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Posts Tagged ‘Boats’


Force Ten Weather
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Next time you think you’d like to take the boat out, but you take a look out the window, and think it’s a bit breezy, and then you take a look at the sea, and you are sure you just saw a whitecap, and then you think about docking the boat back in the Marina when the wind is up, and you say well it’s just too rough to go out.

Think of these guys !

Click this link for the Video.

Safehaven Marine

This is a Boat Builders Sea Trial.

When I did an acceptance Sea Trial of my last boat, the builder gave every reason (excuse) in the world as to why “I did’nt want to take her out through the Seaway for a Sea “Sea Trial”

It will get salty !
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These Pilot boats look very Salty in more ways than one.

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From SCMP.

See video simulation prepared by naval architect Dr Neville Anthony Armstrong, the expert appointed by the Comission of Enquiry into the sinking of the Lamma IV, illustrating the impact and angle of the collision of the two ferries on 1st October 2012.

Lamma IV - Sea Smooth Collision Animation

Follow this link to watch the animation on YouTube.

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From the SCMP.

f04_06749528

Lack of watertight door sank Lamma IV, inquiry told
Naval architect also tells hearing there wasn’t enough time for crew to evacuate passengers

The Lamma IV would still be afloat with two gashes created by the Sea Smooth if there was a watertight door between its compartments, the commission of inquiry into the October 1 ferry collision heard.

Naval architect Dr Anthony Armstrong also came to the conclusion, based on computer projections, that the deck at the stern of the Lamma IV started to go below the water 96 seconds after its collision, and that it took eight seconds for the vessel to tilt from seven degrees to 70 degrees, with the stern hitting the seabed, and settling into the mud. In total it only took around 118 seconds from the collision, for the Lamma IV to rest at 70 degrees.

“[There is] certainly not enough time in which the crew would have been able to organise evacuation from the ship,” the commission-appointed expert witness said.

The bow of Sea Smooth had created two gashes on Lamma IV’s hull during the collision – one in its engine room and the other in the tank room.

Armstrong found that the stern of Lamma IV would almost be submerged, but that the vessel would remain afloat if just those two compartments were flooded.

Lamma IV - Hull Damage

The second gash was made by the large kinetic energy generated by the high speed of the Sea Smooth, Armstrong said.

But a large opening on the bulkhead between the tank room and its adjacent steering gear compartment led to the flooding of the third compartment, which contributed to the sinking of the vessel, Armstrong’s calculations showed.

According to the original drawings of the ship when it was built, a watertight door was meant to be fitted at the opening. But shipbuilder Cheoy Lee had earlier argued that it was just a mistake made by an outsourced designer.

Further calculations by Armstrong showed that even when the ship was newly built in 1996, Lamma IV would have sunk if the watertight door was not installed, regardless of the installation of a 8.25-tonne ballast at the stern two years later.

The Australian expert also said whether or not Sea Smooth had reversed after the collision would make no difference to the flow of water into the hull of Lamma IV because the bow of the Sea Smooth had been broken and left inside Lamma IV.

Some Lamma IV passengers who testified earlier said they felt the engine restarting and thought the other vessel was backing out.

But Armstrong said if that was the case, it must have happened within 10 seconds as Lamma IV was sinking quickly. He said the engine sound could have come from the flooding of Lamma IV’s engine. He believed the collision bulkhead at the bow of the Sea Smooth stopped it from penetrating further into Lamma IV.

The hearing continues today.

Meanwhile, the seven crew members of the two vessels were expected to have their bail extended for another month when they report to police today, pending a prosecution decision by the Department of Justice, a police officer said.

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28 December 2012

MPA decommissions Singapore’s first Port Operations Control Centre

Following the commissioning of its new Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) at Changi Naval Base in July 2011 and the re-commissioning of its upgraded POCC at PSA Vista in September 2012, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today officially decommissioned its POCC at Tanjong Pagar Complex (POCC-TPC).

Today’s decommissioning of POCC-TPC marks the retirement of Singapore’s first POCC after more than 28 years of faithful service in ensuring navigational safety of vessels in the Singapore Strait and Singapore’s port waters.

First commissioned on 1 May 1984, POCC-TPC initially used VHF radios to manage vessel traffic in Singapore until the first radar based Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) was installed in 1990. The VTIS allowed POCC officers to see the positions of vessels in real time on a screen and provide navigational assistance to these vessels. In 2000, POCC-TPC was upgraded with a new VTIS that was able to track up to 5,000 vessels.

The decommissioning ceremony was officiated by MPA’s Chief Executive, Mr Lam Yi Young, and was attended by POCC officers who served at POCC-TPC over the years, including those who have since retired from service. Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lam paid tribute to the pioneers who were instrumental in setting up POCC-TPC and the many POCC officers who faithfully kept watch at POCC-TPC round the clock from 1984 to 2012, ensuring the safety of the thousands of vessels that call at the Port of Singapore each year.

MPA’s new POCC at Changi Naval Base and upgraded POCC at PSA Vista are fully operational and manned round the clock to ensure navigational safety of vessels in the Singapore Strait and Singapore’s port waters. The two centres are fully integrated to serve as mutual back-up to each other. Each centre is independently equipped and has the capability to assume control of all operational areas in times of an emergency affecting the other centre.

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Both Lamma ferry disaster captains broke rules, inquiry told

 British maritime expert says Sea Smooth captain made decision that was ‘worse than doing nothing’ , while both skippers breached safety rules

Friday, 14 December, 2012, 12:00am

Simpson Cheung simpson.cheung@scmp.com

Both captains broke safety rules in the Lamma ferry disaster, but the skipper of Sea Smooth made a wrong turn that was “even worse than doing nothing”, the commission of inquiry was told yesterday.

British maritime expert Captain Nigel Pryke said: “The most significant cause of the collision was poor navigation by the coxswain of Sea Smooth. There were also contributory failings by the coxswain of Lamma IV.”

His report suggested that Sea Smooth captain Lai Sai-ming allegedly made seven breaches of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, while Chow Chi-wai, skipper of the Lamma IV, made three.

A contributing factor was that Lai was alone on the bridge when the collision happened, having allowed three other crew members to take a rest without instructing them to keep a lookout, the report said. Chow also failed to read the radar.

According to the regulations, when there is a risk of a head-on collision between two power-driven vessels, both should alter course to starboard.

But Sea Smooth made a 16 degree turn to port – “a serious contravention” of the rule – and did not alert Lamma IV. “[This] is even worse than doing nothing,” Pryke said.

Lamma IV made a 13 degree turn to starboard, but rocks near Shek Kok Tsui – the northwestern tip of Lamma – limited the space for it to make the turn.

Chow previously stated that he had given one short blast on his whistle, indicating he was altering course to starboard. But Pryke said he found no evidence to indicate this.

Pryke added that he did not believe “that, at this late stage, the sound signal of one short blast would have had any effect on preventing the collision”.

Chow also told police the lights of vessels at anchor nearby affected his ability to observe the approach of Sea Smooth.

By the time he saw a vessel approaching at speed, it was only 500 to 600 metres ahead, two to three minutes after he left the typhoon shelter.

But Pryke said nearby lights should not have contributed to the collision.

He added: “[Chow] ought to have looked at his radar before he left the berth, and as he was creeping out of the typhoon shelter he should not have increased to full speed … he should have been doing maybe half-speed.”

Pryke also said both vessels were travelling at very high speed – Sea Smooth at 24.3 knots and Lamma IV at 11.5 knots – meaning there was a combined speed of 36 knots at the time of collision.

“Neither vessel was fully aware of the other’s intentions, and the combined speed of approach allowed little time for appraisal and to take action,” the report said.

Pryke also said Lamma IV did not carry a very high frequency radio and was unable to communicate with the Marine Department’s vessel traffic centre. “It is just plain wrong,” he said.

The hearing continues today. Survivors from the Lamma IV are due to testify next week.

Reproduced from South China Morning Post. Original here

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News extracts from Newsday articles

Outrage over human errors in Hong Kong boat crash

Lamma IV

When two boats filled with people collided on Hong Kong’s busy waterways, the impact knocked a hole in one vessel’s engine room and the water poured in too fast to stop the boat from sinking. Passengers struggled to find life vests and dozens drowned in the turbulent waters.

Rather than rush to help, however, the crew of the other vessel, a ferry, seemed paralyzed, according to witnesses. After pausing briefly near the doomed ship filled with holiday revelers, the ferry continued on to its berth. Shock over Monday’s crash, which left 39 dead, gave way to outrage Wednesday over what experts concluded was human error. Investigators have not publicly offered a theory of how the collision occurred but have arrested seven crew members, including both captains. The ferry company denied accusations that the boat left immediately after the crash, but did not say whether its crew did anything to help the other vessel as it rapidly sank.

The collision, Hong Kong’s deadliest maritime accident since 1971, has hit at the heart of the semiautonomous territory’s identity. Fleets of ferry boats form the backbone of the transport network, and much of Hong Kong’s economy relies on its reputation as a well-managed shipping hub. “We cannot help but be shocked and angry,” the English-language South China Morning Post said in an editorial. It said “pinpointing fault and ensuring that there is no repeat” would be a matter of “safety, reputation and financial well-being.”

All 39 people killed had been on the Lamma IV, owned by utility company Hong Kong Electric, which was taking about 120 of its workers and their families to watch fireworks in celebration of China’s National Day and mid-autumn festival. Survivors from both boats said that after the collision knocked people from their seats, there was chaos as people rushed to find life jackets. About 100 people on both vessels, but mostly from the Lamma IV, were taken to hospitals for injuries.

Capt. Tony Yeung Pui-keung, manager of the Maritime Services Training Institute in Hong Kong, said the large number of fatalities was due to Lamma IV’s rapid partial sinking, which occurred in minutes after the engine room was breached and flooded. “I think it was all of the sudden and I think no (one) can make a response in two minutes,” Yeung said. “So I think it’s difficult. Except for Superman, no people can escape so easily.”

Ferry passenger Chris Head said he was thrown off his feet on the open upper rear deck. He said the collision felt like “walking into a lamppost.” “Then someone else on the boat pointed out a dark shape moving away from us and said, ‘I think we just hit a boat,'” said Head, a teacher who has lived on nearby Lamma island for 18 years. The other boat was already listing, and aside from two tiny lights it “just was not lit at all. We couldn’t see anyone on it,” Head said. He said he couldn’t be sure that the lights had been off before the crash. After Head and the other passengers put on their life jackets, he saw that the other boat had started to “go into a sort of Titanic pose vertically.” Head said the ferry itself was listing slightly and taking on water. He said the captain kept the ferry in the area for five to 10 minutes before leaving. But he added, “I’m not saying that he was making any effort to rescue. I don’t know about that.”

Capt. Yeung, who is not involved in the investigation, said standard maritime protocol requires ships to stay with other damaged boats and help if they can, even if only to call for help. He said the Sea Smooth’s captain might not have been aware of this duty or may have panicked, worried about his own passengers. “I will leave it to the judge to decide whether the captain is guilty or not, but I personally cannot accept (that he left the scene),” he said.

Good Visibility on Night of Accident

Yeung said it was too early to know what caused the accident but that weather didn’t seem to be a factor on the relatively clear and calm night. He said the lights of the skyline and other ships might have obscured the navigation lights on one or both of the ships that crashed, but that the biggest factors appeared to be “careless mistakes” by both crews.

Three crew members from the Lamma IV and four from the Sea Smooth were arrested; all have been released on bail except the hospitalized Sea Smooth captain. Police Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said both crews are suspected of having not “exercised the care required of them by law,” but he did not elaborate. Yeung said he suspects the ferry captain may not have been paying enough attention. “If people run on the same route every day, several times a day, they become overconfident. They become very slack,” he said.

At the same time, he said the Lamma IV’s captain might have been moving too fast to secure a good position for the fireworks show. Hong Kong Electric spokeswoman Elaine Wong declined to release any information about the Lamma IV’s captain. A woman who escaped the Lamma IV with her husband and their two children told the South China Morning Post they barely had time to get into life vests before water rushed into the boat.

Renee, whose surname was not given, said her husband, Fong Hang-keung, found an exit and pulled her, their 7-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter out into the sea. The four were rescued in about 10 minutes. Ng, the ferry official, said the Sea Smooth had no problems when it passed a government-required inspection last month. Echoing promises from the power company Tuesday, he said the ferry company “will absolutely chase the reasons behind the incident.”

Ng bristled at the claim, made by the power company that the ferry left the scene immediately.”I think, at this stage, to say that we left without a backward glance, there is a little problem with that,” Ng said. But he added that because he still hadn’t spoken with the ferry captain, he did not know exactly how the crew responded.

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Not the beach view anyone wants

These are just my own personal ramblings about an incident that has caused a sickening loss of life. My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who perished, as well as the survivors who will doubtless relive those terrifying events in their minds eye for many years to come.

From every marine accident there is an investigation and from every investigation there are conclusions. Such investigations are not tasked with prosecuting the guilty, they are simply to find the facts of what happened and why it happened, so that where required, systems or procedures or equipment can be changed or modified to try to ensure the same thing will not happen again.

The relevant police authorities will make their own enquiries to deal with the facts of suspected liability and guilt. Thereafter the relevant legal jurisdiction will act accordingly on the matter.

But more than that, after an incident like this with such a tragic loss of life, surely in many maritime regions and territories, the relevant persons are asking: Could this happen here ?

That is a question to which I believe there is no “Yes or No” answer, but there are a lot of things to consider.

There is a simple and chilling fact; any accident at sea or elsewhere is analogous to a chemical reaction, if you allow the dangerous mix of ingredients into the same place at the same time then there may well be a violent reaction.

If you can keep them separate, then hopefully nothing happens. In many accidents at sea the ‘ingredients’ are speed, complacency, poor lookout, visibility and navigation, systems failure, and the unexpected.

As to the question; Could it happen in Singapore ? well it could, but in my opinion, it’s very unlikley, and here’s why.

Firstly the relevant Goverment Agency, the Maritime & Port Authority, MPA, has been very active for many years in “managing” the operation of ferry traffic in Singapore. One of the major features of this is that all ferries are required to follow demarcated routes into and out of, and through Singapore waters, and the routes are well defined and well known by near all users. In addition these ferries are required to adhere to set day & night speed limits for the routes in the direct approaches. Consequently if you are at sea in those corridoors at night, then you expect to meet ferry traffic, and at 12 knots you have a bit of time to spot them, and navigate out of their way.

Just One of the Designated Ferry Routes

It’s worthwhile to note that these routes and speed regulations have been in place for around ten years. Also be assured that they have added time and distance onto each and every journey. I can remember some journeys being around 15 minutes quicker. It was also strange to watch as a ferry gets further away from the destination to follow the route.

Secondly the Police Coastguard has a large presence on the water with a large number or active patrol craft throughout Singapore waters. Whilst they have a multitude of roles, they would seem to keep some form of watch of ferry and private and passenger traffic. This is part deterant, and part Big Brother to make sure that maritime rules and laws are followed.

At a location near you ?

Thirdly, major events such as fireworks, or yacht races or waterborne events, etc. likely dont draw the same volume of on-water spectators in Singapore as perhaps as in cities like Hong Kong, Auckland or wherever. Also Fireworks in Singapore are within sheltered or enclosed waterways, and can be easily, and best viewed from onshore. Just look at any National Day, F1, or New Years event video to see what I mean. Obviously Fireworks are at night, which immediately brings navigational and lookout issues.

Victoria Harbour Fireworks

Fourthly and importantly, the MPA many years ago implemented a scheme of ensuring each and every craft on the water has some form of AIS or HARTS, (Harbour Craft Transponder System) on board. This in effect enables the MPA Port Operations to monitor the location and speed and heading of every craft on the water, if in fact they have the time, the interest and manpower to do that. (Note they’ve just upgraded their system to handle 10,000 vessel tracks at any one time ! Click on photo to follow link to read the release.)

WOW just upgraded, they can handle 10,000 vessel tracks at any given time ! Click to follow link !

In addition there is any number of MPA Pilot boats, and MPA launches out and on the water. There is also the system of Cruising permit application process for Non Singapore registered pleasure craft vessels, which requires approval for their route and schedule for any given cruise.

Perhaps lastly there is the issue of geography and layout. Singapore has a defined and ‘regular’ coastline, and a small number of islands with ferry access, with defined routes of access to and from. Reclamation has played a big role and Islands have been dredged, linked, joined, connected and amalgamated for the use by Indutstry, Military and Leisure/Property Development. In some cases bridges and roads have been built for access, negating the use of ferries.

Other than that, and significantly, the regional ferry traffic has to be very much less than in Hong Kong.

A lot of sea room there. Easier to miss than have a collision

Indicative only. Believe accident site was close to NW tip of Lamma Island.

The investigation is underway in Hong Kong, and the families of the perished will be waiting for those conclusions, to answer the question of “How could this happen”, but the likelyhood is that is that this will all come down to those ingredients mentioned above.

If there is however one immediate lesson to be learned from this whole affair so far, it is the conclusion from the photos below.

It’s a bit unfair to make this comparision as I dont know the standards that each vessel was built to, but the immediate reaction is that one sank, and one made it to the dock, presumed to be under it’s own power.

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The conclusion ? Travel by Catamaran !

Two Hulls = Two Chances !

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Image Source : BBC, SCMP, ST, online news outlets, etc.

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