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    Re: Random maritime accidents.

    What is so annoying is that all this hype is about the fuel oil on board.
    Oil is an organic substance, not poison that kill all life in the sea for miles around and for years to come. In fact is is food for the lowest forms of life in the sea, which in turn is food for the next level.

    With the danger of repeating myself, natural venting of oil into the seas has happened for thousands of year and far exceed what is on board any ship, even a VLCC, every year.

    During the Iran-Iraq War more crude oil leaked into the relatively enclosed Arabian Gulf then what was spewed out of the Macondo well in GOM. What is the environmental result today, 20 years later? Nothing.

    This ship is a Container ship with over 6000 Containers on board. If she is allowed to sink many of these containers will float up and be a danger to small ships.

    Because she is likely to sink far from shore the containers will eventually hit beaches over a large area and in some inaccessible places, clearing up that mess will be enormous.

    Who knows what is in some of these containers? It is not likely to be all from Toys'R'us. Some may contain substances far more dangerous to the environment than the Fuel Oil on board. (Not all Shippers give a honest declaration of content)

    If you think I feels strongly about this subject, you are right. As a sometime Salvage Master in the passed, I am glad I don't do that kind of jobs anymore. I could NOT accept being treated as a kindergarten kid by some bureaucrat with no Maritime knowledge. When things goes wrong they will blame the professionals, not themselves.
    Last edited by ombugge; August 20th, 2012, 17:25.

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      Re: Random maritime accidents.

      I agree with what you say about the oil, after all it is an organic substance that will disappear in a relatively short space of time. Unlike the containers and their contents, like you say, no telling what's inside them. And after being involved with clearing up some of the mess the Napoli's containers made, i know just what a mess they can make.

      But i can also understand why nobody wants heavy fuel oil washing up on their beaches, i myself live very near to the coast, and i certainly would not want to see a load of oil washed up on my local beach. My part of the world relies heavily on the tourist trade, so obviously anything like oil coming ashore could affect my local village and beach (Combe Martin). I am also very close to Woolacombe and Croyde - home to some of the busiest surfing beaches in the UK. So again, oil making land fall would not be good.

      But like said, the containers and their contents pose a much bigger threat over a much longer period of time. A lot of these containers will not conveniently sink to the bottom (not so convenient if you the one having to retrieve them), a lot of them will contain materials that are buoyant to some extent, causing the container to float either very low in the water, or just under the water, making them just about invisible to shipping. Yes, containers are lost overboard from ships on a fairly regular basis, but that is limited to maybe the odd stack of 5 here and there, not a few hundred or more in one hit. Not only are they a hidden hazard to shipping, floating around for months on end, but you can also guarantee they will start to leak their contents over time, and who knows what nasties will be in some of them, some of the contents will probably make the heavy fuel oil look like cream soda in comparison. And of course, a great number of these containers will make it to shore where they will break up and spill their contents.

      This is why i am so extremely annoyed to find that all the powers to be are too busy arguing about who should take the stricken vessel into their port, or who should give it shelter. By the time they have finished arguing about it she could have broken her back. Stop messing around, tow her into port, stick her alongside, stick some oil booms around her in case she did decide to leak some nasty oil (very unlikely once she is moored up out of harms way). And if the worst did happen and she sank, well, she's not going to disappear below the surface is she? And then from the comfort and safety of the quay they can deal with her needs. But that is too difficult to understand for the brains in government.
      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

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        Re: Random maritime accidents.

        When the Master of a ship declare an emergency it is the OBLIGATION of any country to offer safe heaven, shelter and/or assistance according to International Maritime Law.
        It is also an age old tradition.

        Comment


          Re: Random maritime accidents.

          Originally posted by ombugge View Post
          When the Master of a ship declare an emergency it is the OBLIGATION of any country to offer safe heaven, shelter and/or assistance according to International Maritime Law.
          It is also an age old tradition.
          That is what i was taught. But i wonder where that obligation stands once a vessel is abandoned by all souls onboard? Tradition and common sense will still say allow it shelter and safe haven for the sake of the ship and it's cargo. But, if the ship is now unmanned, does that lift the maritime obligation to do so?
          Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

          Comment


            Re: Random maritime accidents.

            Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
            That is what i was taught. But i wonder where that obligation stands once a vessel is abandoned by all souls onboard? Tradition and common sense will still say allow it shelter and safe haven for the sake of the ship and it's cargo. But, if the ship is now unmanned, does that lift the maritime obligation to do so?
            There is another problem today. Whenever there is any kind of problem the crew is usually lifted off by rescuers, almost regardless of whether the Master request it.
            I don't know much about what happened here, but I thought the crew had been rescued by another MSC ship. I also don't know if they had abandoned ship in the lifeboats, incl. the Master, or if he was still on board, since this is not a dead ship. The superstructure, bridge, engine room and steering gear is not affected by the fire as far as I know?

            In any case, even if the Master has been removed from the scene, there is now a Salvage Master, or the tug Master, who is effectively in charge and has the authority to ask for assistance and right to enter safe haven, which I understand they have been doing for over a month now.

            The days when a Master of a ship commanded respect appears to be well and truly over. Today he gets his order from any number of sources, most with no real understanding of the situation, or even with any maritime knowledge. I'm glad I'm not sailing any longer. (I can be one of those on the other side now)

            Comment


              Re: Random maritime accidents.

              I am completely speechless about this actions. I never imagined that there is no clear international rescue and salvage rule and plan for such incidents.
              Think about how many of these huge ships are underway and how many of them are coming new in service each year.

              Is it right that there is until today no autority offshore in "free waters"?
              Look at that bunch of rules we have to deal with each time we move our car (and also when we drive into a foreign country).
              They spend such a lot of money with UNO and NATO for invisible actions. Here could an engagement make sense.
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

              Comment


                Re: Random maritime accidents.

                I am still wondering why this is not in the news here in the UK. Nothing about this on my tv or radio. For a vessel in her position, asking to be allowed refuge just outside of the entrance to the English Channel, this is very unusual. Even my local south west BBC tv news station have not reported anything. They normally report anything like that, in fact something like that would be BIG news down here.

                I have also done a search on google news, not even any of our national newspapers have picked up on this. All results from google news come from maritime related publications. All very strange.
                Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                Comment


                  Re: Random maritime accidents.

                  Originally posted by Ralf__ View Post
                  I am completely speechless about this actions. I never imagined that there is no clear international rescue and salvage rule and plan for such incidents.
                  Maybe it is a good thing that bureaucrats do not get involved with shipping when they are far out in international waters, i think they would make a right mess of things. With this vessel the maritime industry swung into action straight away, and have done a good job of saving the vessel.

                  The problem comes when the salvers wish to bring this saved vessel into waters that are controlled by the bureaucrats. On the open seas commonsense rules, come closer to shore and all commonsense goes out of the window.
                  Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                  Comment


                    Re: Random maritime accidents.

                    Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                    I am still wondering why this is not in the news here in the UK. Nothing about this on my tv or radio. For a vessel in her position, asking to be allowed refuge just outside of the entrance to the English Channel, this is very unusual. Even my local south west BBC tv news station have not reported anything. They normally report anything like that, in fact something like that would be BIG news down here.

                    I have also done a search on google news, not even any of our national newspapers have picked up on this. All results from google news come from maritime related publications. All very strange.
                    Could that be because the logical place to bring her is to somewhere in the UK??? Don't stir up the public. Some form of self-censoring???

                    Ralf asked:
                    Is it right that there is until today no autority offshore in "free waters"?
                    Yes there is rules, which is International Maritime Law and Law of the Seas, as well a hundreds of years of seafaring unwritten laws.
                    But if the signatory Governments to these laws does not not honour the Laws there is no enforcement agency.

                    Some may remember the Tampa incident, when the Australian Government refused to assist a Norwegian ship with some 430 survivors on board?
                    In total disregard of laws and treaties that they were signatory to they disregarded humane rights and all such things for domestic political expediency.

                    In stead of sending aid, they sent their Special Forces on board to force the ship to leave Australian waters.
                    When the heavily armed Commandos got to the Bridge and demanded that the Captain took his ship out of Australian waters, he said; NO!!!
                    What could the Commander do?? Shoot the Master on his own bridge, or follow his order to leave the Bridge??

                    When the Tampa came back to Australia some months later, the Commander of the Special Forces gave the Captain the highest honour he could bestow on a person.
                    He gave him the Company Plaque and thanked him for the way he had handled a very embarrassing situation.
                    He had to follow order from some politicians with no knowledge of Maritime Law or customs, only interested in getting re-elected.
                    Last edited by ombugge; August 21st, 2012, 17:45.

                    Comment


                      Re: Random maritime accidents.

                      Originally posted by ombugge View Post

                      Some may remember the Tampa incident, when the Australian Government refused to assist a Norwegian ship with some 430 survivors on board?
                      In total disregard of laws and treaties that they were signatory to they disregarded humane rights and all such things for domestic political expediency.

                      In stead of sending aid, they sent their Special Forces on board to force the ship to leave Australian waters.
                      When the heavily armed Commandos got to the Bridge and demanded that the Captain took his ship out of Australian waters, he said; NO!!!
                      What could the Commander do?? Shoot the Master on his own bridge, or follow his order to leave the Bridge??

                      When the Tampa came back to Australia some months later, the Commander of the Special Forces gave the Captain the highest honour he could bestow on a person.
                      He gave him the Company Plaque and thanked him for the way he had handled a very embarrassing situation.
                      He had to follow order from some politicians with no knowledge of Maritime Law or customs, only interested in getting re-elected.
                      I do not remember this incident, but i was prompted to read about it by your mentioning of it. Interesting reading. Full credit to the Captain for standing his ground.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair
                      Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                      Comment


                        Re: Random maritime accidents.

                        Germany have agreed to give refuge to the ship. That is of course if the British and the French allow it to enter the English Channel.

                        http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...9&parent_id=21

                        I wonder if this is where the nonsense gets worse? Will the Brits and the French let her through the channel, or will that make some demand that all oil is removed from her before that will be allowed? Something like that would not surprise me.
                        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                        Comment


                          Re: Random maritime accidents.

                          Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
                          Germany have agreed to give refuge to the ship. That is of course if the British and the French allow it to enter the English Channel.

                          http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topic...9&parent_id=21

                          I wonder if this is where the nonsense gets worse? Will the Brits and the French let her through the channel, or will that make some demand that all oil is removed from her before that will be allowed? Something like that would not surprise me.
                          It wouldn't surprise me either.
                          Why risk passing though the highly trafficked English Channel when there are several perfectly usable safe havens on the coast of UK?
                          Maybe they will be forced to go "north about" all the way north of Shetland and through the North Sea?

                          Comment


                            Re: Random maritime accidents.

                            Originally posted by ombugge View Post
                            It wouldn't surprise me either.
                            Why risk passing though the highly trafficked English Channel when there are several perfectly usable safe havens on the coast of UK?
                            Maybe they will be forced to go "north about" all the way north of Shetland and through the North Sea?
                            Ah, yes, that sounds more like the sort of choice the politicians would make, shove them round the top where the sea and the weather can turn at the drop of a hat, and points of refuge are few and far between. No need to go through the relative safety of the channel when they can go that way.

                            I was going to add that this is now just another tow, dozens go through the channel each week. But this is not just another tow of a dead ship, because from what i have read, this container ship is far from dead. Propulsion and steering good to go, so that must make the risk even less!
                            Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

                            Comment


                              Re: Random maritime accidents.

                              There is actually "IMO Guidelines on places of Refuge for ships in need of assistance". Here is a link to IMOs reasoning behind adopting theses Guidelines: http://www.imo.org/ourwork/safety/na...sofrefuge.aspx

                              These Guidelines is particularly relevant for fully ladden tankers in distress, but does apply to ALL ships and ALL Coastal States.

                              In the case MSC Flaminia we are dealing with a modern Container ship with double hull and all the latest and best of equipment to fight fires in the Cargo Holds and to control list developed because of flooding in the holds from Fire Fighting.

                              The structural strength of such a ship is far exceeding that of a single hull ships and the risk of capsizing is far less, as long as the capabilities of controlling damaged stability is intact.

                              The Heavy Fuel (HFO 380)carried in her bunker tanks is not compromised due to a fire in a Cargo Hold, or in containers on deck. Leaving the fuel in the tanks unheated for a long time may mean that it will be more difficult to transfer the fuel to another vessel, once she reach a sheltered place where such operation can be safely performed, however.

                              There is an ongoing discussion by knowledgeable persons in the Maritime Group on Linkedin.com, but I don't know if it is accessible to non-members. Here is a link in any case: http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?vi...NUS_RITM-title

                              Comment


                                Re: Random maritime accidents.

                                This is the latest I have on the MSC Flamina:
                                The UK’s Secretary of State’s Representative for Marine Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) Hugh Shaw, has requested that the burned container ship MSC Flaminia is still remaining in a position thirty miles south of Lands End in order to permit SMIT Salvage to stabilise the container vessel.

                                This is in preparation for an international inshore state supervision team to board MSC Flaminia to carry out an evaluation prior to her getting authorization to proceed to German territorial waters.

                                The team of 6 people includes professionals in maritime salvage and fire fighting. The specialists need to carry out a comprehensive inspection of the container vessel to make sure it is safe to transit the English Channel, Dover Strait and other coastal state waters during the passage to the German port of call.

                                Salvors are still working to reduce the temperatures on the board of the burned ship MSC Flaminia. The supervision team is going to be able to carry out their work once these dangers are eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level and weather give them the opportunity to board the container ship.

                                Once the inspection is ready the ship is going to remain at its holding position thirty miles south of Lands End until the coastal states engaged have had time to reckon the report. They are then going to define if there are any other requirements before the vessel commences her transit towards German waters.

                                Hugh Shaw, SOSREP told in his statement:

                                “Until the coastal state inspectorate has taken place, and the results passed to the other coastal states en-route, the burned container ship MSC Flaminia is not going to be given permission to proceed to Germany. SMIT Salvage is going to inform the UK and German authorities when they are satisfied that any dangers have been reduced to an eligible level and that it is then safe for the UK, French and German team to board the casualty and carry out the inspection of the container ship MSC Flaminia.”
                                Smit Salvage Masters are among the most experienced in the world, but they are obviously not able to make an independent assessment of the risk.

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