Pacific Maritime Magazine - Marine Business for the Operations Sector

Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


The ice-classed AHTS Magne Viking, owned by Viking Supply Ships, has become the first vessel to be found in compliance with the new IMO Polar Code by a recent DNV GL survey. The IMO Polar Code comes into effect on January 1, 2017, and is mandatory for all SOLAS vessels sailing in arctic and Antarctic waters. DNV GL issues the Polar Ship Certificate on behalf of Flag Authorities for vessels that comply with the new code.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

In the Gulf of Mexico, three workers died and many more were injured after the Pemex Abkatun A Permanente oil processing platform suffered a fire.

In Italy, toxic fumes overcame three crewmembers aboard the chemical tanker Araz River while they worked to clean cargo tanks. One person died and two others were seriously injured.

A general cargo ship sailing off the off Masalembu Islands in Indonesia exploded and sank after an engine fire spread quickly throughout the vessel. One person was injured but all 19 crew were safely evacuated from the Lintas Belawan.

In Lohr am Main, Germany, the drunken Master of the freighter Elsava had some explaining to do after ramming the ship up onto a river bank following alliding with a nearby bridge.

A devastating fire at the Dozier Yachting Center in Virginia resulted in the deaths of two people and the destruction of dozens of boats.

Ten-foot waves hampered the rescue of crew aboard the Carolina Queen III, which had run aground off East Rockaway Inlet, Long Island, New York. Five Coast Guard crew who had been dispatched to the site ended up swimming to shore after their rescue boat capsized in the turbulent seas. Subsequently, a Coast Guard helicopter airlifted the fishing vessel’s seven crewmembers to safety.

Piracy Pulse

At Georgetown Anchorage, Guyana, armed pirates brandishing knives were able to break into the paint locker aboard a container ship. The thieves were able to get away with their loot despite the alarm being raised and a Coast Guard vessel being dispatched to give chase.

A tug crew had to lock themselves in a safe place aboard a tug underway near Bayelsa, Nigeria, when a band of 10 pirates fired on the vessel. The brazen robbers climbed aboard, stole cash and personal effects and damaged navigation equipment before making their getaway.

One crewmember reportedly suffered serious injuries after being shot by pirates who hijacked a product tanker off Bayelsa, Nigeria while the vessel was sailing form Lome to Bata. Five of the crew were kidnapped and the ship’s communication equipment was damaged as well during the ordeal. The ship with the remaining crew was able to continue sailing to Benin where the injured crewmember was evacuated for medical assistance by a navy patrol boat before arriving with escort at the Cotonou anchorage for subsequent investigation.

Odds and Ends

Faulty visual navigation was cited by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as one of the main reasons the grounding of the bulk carrier Atlantic Erie occurred in January, 2015, near the Havre de la Grande Entree outer channel. The ship was headed out from the Seleine mine in Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec at the time of the incident. The TSB’s report found that the bridge team lost situational awareness because they were not using all navigational equipment, relying on buoys instead; the buoy positions were inaccurately calculated due to the team using an outdated electronic chart. As a result, the shipowner, Canada Steamship Lines, updated electronic charts across its fleet and entered into additional training on human element leadership management for its bridge team and second engineers.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau found two crew aboard the bulk carrier Cape Splendor had not been wearing personal flotation devices or fall prevention equipment, which resulted in the bosun’s death in October, 2014. The bosun had decided to fish during his lunch break from the bottom of the accommodation ladder, and asked a fellow crewman to assist him. The bosun lost his footing, falling into the sea. The seaman quickly proceeded to the deck and threw the bosun a lifebuoy. The ship’s rescue boat was launched as well, but despite these attempts and a subsequent three-day air and sea search and rescue effort, the bosun’s body was never found.


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