Posts Tagged ‘sinking’
Four fired for marooning minesweeper on ocean reef
Four fired for marooning minesweeper on ocean reef
The Navy fired the former commanding officer of the now-stricken mine countermeasures ship Guardian along with three of his officers after an investigation determined they “did not adhere to standard U.S. Navy navigation procedures,” the Navy said Wednesday.
Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rice, the ship’s CO, was fired Wednesday by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 7. The reliefs came while Rice and his crew were to take charge of the replacement ship, the minesweeper Warrior, which arrived last week in Sasebo, Japan.
The reliefs included the second-in-command, Lt. Daniel Tyler, who also served as the navigator; the assistant navigator; and the officer standing watch as the officer of the deck at the time of the grounding. Officials declined to release the names of the other reprimanded junior officers, citing privacy laws.
“All four sailors were relieved by Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley due to their role in the grounding and a loss of confidence,” the Navy’s press release said.
They have been temporarily assigned to ESG-7 pending the completion of the investigation.
The reliefs complicate the picture of the Jan. 17 grounding in the Philippines, which officials have so far blamed on an error on a digital chart that incorrectly plotted the Tubbataha Reef eight nautical miles from its actual location. Guardian ran hard aground and the crew of 79 was removed without injury. But the months-long saga, as Guardian’s fiberglass and wood hull pounded furiously against the coral while experts attempted to extricate it, was covered for weeks in the press and angered locals because the damage occurred in a National Marine Park, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
The 7th Fleet commander, Vice Adm. Scott Swift, apologized four days after the incident.
The minesweeper was decommissioned on March 6 in Sasebo, Japan. Navy divers finished sawing through the hull and craning the cut-apart hull off the reef on March 29.
Posted in News Events, Photographs, Updates, Video, tagged Boat crash, Boats, collision at sea, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Electric, Hong Kong ferry disaster, Lamma Island, Lamma IV, Sea Smooth, sinking on February 2, 2013| Leave a Comment »
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.
Follow this link to watch the animation on YouTube.
Posted in News Events, Photographs, Uncategorized, Updates, tagged Boat crash, Boats, collision at sea, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Electric, Hong Kong ferry disaster, Lamma Island, Lamma IV, Sea Smooth, sinking on January 31, 2013| Leave a Comment »
From the SCMP.
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.
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.
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.
The captain of Lamma IV had half a minute to make a sharp starboard turn to avoid crashing into Sea Smooth, an inquiry commission is told
Saturday, 15 December, 2012, 12:00am
Simpson Cheung firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lamma sea tragedy could have been avoided had the skipper of the Lamma IV made a bold turn to starboard (right) and reduced speed 30 seconds before the collision, a commission of inquiry was told yesterday.
A survivor on the sunken Lamma IV said he felt another strong vibration moments after the collision, and believed Sea Smooth had restarted its engine and dragged Lamma IV before the ship began to sink.
Giving evidence on his investigation into the disaster that killed 39 people on October 1, British maritime expert Captain Nigel Pryke said Chow Chi-wai, 56, the captain of Hongkong Electric ferry Lamma IV, first saw the Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry’s Sea Smooth approaching half a minute before the collision, at 20:19:47.
He said if the skipper had made a bold turn to starboard and reduced speed, or if the captain of the Sea Smooth had turned right, the tragedy would have been avoided.
“Unfortunately, that is only 30 seconds from collision. So there’s not much time,” Pryke said.
He said Chow should have made at least a 22.5-degree turn to starboard at that point, but turned only 13 degrees, while Sea Smooth made a 16-degree turn to the port side (the captain’s left) – the wrong direction.
“If Sea Smooth had carried on doing exactly what she was doing, and Lamma IV had done as I suggest, the collision would have been avoided,” he said. “But clearly it was far easier for Sea Smooth to avoid the collision than it was for Lamma IV.”
Although Lamma IV was constrained by rocks, Chow could still have made a turn at full speed one minute before it might have been compromised by depth.
“Even at that very last moment, [Sea Smooth] could have altered course to starboard and avoided the collision. It’s a tragedy. I don’t understand why it didn’t happen,” he said.
Survivors Chan Kin-yan and Wong Tai-wah – passengers on the Lamma IV – told the commission that they felt the vessel accelerate 30 seconds before the collision. Wong said he could not feel the boat turning before the crash.
But Pryke said radar data showed Lamma IV and Sea Smooth were making slight turns 30 seconds before collision.
“I don’t want to be too harsh on [Chow] … I feel he did nothing significantly different than any of his colleagues would have done,” he said. “I do feel some sympathy for [him], because I believe he is probably a very genuine coxswain and he was not helped by the safety management system that surrounded him.”
Pryke said he had only received an account of the accident from Chow and not from Sea Smooth captain Lai Sai-ming. “I am sure everybody knows why,” he said, without elaborating.
Only one sailor from the four-person crew of Sea Smooth is understood to have testified to police. When asked outside the hearing why Lai did not, his lawyers refused to comment. “You will know later,” one said.
The commission scheduled for next month the cross-examination of Pryke by Charles Sussex SC, for the owner and crew of Sea Smooth, pending expert reports.
Survivor Wong, a driver whose wife was among the 39 dead, told the commission he had heard a second sound 30 seconds after the crash and felt Lamma IV was being dragged by some external force. He believed that Sea Smooth’s engine had started again.
“The second bang was so strong that all the seats were dislodged and also the people as well,” he said, adding that the Lamma IV then began to tilt and quickly sank.
Sea Smooth continued to sail to the Yung Shue Wan pier in Lamma as water began to flood in, the commission heard. The hearing continues on Monday.
Reproduced from South China Morning Post. Original here