Tag Archives: accident

MSC boxship grounded in Brazil

MSC Regina aground off Itaparica, near Salvador, on September 12

The Panama-flagged boxship MSC Regina (built 1999) reportedly ran aground off the Island of Itaparica, located approximately 20 km (11 nautical miles) to the east of Salvador, at about 05:15 hours on September 12.

According to the Brazilian surveyor Charles Rotta, the ship unberthed and disembarked the pilot without incident and then engaged herself in a series of maneuvers, the last of which ended in the grounding.

In Rotta’s Facebook, there is a video that shows the track of MSC Regina during the minutes that preceded the accident and photos of the ship with some list to port.

MSC Regina reportedly managed to refloat herself with no tug assistance at 13:00 hours of the same day. She was held by the local representative of the Maritime Authority for about a day afterwards and, according to the information presented by the site Marine Traffic at http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/datasheet.aspx?datasource=ITINERARIES&MMSI=357332000, departed from Salvador in the evening of September 13.

No hull damage has been reported and there was no pollution.


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COSTA CONCORDIA: An organizational accident, after all?

It is increasingly clear to me that what took place off Giglio last January was an organizational rather than an individual accident. Have a look at the text below, from http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/98536–court-experts-fault-captain-crew-owner-for-deadly-ship-grounding-off-tuscany, and have your say:

ROME – Court-appointed experts have squarely blamed the captain of a cruise ship that ran aground off Italy for the wreckage and deaths of 32 people, but they also faulted the crew and ship owner for a series of blunders, delays and safety breaches that contributed to the disaster.

The Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13 after Capt. Francesco Schettino took it off course and brought it close to the island as part of a stunt. He is accused of manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning the ship before all passengers were evacuated.

Eight other people, among them crew members and Costa’s crisis co-ordinator, are also under investigation. The court in Grosseto ordered the expert investigation to help it determine who, if anyone, should be put on trial. A hearing is scheduled for next month.

In a 270-page analysis, the four experts described in second-by-second detail the unfolding disaster as Schettino slowly came to realize the gravity of the situation. Using data and voice recorders to reconstruct the drama on the bridge, the report showed how Schettino failed to grasp for a good 45 minutes repeated reports from his crew that his ship was flooding and its motors dead.

The analysis came out Wednesday and was placed online Thursday by the Rome daily La Repubblica.

The experts contrasted what went wrong on board with maritime rules and procedures and determined that Schettino should have given the “abandon ship” order at 10 p.m. that night, 15 minutes after the 9:45 p.m. grounding against the rocks off Giglio.

Instead, the evacuation order only went out at 10:43 p.m. — and Schettino himself didn’t give it but another officer, in violation of maritime rules. By that time, passengers on their own had already reported to their muster stations with life jackets on, despite a decision from a crew member at one point that they should go back to the dining room.

“Madonna, what a mess I’ve made,” Schettino muttered soon after the collision, according to the transcript.

Beyond Schettino’s faults, the experts said a series of problems hobbled the execution of his initial manoeuvre and efforts to fix it, and contributed to the botched evacuation. Bridge crew members bungled directions and didn’t his understand orders because of language barriers. Other crew members weren’t trained or certified in security and emergency drills, the report found.

In all, the experts said, Schettino and his bridge crew showed “scarce professional seriousness” before and during the disaster, with Schettino joking just before the crash, after his helmsman again misunderstood an order, that he needed to do it right “otherwise we go on the rocks.”

And the experts said ship owner Costa Crociere bore blame, too, by delaying alerting coastal authorities about the emergency — a charge Costa denied Thursday.

In a statement, Costa said by law it was Schettino who was supposed to have alerted authorities about the accident, and that the captain assured the Costa crew on land that he had done so. And regardless, Costa said, Schettino’s reports to Costa’s headquarters were so delayed, “partial and confused” that the company couldn’t discern how serious the emergency was.

Yet the expert report said Schettino had “clearly explained the situation” to Costa’s fleet crisis co-ordinator in his initial call. Schettino was far less forthcoming when the Livorno port authorities called him after hearing word the ship was in trouble: in that conversation, Schettino only told the port that there was a blackout on board.

And Costa firmly rejected the experts’ claims that the crew was unprepared for emergencies, saying the “alleged defects in the certifications of some of the crew” didn’t affect the evacuation.

From the start, passengers described a confused and delayed evacuation, with many of the lifeboats unable to be lowered because the boat was listing too far to one side. Some of the 4,200 people aboard jumped into the Mediterranean and swam to Giglio, while others had to be plucked from the vessel by rescue helicopters hours after the collision.

Some passengers said they were shocked to see Schettino already ashore when they were being evacuated. Schettino claims he helped direct the evacuation from the island after leaving the ship. The report demonstrates how he refused several demands by port authorities to return to the ship to oversee the evacuation.

Schettino has insisted that by guiding the stricken ship to shallower waters near Giglio’s port instead of immediately ordering an evacuation he potentially saved lives. He has claimed that another official, and not he, was at the helm when the ship struck.

But the timeline in the expert report makes clear that he had assumed control with a verbal order at 9:39 p.m., after being called back up to the bridge to oversee the stunt, which he had planned as a favour to friends from Giglio.

Work has begun to remove the tons of rocky reef embedded into the Concordia’s hull, a first step in plans to eventually tow the wreck away from the island.

The whole removal process is expected to take as long as a year.

To learn more about organizational accidents, an interesting starting point might be Organizational Accidents: A Systemic Model of Production versus Protection, a paper written by Yang Miang Goh, Peter E. D. Love, Helen Brown and Jeffery Spickett of Curtin University of Technology, Australia. I quote the abstract below:

Production pressure is often cited as an underlying contributory factor of organizational accidents. The relationship, however, between production and safety protection is complex and has not been adequately addressed by current theories regarding organizational accident. In addressing this gap, this paper uses the methodology of system dynamics to develop a causal model to address the dynamic interaction between management of production and protection, which can accumulate in an organizational accident. A case study of a fatal rock fall accident in Tasmania, Australia was conducted based on the developed model and is used to uncover the intricate dynamics linking production pressure, risk tolerability, perception of safety margin, and protection efforts. In particular, the study demonstrates how a strong production focus can trigger a vicious cycle of deteriorating risk perception and how increased protection effort can, ironically, lead to deterioration of protection.

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MARITIME AND INSURANCE: MSC Flaminia blaze probe underway

A damper has been put on theories that hazardous calcium hypochlorite – involved in many containership fires in the 1990s – could be responsible for a blaze that led to the MSC Flaminia being abandoned in the middle of the North Atlantic.

NSB Niederelbe is still checking through details of the cargo loaded on the 6,732-teu MSC Flaminia (built 2001) but says no calcium hypochlorite was on the manifest and no other obvious cause for the incident has yet been detected.

However hazardous cargoes are sometimes misdeclared so the possibility of a calcium hypochlorite related fire can not be entirely ruled out amongst the 2,876 containers on board on the voyage between Charleston and Antwerp.

Smit has signed a Lloyd’s Open Form “no cure no pay” salvage contract for the stricken vessel but it will be Tuesday evening before the chartered in 16,320hp firefighting tug Fairmount Expedition (built 2007) and a salvage master reaches the stricken containership.

An internal company investigation into the casualty is already underway and Germany, the flag state of the MSC Flaminia, will conduct an official accident investigation into the fire which has cost two lives and left three crewmen in hospital.

There is little current information on the extent of damage to the MSC Flaminia as overflights or satellite images of the vessel appear to have not taken place.

NSB Niederelbe has received preliminary information about the incident from the master and senior officers of the MSC Flaminia who are among the 18 crew and two passengers onboard the 311,000-dwt tanker DS Crown (built 1999) which is due to reach Falmouth in the UK on Wednesday evening.

Reports from the crew of the MSC Flaminia indicate that the incident began with a fire around hatch cover Number Four with the explosion following.

The fire was sufficiently serious for the master to order the ship to be abandoned although the MSC Flaminia was 1,000 miles from the nearest land.

The 16,500-hp ocean going tug Anglian Sovereign (built 2003)is currently being loaded with specialist firefighting gear at Inverness including a Cobra lance system that can pierce container walls and extinguish fires within boxes. But it will be Thursday or Friday before this tug reaches the last reported position of the MSC Flaminia.

The MSC Flaminia was on a voyage from Charleston to Antwerp at the time of the fire with a crew of five Germans, three Poles and 15 Filipinos.

The hull insurance of the MSC Flaminia is led by the Swedish Club which also provides protection and indemnity cover for the vessel.

With the hull of the MSC Flaminia insured for an estimated $40m and back of envelope calculations that about 2,900 containers of cargo might have a value of $90m the insurance market appears to be in for another sizeable loss.

Source: Tradewinds

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MARITIME SAFETY | Preventing duck boat tragedy would not have taken much

Excerpts from http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-13/news/31690185_1_oxygen-for-eight-minutes-robert-mongeluzzi-duck-boat:

Ten feet.

Had Matthew R. Devlin walked that far, he could have alerted his tugboat captain that he was experiencing a family emergency, in all likelihood saving the lives of two Hungarian tourists who died in the July 2010 duck-boat accident.

One minute.

Had Devlin, the first mate, kept watch as the tug pushed a 250-foot barge down the Delaware River, that is all the time he would have needed to turn his boat to avoid the collision that killed Dora Schwendtner, 16, and Szabolcs Prem, 20.

Two lives were lost because of failures both small and epic that day, leading to a $17 million settlement Wednesday for the families and 18 surviving passengers when the federal lawsuit suddenly ended after less than two days of testimony.


Devlin, who is serving a one-year prison sentence for the maritime equivalent of involuntary manslaughter, said in his deposition that he often talked on his cell at work.

“You weren’t some rogue employee who was using your personal cellphone while on watch while no one else did it. … In fact, you were doing what everybody else did, right?” Mongeluzzi asked Devlin.

“Yes,” Devlin replied.

He also testified that hearing about his son had caused him to stop thinking clearly.

His deposition makes painfully clear how little it would have taken to prevent the accident. Devlin knew that K-Sea’s policy was to alert another crew member if he was experiencing a problem.

“How far away was the captain’s cabin from where you were,” Meehan asked.

“Ten feet,” Devlin responded.

“Could you have easily called the captain?” Meehan continued.

“If I was thinking clearly, yes,” Devlin said.


Mongeluzzi also argued that evidence showed repeated failures by Ride the Ducks. The company’s air horn, which could have sounded a warning to Devlin, did not work because Capt. Fox had turned off the engine.

Fox also did not tell passengers to don life jackets until moments before the collision, even though the duck had been stranded on the water for about 12 minutes.

In his deposition, Fox said he did not believe his passengers were imperiled until moments before the barge hit. He feared that passengers would become uncomfortable or sick if they put on life vests.

“I didn’t need anybody passing out or having anybody having heatstroke or any related heat issues,” Fox said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended Fox’s maritime license for five months because he did not ask passengers to don life jackets and because he failed to call the Coast Guard when the duck boat was stranded.

Read more at http://articles.philly.com/2012-05-13/news/31690185_1_oxygen-for-eight-minutes-robert-mongeluzzi-duck-boat

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ARGENTINA | Divers find four more bodies in sunken vessel

From Buenos Aires Herald, 2012.05.13

Prefecture divers found four more bodies belonging to helmsman Marcelo Osvaldo Córdoba, chief engineer Felipe Aguirre, sailor Cristian Marmet and José de la Fuente Sequeire, all members of the missing crew of the vessel “Río Turbio,” which collided with Paraguayan tug “Ava Paraguya” on the Parana de las Palmas river.

So far six fatal victims have been found in the wreckage: Ciriaco Rodríguez, Gustavo Caracciolo, Felipe Haroldo Aguirre, Marcelo Osvaldo Córdoba, José Mario de la Fuente Sequeire and Cristian Ariel Marmet.

A Prefecture spokesperson announced that divers had found the bodies in the kitchen of the submerged ship.

The accident, which took place in early Saturday morning, resulted in at least four people dead when the two vessels collided. 

Earlier, divers recovered the bodies of captain Gustavo Caracciolo and first officer Ramón Ciriaco Rodríguez.

The collision took place yesterday at 4am between the Argentine sand barge “Río Turbio” and the Paraguayan tugboat “Ava Payagua.” The Argentine vessel sank as a result of the accident and seven of its eight-member crew went missing.

After the distress call, the Coast Guard deployed boats, coast guards and divers to the scene to try to rescue the missing sailors.

Apparently, the Paraguayan boat was not able to complete a manoeuvre and crashed into the sand barge, which was completely loaded. One of the Argentine sailors managed to swim to the surface of the Paraná River after the collision, while his seven colleagues disappeared.

The Coast Guard issued a press release reporting that the overall length of the “Ava Payagua” vessel was 32 metres and it was carrying containers. For its part , the Argentine ship was 82,72 metres long.

Security Minister Nilda Garré “is supervising the search and rescue operation,” and she “is in contact with the rescue teams working in the area,” the statement added.

The only member of the crew who managed to escape and was rescued by two teams of divers suffered “hypothermia” and was therefore hospitalized.

A 12-member crew was travelling on board the Paraguayan vessel but only three of them, those who commanded the ship, were taken into custody and remained in in solitary confinement, Coast Guard commander Sergio Gaetán told the press.

“Those under arrest are the captain of the boat, the “baqueano” (the maritime pilot) and the helmsman and the case will be presided over by the Zárate-Campana courts,” said Gaetán, who is in charge of the Zárate area.

The officer reported that the tugboat “was withheld in order to carry out expert studies.”

Gaetán did not comment on whether there was negligence by the Paraguayan crew. However, colleagues of the seven sailors who were still missing demanded “more professionalism” from their Paraguayan counterparts.

Captain Juan Carlos Pucchi and SOMU (Maritime Workers Union) union leader Leonel Abregú said that the area where the accident took place “is highly transited and, therefore, highly trained professionals are required.”

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MARITIME NEWS: Crewman hurt after accidentally releasing a life boat

A Nordic Tankers crewman broke his leg in a fall after unintentionally releasing a faulty life boat, an accident report has revealed.

The incident happened on the 5,800–dwt Nordic Nadja (built 1996) off Rotterdam on 8 October, 2011, as the second engineer entered the free fall boat (FFB) to carry out an inspection.

The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board (DMAIB) said the boat was rolling heavily due to waves and swell. It found the crewman “probably lost his balance and reached out for something to hold on to, in the process unintentionally releasing the FFB.” As a consequence of the accident, the second engineer suffered from loss of memory to some degree and could not remember what caused the release.

The inspection revealed that both the security handle and the release handle had been pushed backward, causing the hook holding the life boat to disengage.

A test revealed that it was possible to move both handles simultaneously from the upright position to the position releasing the FFB, which should be impossible.

Investigators were unable to establish the cause of the malfunction.

Nordic has since ensured that all its boats are fastened to lifting hooks before any crew enter.

Source: Tradewinds, Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board

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MARITIME NEWS: Supply ship sinks off Elefsina; captain’s body recovered

The body of the missing captain of a supply tanker that sank off Elefsina on Monday morning was found and recovered shortly after noon.

Divers found the body of the 48 year old trapped inside the vessel.

The Alpha 1 sank with an 11-member crew and loaded with 1.8 tons of crude oil and 253 tons of oil. The authorities have said that that there were no signs of any oil spill or pollution so far.

The rescued men have been taken to a nearby hospital for observation.

According to initial reports, the vessel, belonging to the Viamare company, sank after its hull rammed into an old submerged shipwreck.

The ship was sailing from Piraeus to nearby Elefsina when it began taking on water at around 10.30am for reasons that authorities said were not immediately clear. 

Source: http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53785

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