Tag Archives: grounding

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: Blame game in, hope out

As hope fades for the successful rescue of the 20 people still missing a week after the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, the focus of operations on the Italian island of Giglio is shifting towards the prevention of future catastrophe and the allocation of blame for that which has already occurred. With some 500,000 gallons [roughly 2 million litres] of fuel oil still sloshing around in the hull of the ship, “We need to prevent an environmental disaster,” says Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s civil protection agency, who is coordinating the emergency response. He added that while the agency wasn’t giving up rescue attempts, the risk of rupture of the ship’s fuel tanks was becoming an increasingly important worry.

Rescuers have been investigating whether the ship can be chained to the rocks on which it capsized last week, to halt its slow slippage towards deep waters, which would dramatically complicate further salvage efforts. The consequences of an oil spill would be disastrous. The mayor of Giglio has called the ship an “ecological time bomb.”

The potential for pollution puts at risk not only the area around the tiny Mediterranean island, but also the entirety of the nearby coast of Tuscany, one of the engines of Italian tourism. On Saturday, light oil was discovered floating near the Concordia, but rescue workers speculated it may have been diesel from rescue boats or lubricant from some of the on board machinery, not the heavy engine oil that could spell environmental devastation.

The plan is to extract the fuel oil and replace it with water, to avoid destabilizing the ship. Experts estimate that draining even those tanks closest to the outside of the hull could take as much as month — providing storms don’t cause delays — and that the inner tanks could prove harder to reach. Still, “there is a very good chance that the fuel oil can be removed,” says Paul Wright, associate director of the Marine Institute at Britain’s Plymouth University. Contamination from the kitchen oils, chemicals, sewage, and personal belongings of the crew and passengers are likely to be contained using booms.

What could prove more challenging is the salvage operation of the $450 million ship itself. “I would be very surprised if she is righted and floated off,” says Wright. “The most likely solution is that she will be cut up and dismantled in position.” It’s an operation that could take months.

Meanwhile, the legal process is gearing up as Italian authorities work to establish the criminal liability for what some experts predict will produce the most expensive insurance claims in maritime history. As of Saturday, the death toll for the accident stands at 12 and is likely to rise; the Costa Concordia‘s captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest and facing charges of manslaughter. At the heart of the investigation will be determining what happened in the 70 minutes between the moment the ship tore itself open on the rocks and Schettino’s first formal call for help. In the interval, the coast guard was misinformed by a member of the Concordia‘s crew about the condition of ship, even as it was taking on water. And passengers were told by an apparently confused or oblivious crew that the problem had been resolved and that they should return to their rooms.

Lawyers for civil plaintiffs will be eager to show that responsibility for the tragedy extends beyond the incompetence of the captain. “You have an incentive to find the deep pockets,” says Luca Melchionna, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law. Was the Costa Concordia‘s dangerous approach to the island part of a pattern that the cruise company had previously sanctioned or tolerated? To what extent did company policy contribute to the disarray in the early minutes when lives could have been saved? How well prepared were the crew for the event of an emergency?

For now, the cruise company has joined the criminal case against the captain as a civil party, formally putting itself among the injured and (not coincidentally) forestalling civil action in Italy while the criminal trial plays out, something that could take months of years. “It’s a strategic legal move that protects them, at least for a while,” says Melchionna.

But such maneuvers won’t protect the company in other jurisdictions. While lawyers for potential plaintiffs have complained that the waivers their clients were asked to sign have ruthlessly limited the cruise line’s liability, at least two law firms have announced they plan to file a class action lawsuit in the U.S. next week. Meanwhile, several passengers have already sought representation with the British law firm Irwin Mitchell. “With thousands of passengers and crew on board this huge vessel, their safety should have been the first and only priority,” Clive Garner, the head of the firm’s international law team, said in a statement. “Tragically, it seems that this was not the case and passengers and their families have paid a very heavy price.”

Source: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2105029,00.html#ixzz1k7VvAtS1

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Rena: Too unstable to pump oil

Read more at http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10759239

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SALVAGE: “The dangerous job of emptying the ‘Rena'”

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RENA AGROUND | Second officer in court

[The] second officer from the MV Rena has appeared in the Tauranga District Court this morning.

The navigation officer faced the same charges as the captain under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act which relates to operating a vessel causing unnecessary danger or risk to a person or property.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

The officer was remanded on bail with the same conditions as the ship’s captain, who appeared in the same court yesterday.

The officer’s country of origin and his age were not specified.

The man, who appeared glum as he entered the court, appeared to be of Filipino origin.

He’s been ordered to surrender his passport, granted name suppression and ordered to reappear in court on the 19th of October.

He was also bailed to unknown address and must appear daily to a nominated police station.

Judge Robert Wolff also ordered him not to associate with the skipper, other than for salvage operations.

Keith Catran, a lawyer representing TV3, challenged the suppression orders for the navigation officer.

He said “the public is entitled to openness of reporting, unless there are very clear reasons why that should not be the case.”

Mr Catran said “it’s a unique case where the victims of the defendant are the whole public and the whole community of this area. The result of the incident is in the face of everyone in this town.”

Judge Wolff said it would’ve been unfair to grant suppression for one of the crew members and not the other.

The judge said he could see “no harm in upholding the suppression order for a further week”.

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10758718

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RENA AGROUND | My life’s on board: expat

Three weeks ago, Gene Rhodes left Christchurch to escape the quakes.

He wanted a better life for his partner and daughter, so he packed up their lives into a shipping container and headed to Brisbane.

That container was due to arrive at his new home within a week, but it is now stuck on the Rena, and in danger of ending up at the bottom of the ocean.

“My heart’s in my stomach at the moment,” he said. “It’s all our stuff. Everything is in that container. My life’s on that container.”

Mr Rhodes loaded furniture and personal possessions, including family photos, property belonging to his partner’s dead father and things he inherited from his grandmother.

“All my workshop tools, my contracting tools. I’m over here using crap tools at the moment. I was waiting for my tools to arrive. I’ve got a motorbike in there as well.

“I was totally oblivious to what was going on. Because it’s not in Australian waters it’s not in the news. But the freight company emailed me and said the ship had struck a reef.

“Last night, I got an email and they pretty much said in black and white [that] if I was a betting man, I could bet I’m not going to see my stuff ever again.

“When you sit down and think that you’re never going to get that stuff back, you’re just constantly feeling sick,” Mr Rhodes said.

“We’ve found out that our container is still on board. It’s one of the bottom containers in front of the bridge so it’s still above deck in a pretty good place.

“It’s not going to fall off, but if the ship sinks, then we’re looking at a different story.”

Mr Rhodes may also be left short on his insurance. His first thought was, “The ship won’t sink”, but he insured his contents in case anything was broken.

“We were pretty sure $25,000 would cover it, but now we’ve been going through everything … that insurance is not going to cover it all.

“We’re hoping we’re going to get a good outcome but when we found out this morning that 70 or so containers had slipped last night …”

Mr Rhodes accepts that the salvage effort may take time, and he is happy to wait – as long as he gets his property back.

“I’m not being selfish, I know that the oil is a big problem. But I’ve spent a lot of my life building up and I’m not going to get that back.”

Source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10758675

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MARITIME NEWS | Seven missing after rough seas break gravel ship in two

Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) — Seven crew members remained missing Monday morning after a gravel ship ran aground off Keelung Harbor in northern Taiwan around midnight in stormy weather, according to the Coast Guard Administration (CGA). Three of the 14 other crew members from the Jui Hsing showed no signs of life when they were rescued, but the others were not seriously hurt, CGA officials said.

The missing crew members include the four Taiwanese nationals who were aboard the vessel, the officials said.

Eight of the crewmen are Myanmar citizens and nine are Indonesians, according to CGA information. The CGA has decided to send more large patrol ships to search for the seven missing sailors, since inclement weather has hindered airborne rescue efforts, the officials said. CGA Minister Wang Chin-wang went to Keelung early in the morning to coordinate the rescue operations. As of the press time, five CGA vessels had been dispatched for the rescue mission and some CGA personnel had also joined police and firefighters in the search of the missing crew members. According to CGA data, the 11,500-ton gravel ship set off from Keelung late Sunday for China to collect a cargo of gravel for transport back to Taiwan. The freighter ran aground in waters between Keelung and New Taipei City’s Wanli district shortly after leaving the port. The ship later broke into two pieces and all the crew members jumped into the rough waters, the CGA said. Some were airlifted by rescue helicopters while five others were picked up offshore. They were all taken to hospital for health checks and treatment, the CGA said. (By Claudia Liu, Johnson Sun and Sofia Wu)

Source: http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1724103

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