Monday, September 17

Maritime Monday 76

Welcome to this Weeks edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find Maritime Monday 26 here. (Published 11 September 2006)

You can find last week's edition here.

This Weeks Photos:
This weeks photos come out of the accident report covered by Mr. Dennis Bryant of Holland & Knight:

Haight's Maritime Items has:

UK – report on shipping container collapse - The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the collapse of shipping containers on a container ship in the Baltic Sea on 26 February 2007. The investigation revealed what appears to be a systemic problem with the rapid loading of containers, allowing minimal time for the ship’s officers to determine whether the loading is being done in accordance with the load plan and to calculate the effect of the loading on ship stability, among other factors. The report recommends development of a best practice safety code and other industry-wide changes. Report No. 21/2007 (9/13/07). - Dennis Bryant Holland & Knight homepage (Used with Permission)

The photos:





This is an interesting report for anyone who does stowage planning. It will become even more relevant as the number of large vessels increases, increasing the chances of similar incidents since average stack heights will increase.

Here is a picture I took while working in the container depot in Helsinki as a container damage inspector. You can see some of the IBC 30 foot bulk containers in the background. In the foreground are a couple of containers on the inspection stand:

Here is a picture from the report of the CSC plate of one of the bulk containers:

The ACEP sticker means that the container is part of an Accepted Container Examination Program.

The owner of a container is responsible for maintaining that container in a safe condition and must arrange for a container to be examined in accordance with certain procedures and at prescribed intervals for the purpose of determining whether the container has any defect that could place any person in danger.

For leased containers, by virtue of lease agreements the owner or lessor normally transfers these responsibilities to the lessee.

As part of minimum requirement for depot's, most shipping companies, instruct empty container depots to examine every container in accordance with the owners/lessors requirements that enters the empty yard for compliance with the owners/lessors respective CSC scheme. If within CSC, then the container must have a minimum prescribed time in accordance with the respective maintenance schemes provided under CSC (i.e.90 days time left before next due plate update). In the case of ACEP, then it must be sound for the full 30 months (on equipment 2 ½ years or older). For any unit not conforming to owner/lessors CSC/ACEP scheme requirements, the depot is normally requested to quote to effect repairs to bring the container up to the owners/lessors standard or to advise the container owner or agent of the containers non-CSC conformingcondition. - Shipping Australia

Of course every shipping line has different standards.

Finally, here is a photo of one of the worst crushed containers I have run across. It was dropped from a container crane. As you can see, it was full of glass:


'Broken Glass'

This Weeks Items:
Eagle Speak has "More secure containers?". Also, be sure to check out his weekly series "Sunday Ship History: The Inchon Invasion, September 1950"

Maritime Accident Casebook has the special report "The Case Of The Killer Catch". Once again the instrument of death is the lifeboat which takes the lives of two seafarers during a safety drill. The report lists a number of good points about how needlessly complicated the gear is for attaching and releasing the falls from the lifeboat. Personally I tend to prefer the old open boats with the single lever marked "DANGER LEVER DROPS BOAT". With the open boat, it is easy to see that you are in the water and permits easy access to the falls. Also the hooks can be secured before attaching the falls. Surely this system was not perfect, but at least you were not trapped inside, and provided that the 'manropes' were maintained, you at least had something to hold onto in case the lifeboat dropped out from under you.

Here is the lifeboat setup from the M/V GALVESTON BAY, which was photo of the week here. Go read the explanation of why the lifeboat was so high up on the house. One thing I did not mention at the time, was that this photo was taken while weight testing the falls. This was done by filling the boat's bilge with water. The problem came when the Chief Mate ordered me (the deck cadet) to ride the vessel down to the water with an AB (I had no problem with that) and then release the falls (I had a problem with that). I refused, explaining to the mate that the boat would flip as soon as I did that. I then was chewed out by the mate in front of the Coast Guard inspector (who, by the way, stood there and said nothing). I was finally let off the hook by the Port Engineer who heard all the noise and came to investigate. He then berated the Mate because some other fool Officer on a sister ship did something similar resulting in the death of two while the ship was docked in New Jersey. The Chief Mate wanted to release the falls as it required to be done once every three months and he figured he would save a little time by combining the two tests:

Imagine being in this lifeboat as the ship rolled.

gCaptain has what is apparently bad news to a number of US Merchant Mariners who were a little creative with their work-related meal 'expense' deductions with his post "Mariner Tax Deduction “Kapp-sized” By IRS". (For those who don't know, the ship provides your meals at sea, at no additional cost to you.) The relevant part is that the Government is demanding names of clients back to 2000. That sounds somewhat unfair to me, because I was under the impression that they can't go after you for more than 3 years back as long as you file. Anyway, gCaptain promises to keep on top of the story here.

I was originally going to link to this gCaptain article "Aw Nuts! By The Artful Blogger". To better understand the barrel reference, look here, but only if your not easily offended. (If you are easily offended, you are at the wrong corner of the internet.) Hmm, who knows, maybe the barrel reference will also apply to the other gCaptain post.

Honolulu Advertiser explains the fears of those who inhabit the outer islands that the Hawaii Superferry will ruin their isolation. (Better transportation connections normally do that.)

Superferry has announced that they will restart service between Kaua‘i and O‘ahu starting on September 26 and have posted on their website "the Summary of State Law Consequences" (PDF Document) (which includes Federal charges for interfering with the Coast Guard). The list was released by the State of Hawaii as a warning to protesters who might consider breaking the law, again.

The Economic Times (India) has the latest on the BLUE LADY scrapping battle in "Blue Lady's fate uncertain as activists to challenge SC". Apparently, it was finally approved because the vessel had already been beached. The Oregon Telegraph has the expected reaction from the environmentalists in "Rights and environmental groups condemn Blue Lady ruling". Technically, this should be an internal Indian matter since the owner of the vessel is an Indian Shipbreaker, who planned to profit from recycling the ship. Go here for Flickr photos of Alang Ships.

The Pilot Boat brings in the dead ship/Portuguese ferry ILHA AZUL for repairs.

Shipping Times (UK) has "Scottish Government urged to abolish fishing fleet 'slave labour'" noting a number of severe abuses on EU-Registered fishing vessels.

'Manoeuvre' in Maritime Asia has "Taiwan to Construct Spratly Air Base". There is a small issue in that China has also claimed the islands for themselves as do a number of other countries. Back in school the big NAVTAG simulation involved the Spratley Islands. My watch actually won the event by kamikaze-ing our last jet into the Chinese troopship sent to occupy the islands. The instructor thought it would be amusing to enable the kamikaze option but never thought that it would be the deciding factor in the game.

Tims Times posts a sea story from his first arrival in the US. The story is titled "Divine Intervention"

Robin Storm takes a good look at remotely operated underwater vehicles including how they assisted in the salvage of the M/V BOW MARINER.

Logistics Management has one company's switch from shipping cargo from Air to sea in "Ocean shipping strategies: Risk versus reward". In many cases, shipping by air is not as fast as you would think it is. That is a problem for the air carriers as moving cargo by sea is getting faster.

The Daily Dispatch (South Africa) has a list of accidents off the Eastern Cape Coast of South Africa in "WILD COAST: The ship wrecker".

Sailor Girl (Atlântico Azul - Paixão pelo Mar) invites you to participate in Royal Race Regatta on 5 October, 2007, in Portugal.

MarEx Newsletter has "Flag State Activities Crucial to Promoting Safety at Sea"

DC Examiner has a story on the Baltimore International Seafarer’s Center. Their website is located here.

Titanic International Society’s Web Log has "Coast Guard appoints first woman to command Ice Patrol". That would be US Coast Guard LCDR Gabrielle McGrath.

UN Atlas of the Oceans has Captain Caroline Lallement, the first female Ship Captain in France. (So it claims.) For those who can manage, the French language story can be found here.


French Captain Caroline Lallement

The Boston Globe has the story of one entrant to the upcoming Vendée Globe around the world alone race.

Bosun Bob's Locker has a good example of why it is a bad idea to have nobody awake on watch in a story of the sailboat OUZO being run over by the channel ferry PRIDE OF BILBAO (Wikipedia info here) in ""Reflectors are virtually useless" (Damning report on Ouzo sinking)". The reflector mentioned is the radar reflector carried on many sailboats. So be warned. While they had that, they did not have other, more useful equipment, such as an EPIRB or even lights for their lifejackets. That is a shame since they survived the sinking of their sailboat, only to die in the water. The MAIB Report can be found here. (PDF File.)

Environmental News Network has "Indian Ocean sees smallest tuna catch in 11 years"

SAILORS, MARINERS & WARRIORS LEAGUE has "the claim by and Animal Rights Group Saying that it sank the Whaling Ship WILLASSEN SENIOR in Norway.

Steeljaw Scribe has the firing by Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia’s Navy Chief, Admiral Vladimir Masorin, possibly for accepting an award from the US Chief of Naval Operations.

National Public Radio has a photo essay and radio presentation "Exploring for Oil in the Arctic's 'Great Frontier'"

Maritime Links Editor's Blog has "Maine Maritime Academy Enrollment at All Time High!" Hmmm, seems like a trend.

Maritime Compass posts about the arrest of the former facilities director of Mystic Seaport, Cindy Snarski, for stealing thousands of dollars of copper wire.

Tugster has the Dutch-Flag, US-based canal boat GOLDEN RE'AL.

The Canadian Press has the head of the Canadian Navy, Vice-Admiral Drew Robertson state that the Navy needs to learn how to fight pirates and terrorists.

With yet another example of why Greenpeace should be thrown out of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), again, and just in time to back up the statements of Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Robertson, is their post "Pulp freighter blockade in Canada"

How about slacking this line out and dunking this guy? I bet his attitude would change pretty quick:

"Greenpeace activist suspended from mooring lines" - Greenpeace

Where are the fire hoses?


Greenpeace keeps getting away with this because ship's crews are not given the GreenLight to repel them. Here are some ways to protect the ship if you find yourself being attacked by Greenpeace: (Note: Anything you do is your responsibility, although it is Greenpeace that forces you to act.)

- Use fire hoses and fire monitors. Add Foam or soap to make everything slippery. Deliver the soap inside water balloons and then use the hosed to foam it all up.

- Use the anchor wash if there is an attempt to secure themselves to the anchor chain.

- Use paintball guns. For more effect, shoot Pepper balls.

- Have the engineers whip up a couple potato cannons. Instead of potatoes, you can try ice cubes for a shotgun effect.

- Make use of expired flares. Just don't shoot them skyward.

Navy Times has the damage being done to our Navy by the shrinking number of shore duty jobs and reduced chances for advancement. (Hmmm, it has been about 5 months since I submitted by request to resign from the Navy Reserves.)

Read "Cheating death (Lloyds List)" for the amazing story of the survival of the entire staff of the American Bureau of Shipping who escaped from the 91st floor of the first World Trade Tower to be hit. The plane hit right above their floor and nobody escaped from any of the floors above them.

Finally, EU Observer has "EU abandons metric conversion for UK and Ireland".

Fairplay Daily News has:

Fury as Norway scraps tonnage tax - OSLO 10 September – The Norwegian government sent autumn chill through the country’s shipping community by presenting a framework for the taxation of shipping that effectively means cancellation of the tonnage tax system and massive claims for payment of tax credits incurred since 1996 when it was introduced. A new system will be published with the government’s draft budget on 6 October. The Norwegian tonnage tax meant that operating profits were untaxed unless taxable dividends are paid to the shareholders or if assets are moved out of Norway. The government now intends to reclaim these tax credits. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA) estimates that the credits amount to between 14 and 21 billion kroner ($3.6Bn). “A claim to pay the so called tax credits will lead to selling ships and newbuilding contracts on wholesale scale and massive exodus of Norwegian shipping to Denmark, Great Britain and Germany,” NSA said in a statement, adding that the equity of many companies will be dramatically reduced, in some cases by half. Taxation of shipping has raised controversy in Norway since 1996, when the tonnage tax was introduced. Ship owners say the system adopted has not offered the same benefits as those in use in many EU countries. Some economists say all business in Norway should be taxed equally to ensure the best use of funds invested. A shipping analyst told Fairplay that listed companies with domiciles abroad, such as Frontline, Golden Ocean or Nordic American, would not be affected at all. Those domiciled in Norway, including many privately owned firms, could be badly affected. “This is tough, but I don’t think the last word has been said yet,” he predicted. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

That was just the first act. Then the other shoe dropped:

Tonnage tax: Oslo doubles the pain - OSLO 13 September – Norway’s finance ministry is to double the tax bill for shipping companies already reeling from the double blow of losing the tonnage tax and the demand for back tax. A letter from the Norwegian finance ministry to one shipping company stipulates that market values rather than book values should be used in calculating owners’ tax liability following the abolition of tonnage tax, which can double the bill owners face to NK40Bn ($7.1Bn). Per Saevik, MD of the offshore vessel group Havila, said in an interview webcast on tv2.no that the letter had stipulated that owners’ tax liability should be based on the market value of their fleet and not on the book value as owners had assumed so far. He described the situation as dramatic and said that talks are needed between the owners and the government to address the problem. The very existence of a number of companies would be in jeopardy if an NK40Bn bill was levied on the industry. This, in turn, would have serious consequences for ancillary industries such as shipbuilding and marine equipment manufacturing. The Norwegian marine cluster employs some 90,000 persons, which is about 5% of the workforce in a country of four million. - Fairplay Homepage (Used with Permission)

It seems that Norway is determined to kill off their shipping Industry by burying it in taxes.

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4 comments:

John said...

I read that ABS article few years back, truly amazing! Thanks for remembering the day, here's the memorial site for the guys lost from my father's firehouse.

Big Blue

Sailor Girl said...

Hello Fred!

Thanks very much for posting the invitation for the Royal Race! Do you think you could come? It's not very far away! It's in the Tagus River (Lisbon, Portugal)!!!

Fred Fry said...

"Do you think you could come?"

I Wish!

Actually, I will be in Finland for two weeks in October. Close, but not close enough.

Sailor Girl said...

Oh Dear!...
Well, Finland is ok... But Portugal is better !! ;-)

I was in Helsinky in 1988, for the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race (Helsinki-Mariehamn-Copenhagen) and have lots of good memories!!

Have a nice stay there!! If you come to Lisbon please inform, we will welcome you and show the town, the river and the sea here.