Maritime news from the seven seas
New IMO requirements are in the offing for those who work aboard ships in enclosed spaces. As of January 1, 2015, SOLAS Chapter III, regulation 19 will come into force; at an interval of at least once every two months, crew will be required to run enclosed space entry and rescue drills. The new rules will also affect mobile offshore drilling units and high-speed craft, with some variations. Additionally, initiatives are underway to use portable atmosphere testing instruments that will have the ability to test the air of enclosed spaces from outside. These new requirements should be adopted before the end of 2014, with entry into force expected on July 1, 2016, although the IMO is pushing to have these adopted sooner.
Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents
A crewman working aboard the Northern Dexterity container ship sailing near South Carolina suffered an eye injury and had to be medevaced by the US Coast Guard.
Near Lake Charles, Louisiana, a crewman injured his arm after falling in the Desert Hope’s bilge and had to be airlifted off the vessel.
A wild windstorm in Fremantle, Australia was responsible for the cargo ship AAL Fremantle hitting a rail bridge after the vessel’s stern rope snapped.
In Vancouver, BC the cargo ship Attila allided with, and caused damage to, part of the quayside at DP World’s Centerm Terminal, leaving a starboard ballast tank with a one-meter hole.
Two container ships collided near the Tianjin port, the Bohai Sea, China. The Gang Tai Tai Zhou’s bow was damaged but the Tao Yan sank.
Despite three- to five-foot seas, 17 mile-an-hour winds and fog, Coast Guard helicopter personnel successfully medevaced a crewman with an injured back from the research vessel Mirai near Barrow, Alaska.
In Malaysia, six armed pirates hijacked a tanker in order to siphon its 12,096 tons of lube oil. They locked the crew in the engine room during the operation and also inflicted damage on the ship’s navigation and communication equipment before releasing the vessel and her crew.
Chantier Davie Canada Inc. has built one of the largest commercial ships in Canada in the last 25 years. The Cecon Pride was recently delivered to Cecon, a Norwegian oilfield services company and will provide offshore oil and gas construction support.
The world’s first floating liquefaction unit is currently under construction at Wilson Offshore and Marine’s Wilson Heavy Industry’s Shipyard in Nantong, China, and is expected to be delivered to the joint partnership Exmar and Pacific Rubiales ENERGY by the middle of 2016.
The first vessel in operation to be equipped with Rolls-Royce’s Unified Bridge has been making industry waves. The innovative Unified Bridge, which was recently installed on Stril Luna, a platform supply vessel, has been developed with ergonomic capabilities in mind. Instruments, monitors and levers have been designed and placed to support the natural way a person moves.
Shipwrecks of Old
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Michigan recently got the nod from President Obama to increase the preservation area from 450 to 4,300 square miles. Widening the sanctuary means nearly 200 sunken vessels from what’s known as Shipwreck Alley (the nickname given Thunder Bay in the 19th century when it was a main shipping channel) will now be protected, allowing the possibility of more finds and additional exploration and research among other initiatives.
One of two shipwrecks that were part of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage has been found by a team of Canadian researchers. The wooden sailing vessel was found near the bottom of Queen Maud Gulf in about 11 meters of water and sonar images reveal it is largely intact. At press time, it was not known if the ship is either the HMS Erebus or HMS Terror. The two ships carried Franklin and 128 men from Britain to the arctic frontier on a famously ill-fated voyage of discovery.
Odds and Ends
By 2015, the Hamburg Port Authority will join the green shore power movement by providing electrical power in port to cruise ships, regardless of their size or type of electrical system. The system is being touted as the first of its kind in Europe with a 12-megavolt ampere capacity.
The world’s first battery-driven car ferry will be in operation next year on the Norwegian west coast. The ZeroCat™ will run on a fjord crossing route, with capacity for 360 passengers and 120 cars. The vessel, owned by Norled and being constructed by Fjellstrand Yard, won Skipsrevyen’s Ship of the Year award at SMM 2014.
Poor seamanship led to a collision between a wind farm support vessel and a wind turbine tower head in the North Sea’s Sheringham Shoal wind farm in 2012. The master was fined $3,000 pounds for relying only on the turbine safety lights to help him navigate the farm in high winds and waves. Several crew were injured and the vessel was heavily damaged.
A Harbor pilot found more than he bargained for when he boarded the M/V Fritjord cargo ship in the River Tay in Scotland. Captain Andrejs Borodins was heavily intoxicated and visibly staggering. Upon the ship arriving in Dundee, he was arrested and later sentenced to spend four months in a UK prison for taking the wheel under the influence with almost four times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
Kathy A. Smith enjoys writing for US and international fishing and maritime trade journals. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.