Tag Archives: fatigue
From the Australian Transport Safety Bureau | 2011.04.14
At 1705 on 3 April 2010, the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 grounded on Douglas Shoal, about 50 miles north of the entrance to the port of Gladstone, Queensland. The ship’s hull was seriously damaged by the grounding, with the engine room and six water ballast and fuel oil tanks being breached, resulting in a small amount of pollution.
The ATSB investigation found that the grounding occurred because the chief mate did not alter the ship’s course at the designated course alteration position. His monitoring of the ship’s position was ineffective and his actions were affected by fatigue.
The ATSB identified four safety issues during the investigation:
- There was no effective fatigue management system in place to ensure that the bridge watchkeepers were fit to stand a navigational watch after they had supervised the loading of a cargo of coal in Gladstone;
- There was insufficient guidance in relation to the proper use of passage plans, including electronic route plans, in the ship’s safety management system;
- There were no visual cues to warn either the chief mate or the seaman on lookout duty, as to the underwater dangers directly ahead of the ship; and
- At the time of the grounding, the protections afforded by the requirement for compulsory pilotage and active monitoring of ships by REEFVTS, were not in place in the sea area off Gladstone.
The ATSB has issued two safety recommendations to Shen Neng 1‘s management company regarding the safety issues associated with fatigue management and passage planning and acknowledges the safety action taken by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in relation to the extension of REEFVTS coverage to include the waters off Gladstone.
At a hearing today in Newcastle Magistrates Court, the Owners of the UK registered container ship Maersk Patras pleaded guilty to eight charges of failing to provide adequate hours of rest for the crew and one charge of failing to improve the situation.
In September 2009, the MCA conducted an audit on board the Maersk Patras at Bremerhaven. It was noticed that the Captain, Officers and other crew members had not been having the required periods of rest as laid down by international agreements.
The company, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S of Denmark, were informed of these concerns but failed to correct matters and the breaches of the regulations continued. On the 25th January 2010, the MCA issued the company with an Improvement Notice which required them to rectify the position by the 28th February 2010. They also failed to comply with that notice.
A.P.Moller-Maersk were fined £18,500 plus costs of £4,439.27
Neil Atkinson, Marine Surveyor, Maritime and Coastguard Agency said:
Fatigue is often a significant factor in accidents, whether it is to individuals or to the ship itself. For this reason the MCA are focusing on seafarers hours of rest during routine inspections of UK and foreign flag vessels. This conviction should send a strong message to the industry that failing to provide adequate hours of rest for the crew is not acceptable.
Graham Duff, prosecuting on behalf of the MCA said in court:
The hours of rest regulations are not just a bureaucratic exercise, they are all about safety.
It should go without saying that fatigue, particularly for decision makers on board large vessels, is a very real enemy and presents a significant risk to the safety of others.
NAUTILUS International told Fairplay today that recent developments show why the EU-funded Project Horizon on seafarer fatigue is necessary.
The €3.78M ($4.52M), 30-month-long scheme began one year ago and has just finished its pilot stage. It involves the testing of volunteers at various universities to provide a better understanding of seafarer fatigue.
Nautilus spokesman Andrew Linington told Fairplay: “The study could not be more timely, given the publication of new evidence showing fatigue to be a key factor in recent accidents, and in light of the forthcoming discussions at the IMO on the STCW working time limits. We believes this research is essential.”
The last major study on crew fatigue was undertaken by the seafarers’ union in 2006.
From SAFETY AT SEA INTERNATIONAL
AN INQUIRY into a bulker’s grounding on the Great Barrier Reef is focusing today on why the coal carrier strayed 15km off course.
Informed sources said today the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is studying the work-sleep patterns of the chief officer, who was on the bridge when the Shenzhen Energy Transport vessel hit the reef on 3 April.
Records show that Shen Neng 1 spent nine days at anchor off Gladstone before berthing on the night of 2 April to load 65,000 tonnes of coal for China. It sailed at 1054 the next morning and grounded at about 1710. Yet authorities said they were not notified until two hours later, the sources said.
Shen Neng 1 had 975 tonnes of bunkers aboard, none of which has leaked in the past two days, but aircraft are on standby in case there are more spills. The weather forecast for the salvage remains favourable.