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How vulnarble are modern ships in bad weather?

Posted 11/26/2017

The tragedy of EL FARO revealed several concerns for modern ships such as:

1. Can crewmembers of a ship abandon it?
2. Are ships integrity standards maintained properly?
3. Are crewmembers familiar with flooding scenarios?

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Double Banking and STS Transfers on Bulk Carriers

Posted 11/26/2017

The North P&I analyses risk and legal issues in double banking:

Read full report

 

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The significance of vigilance during anchorage at sea

Posted 11/26/2017

 

"The anchor and chain were lost. The vessel was not allowed to continue its journey until the anchor and chain had been replaced. The vessel had a spare anchor but the operation to replace it and the chain took several days.

 

The port authorities also demanded that the anchor should be recovered. A salvage company was hired to retrieve the lost anchor and chain."

Source: The Swedish P&I

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mooring bitts (double bollards) Failures

Posted 7/26/2017

 

 Major accidents involving mooring equipment in the last 20 years have injured many seafarers and have cost the UK Club over US$34 million (UK P&I 2009)

 

 

 

From the accidents reported is believed that 5% is caused by actual equipment failure (UK P&I 2009).

 

Equipment failure includes bollards and bitts which are parts of shipboard fittings used for regular mooring or towing of the ship. The shipyard should make the selection of shipboard fittings according to industry standards such as ISO 3913:1977 Shipbuilding-Welded steel bollards.

 

However shipboard fittings that have suffered significant wastage is very likely that will fail. Wastage could also apply to the steel to which the equipment is welded. If the deck where fittings are fixed is in poor condition, there is a danger of the bitts being torn from the deck.

 

The IMO has set the following requirements regarding Safe working load (SWL) of shipboard fittings in MSC/Circ.1175:

 

  • The SWL used for regular towing operations (harbour/manoeuvring) should not exceed 80% of the design load
  • The SWL of each shipboard fitting should be marked (by weld bead or equivalent) on the deck fittings used for towing.
  • The towing and mooring arrangements plan should define the method of use of towing lines.
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What Shines is Not Always Gold: How to Identify Fake Managers

Why Ships Collide

Posted 5/21/2017

A bulk carrier named “A” while navigating in a two-way water route had a crossing course with another ship called “B”. The route was monitored by a VTS and outside its limits there are shallows. In contrary to Rule 15 the navigation officers agreed to pass starboard to starboard. To achieve this manoeuvring, the Ship “A” had to turn its course on the left passing from ship “B” to a distance of 0.5 nautical miles. As it is shown in the picture, the ship “A” could remain at its initial course and have a clear port to port pass from ship “B”.

 

‘Conflicting actions may occur in head-on or near head-on encounters where one ship takes avoiding action by turning to port and the other ship by turning to starboard. Rule 8 (a)

  

With the use of ECDIS the incident was examined by the DPA who made the following observations:

 

 Findings

  1. Ship “A” changed course to port side against Rule 15 which states to avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel. In a crossing situation, a ship is required to avoid crossing ahead of a ship on its starboard side, if there is a risk of collision.
  2. A VHF agreement cannot be made against a COLREG for any reason.
  3. Safe distance from another ship cannot be less than 1 nautical mile at open sea. Otherwise, speed should be reduced Rule 8(d).
  4. Rule 17(ii) (referred to the ‘stand-on vessel) should be read together with 17(c) that does not allow a ship to alter its course to port side to avoid collision with another ship crossing from its port side
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Contingency Planning in Fire Incidents

Posted 5/21/2017

  

A ship’s captain sent an email to the company that on his ship there was a minor fire incident due to sparks flying from the funnel, brooms which been stored on Funnel deck. The crew succeeded to put the fire out by using fire extinguishers and fire hoses without suffering any damages or injuries. Relevant photos were sent to the company.

 

  1. A ship management company should have a contingency planning that should be followed by crew members in the case of an incident.
  2. A well-trained crew should use firefighting suits when dealing with fire incident.
  3. In the case of a possible fire escalation, there should be an emergency plan in place otherwise the crew will be trapped. 
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Fire Drills in Ship Engine Room

Posted 6/8/2016
  •  Shipboard case

During a fire drill in engine room the attending marine superintend noticed that firefighting crew entered the engine room by connecting hoses from main deck and holding fire extinguishers. When he asked the why they did not use FFE from engine room it was revealed that crewmembers could not justify their actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Root Cause

Drills in engine room were not appreciated. Crew had never discussed before what they should do in a fire drill and what hazards should be expected such as high temperatures, emergency escape, time limitations when using breathing apparatus, usage of FFE in engine room.

  •  Lessons Learned

 Crew training was not properly monitored on-board from the ship management company.

Crew training is usually carried on-board from other senior seamen where their experience in combating fire is limited.

  •  Key Issue

Nearly 60% of all fire incidents are imitating in ships engine rooms. Most of them are successfully extinguished due to permanent fire extinguish systems required by SOLAS. However if these systems are failed the risk for crew and ship are high. Furthermore crew should know how to plan and execute a rescue mission when people are trapped in machinery fires.

 

 

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ECDIS Familiarization Issues

Posted 6/7/2016

During a PSC inspection on a bulk carrier it was fond that ship’s master could not provide records regarding his ECDIS specific training as per STCW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Root Cause Analysis

During internal investigation it was found that the previous ship master had resigned suddenly and the new designated ship master did not had time to attend a training course for the same ECDIS type.

The ship management company had relied for his training requirement on its familiarization process for on-board ECDIS familiarization which included the completion of a check list.

  •  Lessons Learned

Human resources department failed to ensure availability of key personnel for immediate recruitment.

In the ECDIS shipboard familiarization procedure there was not any further action required by the company to ensure competency of deck officers when there is a proper familiarization.  

  •   Key Issue

The company should make a proper evaluation of the efficiency of tis deck officers to be competent in using ECDIS equipment. In this case the ship’s master due to lack of proper record could make a navigation error.

Appropriate Size of Immersion Suits

Posted 7/1/2015
  • Shipboard case

During a PSC inspection on-board a general cargo ship it was found that the Immersion suits were for the weight range of 55kg-95kg. Two of the crew members are more than 95kgs and therefore they are unable to fit in the provided immersion suits. The immersion suits were on-board but distributed to other crewmembers.

  

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Root Causes Analysis

The crew familiarization process on-board was insufficient since nobody had actually worn the immersion suits. The drills were not carried out effectively since personal life saving equipment was not tested. The ship crew did not use any inventory with personal lifesaving equipment details.

  •  Lessons Learned

Familiarization and drills should be executed with proper care. Shipboard crew training should be sufficient to ensure that crew is aware of identifying personal lifesaving equipment failures.

The safety officer was not aware of his responsibilities regarding maintenance of personal LSA.

  • Key Issue

The PSC officer requested for class attendance and the deficiency closed to the class surveyor’s satisfaction. This action caused a significant cost and reputation damage to the ship management company.