storm.

She shed more than 2,000 tonnes of her 5,260-tonne timber cargo - causing a potential hazard to other vessels.

A 1,000m (3,280ft) temporary exclusion zone is in place around the ship, and emergency buoys are to be placed around the area as a visible warning.

Broken bundles

The 6,395-ton Ice Prince sent out its initial emergency call at about 1900 GMT on Sunday.

Rescuers battled gale force winds and rough seas with 16ft (5m) swells to evacuate the vessel's crew. Twelve were airlifted to Portland, Dorset, and eight others taken by lifeboat to Brixham, Devon.

It is understood the members of the Ice Prince's crew were all foreign nationals and were wearing lifejackets and immersion suits when rescued.

The 328ft (100m) ship finally sank at about 0045 GMT on Tuesday in 9ft (2.7m) waves and strong winds.

The vessel was carrying 5,258 tonnes of sawn Swedish red and white timber. About 2,000 tonnes of the cargo was being carried on the deck and a quantity of wood - about 3,000 tonnes - is still believed to be in the hold.

It was also carrying an estimated 400 tonnes of fuel oil and other lubricating oils in its engine spaces.

Coastguards said the risk of oil pollution was low, but they were concerned a "wood slick" of the cargo could be a hazard to shipping.

The 10m (33ft) lengths of wood were put on board in bundles, but sea conditions broke many apart.

Kelly Reynolds, of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: "We believe it is a danger to navigation because there are bundles of wood that are breaking down into loose planks."

Coastguards said they were expecting a "slick" to end up somewhere on the south coast over the next few days. Police forces have been alerted.

Warnings have been sent to all shipping in the area to avoid floating timber and emergency navigational buoys are due to be added in the area on Wednesday.

On Thursday, underwater surveillance equipment will survey the wreck to see how much of a threat it poses.


  • Published Date: 15 January 2008
  • Source: Edinburgh Evening News
  • Location: Scotland

Stricken cargo ship sinks after dramatic rescue for 20 crew

THE cargo ship Ice Prince, abandoned by its crew after she listed to 40 degrees off the Devon coast, has sunk.

Twenty crew were rescued by helicopter and lifeboat in storm conditions last night from the stricken Greek-registered ship after the vessel's cargo of timber shifted and she listed.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "At 12.45am, the general cargo vessel Ice Prince sank in very rough weather."

He also confirmed a counter-pollution surveillance aircraft would be flying over the scene at first light to see the extent of the debris on the surface of the water.

The Ice Prince, which is more than 328ft long and weighs 6395 tons, sent out an emergency call at 7pm on Sunday after getting into difficulties.

A Portland Coastguard helicopter airlifted 12 of the crew, including a 41-year-old Greek man with a broken leg.

The remaining eight crew members were taken to safety by lifeboat crews from Torbay and Salcombe.

They battled gale force winds and rough seas with 16ft swells to evacuate the men in a mission one lifeboatman described as a "once-in-a-career" rescue.

Rebels bomb oil tanker in Nigeria, exports spared

7:32 a.m. January 11, 2008
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria – Militants fighting for autonomy in Nigeria's oil-producing south detonated a remote controlled bomb on an oil tanker on Friday, causing a big fire.

It was the second rebel attack on Africa's largest oil industry in a week, but exports of crude oil were unaffected, industry sources said.

'There was an explosion and the tanker went up in flames,' Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu told Reuters, adding that the cause was under investigation.

The Golden Lucy was preparing to discharge refined fuel at the main port in the southern city of Port Harcourt when it burst into flames after two loud explosions, witnesses said.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), an umbrella organisation for several militant groups, claimed responsibility.

'Freelance freedom fighters working inside the oil industry detonated a remote explosive device that caused the fire,' the group said in an e-mail to the media.

Nobody was killed by the blast but several people received minor injuries, port sources said.

The city port has storage tanks for refined fuels, but is not involved in the export of crude oil. Nigeria's largest oil and gas export terminal at Bonny Island is 30 miles (50 km) away.


Rebel violence around Port Harcourt has been rising in recent weeks after the collapse of peace talks with the government, and in the wake of an army raid on the hideout of a Port Harcourt militia boss last month.

Militant and security sources told Reuters this week that armed groups were building up weapons and supplies for a major attack on an oil facility.

Two people were injured on Wednesday when MEND-affiliated gunmen opened fire on six oil industry ships in the channel leading to the Bonny Island terminal.

The militants, who want to halt oil exports from Africa's top producer, demand regional autonomy over the vast natural resources in the Niger Delta, development of their impoverished region and compensation for decades of pollution.

Oil output has been running at 20 percent below capacity for two years since MEND launched a wave of bombings of oil pipelines, production plants and export terminals, and kidnapped foreign staff. Thousands of foreign workers have fled and many investments have been put on hold.

Vice President Goodluck Jonathan held a meeting on Thursday with elders and militants from the delta in an attempt to revive the collapsed talks.

He said he would assume leadership of a committee designed to lay the foundations for talks, and set an end-February deadline to conclude his work.

The delta representatives asked the government to stop army raids on militant hideouts and said the prolonged detention of a factional MEND leader in Angola on gun-running charges was an obstacle to progress.

(Writing by Tom Ashby; Editing by Keith Weir)

Heck of a start for a New Year!