Above Board

Maritime news from the seven seas


July 1, 2017

The tide is changing for the maritime industry, as digitalization becomes more of an intrinsic part of the shipping world. To that end, the new president of BIMCO, Anastasios Papagiannopoulos, CEO of Common Progress, has committed to promoting digitalization across the industry, along with two other high-priority initiatives that include reducing the mammoth administrative tasks ship masters face, and encouraging successful ways to implement and enforce new environmental regulations.

Deadly Disasters and Other Incidents

Lake St. Clair in Michigan was the site of a collision between two vessels that left one person clinging to a buoy, as he watched his 17-foot pleasure craft sink beneath the waves. The other ship was the cargo vessel Esta Desgagnes, whose Master quickly requested help from the local Coast Guard, who responded quickly and were able to rescue the uninjured man from the water.

Philips Publishing Group

No one was injured after a small mill tug sank in approximately 90 feet of water in the Shuswap Lake BC, near Ruckell Point. At the time of the incident, the vessel was carrying just over 1,000 gallons of diesel but apparently just a small amount leaked into the water.

Four people came to harm – one likely died, in a vessel accident near Marsh Island, Louisiana. All were aboard the tug Crosby Commander when it began taking on water – the exact cause is unknown as of this writing. Three people were able to get into a life raft and were subsequently rescued by a nearby vessel, but after spending nearly 100 hours searching more than 3,700 square nautical miles, the US Coast Guard suspended the search for the other person.

Piracy Pulse

In Indonesia, a group of six marauders, armed with knives and wearing face masks, were able to get on board a chemical tanker at berth. They were also able to grab some ship properties before fleeing as the alarm was raised.

In another Indonesia incident, a product tanker was boarded by six bandits who used a rope to get on deck, subsequently tying up many of the crew and stealing ship properties before they made their escape.

Evasive maneuvers and deploying fire hoses were necessary near Cacnipa Island in the Philippines, after would-be robbers in two speed boats gave chase to an offshore tug.

In Bab el-Mandeb, in the Red Sea, a crude oil tanker was fired on by three brazen pirates in a small skiff. The vessel’s armed security team fired back with warning shots until the tiny ship moved off. The crew, who has mustered in the citadel, were not injured in the incident.

Odds and Ends

Fullers Group, a New Zealand firm, has been ordered to pay a heavy fine for knowingly operating a ferry with a faulty digital control system meant to enable the Master to switch control of the vessel from four different bridge stations. When a new control system was installed in 2014, it was concluded that there were some faults associated with switching while in automatic mode. Yet the Kea ferry continued servicing its routes. While some stop-gap measures were put in place, such as manually operating the switching sequence and turning off the automatic operation, this did not properly mitigate the risks to passengers, particularly if a Master lost control in manual mode while the vessel was moving, it was surmised by a Maritime NZ Regional Compliance Manager. As it turned out, the incident, which happened in 2015, was caused by the Master losing control of one of the ship’s thrusters, resulting in the ferry hitting the Victoria wharf at Devonport, and sending the unsecured bench seating on the main deck falling onto several passengers.

April 2018 will see an all-electric passenger ship begin plying the waters. Constructed out of carbon fiber, the 42-meter Future of the Fjords , is currently being built by Brødrene Aa for Norwegian company Fjords DA. The specialized hull reduces wake, and the vessel will operate on two 300kW electric motors. At the same time, the infrastructure needed for the vessel to recharge is also in the works with a local supplier. The Future of the Fjords is expected to make about 700 trips annually.

DAMEN Shipyards Group has been contracted to build the next two hybrid ferries for BC Ferries for a price tag of $86.5 million CAD. The new 81-meter vessels are expected to enter into service in 2020, and will have the capacity to accommodate 300 passengers and crew and 44 cars. The ships will replace vessels that currently service the Powell River/Texada Island, and the Port McNeill/Alert Bay/Sointula routes.

Port Everglades is set to add three low-profile Super Post Panamax container-handling gantry cranes at a cost of $41.4 million, as it prepares to expand its larger ship services. The cranes, being constructed by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, will improve cargo handling capacity as they

can reach across 22 containers and stack containers

eight high.

Kathy Smith writes for global maritime trade journals and provides marketing copy to maritime businesses worldwide. She can be reached at maritimewriter@gmail.com


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2020