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Numerous lessons learned from US maritime casualties in 2017 as NTSB releases its annual report

US Coast Guard photo by Stasia Ellis
US Coast Guard photo by Stasia Ellis

The NTSB has published its 94 page Safer Seas digest annual report giving an overview of key lessons to be learned from a series of major maritime casualties.

NTSB has noted that many of the issues in last year’s report were recurring topics, including fatigue, poor bridge resource management, and distraction. The 41 marine accidents included in the report involved allisions, capsizings, collisions, fires, explosions, flooding, groundings, equipment damage, loss of life, injuries, and significant property damage.

The failure to maintain watertight integrity was the number one cause of vessel losses during the 2017 reporting year. Consequently, NTSB advises owners:

– To conduct regular oversight and maintenance of hulls and watertight bulkheads, even during layup periods.
– Oversight should include monitoring the hull thickness, maintaining sufficient marine coatings, and using cathodic protection systems.
– Known issues with watertight integrity and wastage need to be repaired using permanent means.
– Bilge piping and pumps should be in good working order and alarms should be tested regularly.
– Watertight doors should be checked and maintained to ensure they are properly sealed when closed. While under way, all watertight doors should be closed at all times.

Read the 94 page Safer Seas Digest: NTSB-Safer-Seas-Digest

The post Numerous lessons learned from US maritime casualties in 2017 as NTSB releases its annual report appeared first on The International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS).

Inaugural Marine Surveying International Fest 2018 voted a hit

On Tuesday 6th November at 11.00 UK time, IIMS opened the first 24-hour non-stop marathon Marine Surveying International Fest 2018, hosted live from the Institute’s offices in Portchester, Hampshire. The aim of the event was to recognise and celebrate as many different branches of the surveying profession as possible through a series of twenty four presentations with a new subject being introduced on the hour every hour. Presentations were delivered by experts in their field from various worldwide locations including Australia, New Zealand, America, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, India, Europe and the UK.

The presentations have been recorded and are available to purchase. Just one low fee gives you access to the entire video content, which is not being made publicly available at this time.

Here is a review of the content that was delivered:
1. Mike Schwarz, IIMS CEO and Capt John Lloyd, Nautical Institute CEO spoke in earnest about aspects of the marine
2. Capt Zarir Irani presented: Latest trends in surveying using new techniques for evidence collection
3. Professor Christopher Abraham explained the concept of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) as he talked about why we need to open our eyes to disruptive technologies happening all around us
4. Jon Sharland, Tritex NDT Ltd, presented: Ultrasonic thickness gauges and how to use them
5. Milind Tambe presented: What a surveyor needs to know about making best use of a digital camera and digital image asset management
6. Paul Winter presented: Effective report writing and reducing the potential of claims from a PI underwriting perspective
7. Mick Uberti presented: From ISM code to Domestic Commercial Vessels
8. Phil Duffy presented: Large yacht and small craft valuations
9. Andrew Drage, Copper Development Association, presented: The corrosion behaviour of metals in seawater
10. Simon Ward, MatthewsDaniel presented: From jack-up to belly up
11.  Andy Ridyard, SeaSystems Electrical Controls presented: Teach a man to fish – electrical controls
12. Nippin Anand, DNV GL, presented: Near miss reporting: A (mis)leading indicator of safety?
13. Mike Schwarz presented three short business management topics: Looking good on the web, cashflow management and strategy preparation
14. Luc Verley presented: Dredging technology
15. Peter Broad presented: Big commercial shipbuilding – the challenges and highlights
16. Ken Livingstone presented: A basic introduction to subsea
17. Gary Lowell presented: An Introduction to surveying wooden runabouts
18. Jason Wee, Claims Director, Standard Club presented: The role of a P&I Club surveyor
19. Nick Parkyn presented: A background and introduction to synthetic yacht rigging
20. Mike Wall presents: Speed and angle of blow assessment
21. Capt Ruchin Dayal presented: Iron ore fines – IMSBC Code 2018
22. Karen Brain, Matrix Insurance presented: How to write an expert report for court
23. Jayan Pillai presented: Firefighting on ships and boats
24. The Fest concluded with a panel discussion with a group of ‘veteran surveyors’ with a combined age of 400 plus years. They spoke openly about the challenges of surveying, what makes a good surveyor calling on their considerable experience and wisdom.

Access to all twenty-four videos is available for one fee. The cost is just £100 (less than £5 per presentation). This entitles you to unlimited access to the entire video content at your leisure.

To purchase access, please click the link below and pay online.

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Recommendations on reducing yacht racing risks released

The report team found that the risk clearly depends on the level of congestion.
The report team found that the risk clearly depends on the level of congestion.

A new Volvo Ocean Race (VOR)-commissioned report has examined ocean racing at night in areas of high vessel traffic density to establish possible steps to mitigate risk following the death of a fisherman during the race.

The independent Volvo High Traffic Density Report follows the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing and a fishing vessel this January, in the final stages of the leg into Hong Kong during the most recent edition of the race. The crews recounted that virtually all the vessels had some form of lighting and exhibited AIS. The fishing vessels were either stationary or travelling at slow speeds of 3-6 knots and they did not form an impenetrable barrier.

Recommendations made in the report included use of an improved coax connector and antenna at the masthead for the AIS system and a new testing and monitoring regime for AIS performance; the provision of tailored training packages for the fitted, radar, AIS and navigation systems and their use in collision avoidance and replacement of the FMCW radar with a more appropriate technology for offshore racing.

More lighting
The report also recommended that Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) be further investigated; an extra set of sidelights and a sternlight light be fitted near deck level; an all-round white masthead flashing light be fitted as an anti-collision warning and a set of lights be fitted on the upper spreaders to illuminate the top of the mainsail.

The report team found that the risk clearly depends on the level of congestion. The organisers should avoid some congested areas around the world and this is what VOR practices. Despite the accident off Hong Kong, the risk in those and similar waters is considered acceptable.

The report team also considers that the VO 65s were being sailed at a safe speed considering their manoeuvrability when sailed by a full professional crew.

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Cley Harbour rejuvenated after many years of disuse

Photo credit: Chris Taylor
Photo credit: Chris Taylor

Norfolk’s Cley Harbour has received its largest traditional working sailing vessel for more than 60 years, marking its return to activity after falling into disuse.

The Coastal Exploration Company owned 30ft open wooden gaff rigged whelk boat Salford came into the harbour to deliver a cargo of North Norfolk beer from Barsham Brewery to the Cley Windmill.

Simon Read, chairman of Cley Harbour committee said: “This is the largest traditional working sailing vessel to visit Cley in over 60 years and will be mark a key moment in the rejuvenation of Cley Harbour.”

The clinker-built traditional Norfolk fishing boat has remained in and around Norfolk’s waters since it was built in the 1950s and was recently in the filming of The Personal History of David Copperfield, produced by FilmNation Entertainment and Film4.

Centuries ago, Cley-next-the-Sea was one of the most important ports in Great Britain, but siltation and land reclamation over the centuries has since led Cley’s estuary to become unnavigable.

In 2014, a group of volunteers got together with the aim of bringing this once-thriving part of Cley back to life. Donations were pledged, working parties organised and gradually Cley Harbour has become busy with a range of visiting boats.

“Just as our land has been farmed for centuries we are thrilled the beer we produce can be delivered under sail as it would have in years gone by,” said Susanna Soames, Barsham Brewery director.

Wildlife has also benefited from the restoration work, with otters and kingfishers now regularly seen.

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IMO has adopted a plan to address the issue of marine plastic rubbish

Dumping plastics into the sea is already prohibited under MARPOL regulations, which also oblige governments to ensure adequate port reception facilities to receive ship waste.
Dumping plastics into the sea is already prohibited under MARPOL regulations, which also oblige governments to ensure adequate port reception facilities to receive ship waste.

The IMO has pledged to address the significant problem posed by plastics to the marine environment, with the adoption of an action plan which aims to enhance existing regulations and introduce new supporting measures to reduce marine plastic litter from ships.

The plan was adopted on October 26 by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

Dumping plastics into the sea is already prohibited under MARPOL regulations, which also oblige governments to ensure adequate port reception facilities to receive ship waste. Under the London Convention and Protocol on the dumping of wastes at sea, only permitted materials can be dumped and this waste – such as from dredging – has to be fully assessed to ensure it does not contain harmful materials like plastics.

However, studies demonstrate that despite the existing regulatory framework to prevent marine plastic litter from ships, discharges into the sea continue to occur. Recognising that more needs to be done, IMO Member States agreed on actions to be completed by 2025, which relate to all ships, including fishing vessels.

Specific identified measures include:

• a proposed study on marine plastic litter from ships;
• looking into the availability and adequacy of port reception facilities;
• consideration of making marking of fishing gear mandatory, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO);
• promoting the reporting of the loss of fishing gear;
• facilitating the delivery of retrieved fishing gear to shore facilities;
• reviewing provisions related to the training of fishing vessel personnel and familiarization of seafarers to ensure awareness of the impact of marine plastic litter;
• consideration of the establishment of a compulsory mechanism to declare loss of containers at sea and identify number of losses;
• enhancing public awareness; and
• strengthening international cooperation, in particular FAO and UN Environment.

The details will be further considered by MEPC 74. The action plan supports IMO’s commitment to meeting the targets set in the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.”

The IMO will continue to work with UN partners including: the FAO through the Joint FAO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and related matters; the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP); the UN Environment-managed Global Partnership on Marine Litter; the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea and the United Nations Environment Assembly.

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