Two Maersk Supply Vessels Sink En Route to Scrapyard


#21

Ship wrecks provide a good habitat for marine growth, fishermen will probably report an increase in catch in the area.

Great to see Maersk support the French fishing industry.


#22

[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;193805]Maybe this towmaster was out there trying to perfect the technique…

http://gcaptain.com/tandem-town-goes-south-in-us-gulf-of-mexico/[/QUOTE]

Thanks for for this shockingly informative post. One would expect much competent vetting from companies such as Tidewater and Maersk.

Where do they find the complete idiots that rig and approve these so-called “tandem” tows?

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[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;193805]Maybe this towmaster was out there trying to perfect the technique…

http://gcaptain.com/tandem-town-goes-south-in-us-gulf-of-mexico/[/QUOTE]

Thanks for for this shockingly informative post. One would expect much competent vetting from companies such as Tidewater and Maersk.

Where do they find the complete idiots that rig and approve these so-called “tandem” tows?


#23

Picture off shipspotting. Photograph supplier. Patalavaca - Found on FB. I only see one towing wire. Seems very strange not to do a tandem tow with two wires at different lengths. [U]Question:[/U] When vessels are towed do they have their classification suspended because they are not under their own command? If so that would mean the towing companies insurance would cover it. So Maersk collects anyways if the claims go thru. Did the towing vessel request assistance?

Bottom image source: Maritime Danmark - Need to translate

http://www.maritimedanmark.dk/?Id=33355

Bottom Photo Credit: John Daugaard Hansen, chief engineer, Fisheries ship West Coast


#24

Reason for taking a scrap bound ship out of it’s class, P&I club, and re-flagging to some obscure flag is to avoid oversight by reputable authorities. Now we don’t know that’s been done but it’s the norm. Everything I see on line says they are Danish Flag, That may or may not be up to date. And Maersk with in house ship management and towing companies rarely does things like other owners.

Hard to imagine Svitzer connection to a poor job though.

Boats3


#25

More info from the same source as per DSD:


All three vessels owned and operated by Maersk Supply Service at time of sinking as far as I can find.


#26

The reason they were towing side-by-side and on a single wire may be because of the shallow water along the first part of the route and through the English Channel. (My guess only)

Double tow on separate wires would require a long towline for the second vessel to ensure sufficient catenary for the first to pass safely over the wire at all times.

Not clearly seen, but expect there to be ample fendering between the two vessels.


#27

[QUOTE=ombugge;193823]

You are right, with the exception that Noble Denton is now owned of DNV-GL, but not technically part of the Class Society. (Similar to ABS Marine Services)[/QUOTE]

Well, yes… .there is THAT. Although during my tenure as a Class Surveyor, I am guessing that I only did one or two ABSTECH survey (shows how long ago that was) and they were not maritime related. . .

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[QUOTE=DeepSeaDiver;193841]Picture off shipspotting. Photograph supplier. Patalavaca - Found on FB. I only see one towing wire. Seems very strange not to do a tandem tow with two wires at different lengths. [U]Question:[/U] When vessels are towed do they have their classification suspended because they are not under their own command? If so that would mean the towing companies insurance would cover it. So Maersk collects anyways if the claims go thru. Did the towing vessel request assistance?

[/QUOTE]

Unmanned barges are classed. . . . Insurance and coverage? Be careful commenting on things you have no knowledge of. . . of course that has never stopped you before. . . .


#28

[QUOTE=ombugge;193853]The reason they were towing side-by-side and on a single wire may be because of the shallow water along the first part of the route and through the English Channel. (My guess only)

Double tow on separate wires would require a long towline for the second vessel to ensure sufficient catenary for the first to pass safely over the wire at all times.

Not clearly seen, but expect there to be ample fendering between the two vessels.[/QUOTE]

photo taken looking astern to tows would be nice if more of the winch drums were visible to assess wire amounts to see if they had wire for proper tandem, but anyway the maritime Denmark story notes, “The two ships were being towed to Turkey where they were [to be] scrapped when Maersk Shipper for unknown reasons sank. The two vessels were tied up to each other and therefore capsized Maersk Searcher when Maersk Shipper sank. Subsequently sank Maersk Searcher too.” I don’t think there’s enough fendering to counter the forces of the seaway acting on the two vessels, and against each other as they respond to waves. Wonder how fenders were affixed and working limit of such arrangements… Two vessels fighting each other over waves and troughs… Lot of power and dynamic loading to consider. Doubt the fenders would have been in place long. It would have to be quite a battering to bust through the wing tanks sufficiently to sink one as well. One wonders what arrangements were set up to evaluate condition of the tows and the ability to detect flooding and intervene.


#29

[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;193857]One wonders what arrangements were set up to evaluate condition of the tows and the ability to detect flooding and intervene.[/QUOTE]

Obviously not enough to detect and intervene. It does seem amazing that such a thing could happen.


#30

[QUOTE=Jamesbrown;193857]photo taken looking astern to tows would be nice if more of the winch drums were visible to assess wire amounts to see if they had wire for proper tandem, but anyway the maritime Denmark story notes, “The two ships were being towed to Turkey where they were [to be] scrapped when Maersk Shipper for unknown reasons sank. The two vessels were tied up to each other and therefore capsized Maersk Searcher when Maersk Shipper sank. Subsequently sank Maersk Searcher too.” I don’t think there’s enough fendering to counter the forces of the seaway acting on the two vessels, and against each other as they respond to waves. Wonder how fenders were affixed and working limit of such arrangements… Two vessels fighting each other over waves and troughs… Lot of power and dynamic loading to consider. Doubt the fenders would have been in place long. It would have to be quite a battering to bust through the wing tanks sufficiently to sink one as well. One wonders what arrangements were set up to evaluate condition of the tows and the ability to detect flooding and intervene.[/QUOTE]

I have no info on the available wire lengths on the Battler for this tow, but her is the specs for the Maersk B-Class vessels: maersksupplyservice.com/Documents/B-Type.pdf

As can be seen, the vessel was more than amply supplied with winch capacity

Towing/Anchor handling equipment
Winch Make Brattvaag
Type Waterfall
Drums 3 with spooling device
AH drum Max. pull 500 ts and 625 ts static brake
Capacity 5,850 m x 84 mm wire
Towing drums 2 x max. pull 400 ts and 575 ts static brake
Capacity of each drum 2,610 m x 84 mm wire
Secondary winches 2 x 170 ts (Mærsk Battler)
2 x 140 ts (Mærsk Boulder)
2 x 120 ts (Mærsk Blazer)
Chain lockers 2 x 201 m3 and 2 x 179 m3
Guide pins 2 x 300 ts Triplex
Shark jaws 2 x 700 ts Triplex
Stern roller 2 x 3.25 m x 4.00 m.

I found a report for a towing approval inspection I did on the Maersk Shipper in Nov/2014 for towage of a Semi-sub MODU from Singapore to Labuan for lay-up.

At that time the tow wires were as follows:

Main Tow Wire* Second Tow Wire** Spare Tow Wire**
2,300 M 1,100 M. 1,300 M
83 MM. 83 MM. 83 MM.
EIPS EIPS EIPS
6X41(WS)IWRC 6X41(WS)IWRC 6X41(WS)IWRC
BS 447 m.t. 450 m.t. MBL 500 m.t.
CR 529 SOCKET, BOTH ENDS

*) ALSO USED AS WORK WIRE.
**) Spooled ready on Tow drums

This is fairly typical for Maersk AHTS of similar BP. (>200 tonnes)
But I cannot say if the Battler had the same, or similar wires on board, nor which drum(s) were used.

PS> From the pictures I have seen, there appears to be relatively small Yokohama fenders placed between the hulls and not much distance between the bridge wings. (Damaged bridge wing wouldn’t sink the vessels though)


#31

No good reason for trying this absurd open sea tow of two vessels lying alongside each other.

There are a several good proven ways of rigging a tandem tow with a single drum winch: under rider , Canadian link, or a separate towline between the two tows (Honolulu tow)— possibly a better method for towing vessels with wheels and spade rudders, or for towing in very shallow water.

Easy enough to have a local tug bring one tow out to you in deep water where you can rig the tandem tow.


#32

So if they sank 60 miles off the coast of France will there be any investigation done? 60 miles is outside of french territorial waters but inside there their EEZ? Maybe the flag state of the towing vessel?


#33

[QUOTE=tugsailor;193900]No good reason for trying this absurd open sea tow of two vessels lying alongside each other.

There are a several good proven ways of rigging a tandem tow with a single drum winch: under rider , Canadian link, or a separate towline between the two tows (Honolulu tow)— possibly a better method for towing vessels with wheels and spade rudders, or for towing in very shallow water.

Easy enough to have a local tug bring one tow out to you in deep water where you can rig the tandem tow.[/QUOTE]

The tow route all the way from Frederikshavn to the English Channel is in fairly shallow water, which may have prohibited a two-wire tow.

With both towed vessel being “cold” and un-manned, rigging tow between the vessels may have been deemed impractical. (I.e. reactivating machinery to operate the winches) (My guess only)


#34

[QUOTE=twackineer;193935]So if they sank 60 miles off the coast of France will there be any investigation done? 60 miles is outside of french territorial waters but inside there their EEZ? Maybe the flag state of the towing vessel?[/QUOTE]

This being an un-manned tow with no danger to personnel and/or pollution, it is doubtful there will be any comprehensive French or Danish inquiry. (Assuming the vessels were still Danish registered)

BTW Maersk has been in enough trouble over their “methods” and venue to get rid of unwanted ships lately.


#35

[QUOTE=ombugge;193937]The tow route all the way from Frederikshavn to the English Channel is in fairly shallow water, which may have prohibited a two-wire tow.

With both towed vessel being “cold” and un-manned, rigging tow between the vessels may have been deemed impractical. (I.e. reactivating machinery to operate the winches) (My guess only)[/QUOTE]

Tow it right using proven industry accepted methods, or don’t tow it at all. There are well accepted towing industry methods for dealing with shallow water entries and departures (which are very common).

Innovation should encouraged, but this “tow” was not “innovative” it was insane, and guaranteed to fail.

Maersk is not some fly-by-night, mom and pop, insolvent company. At least Maersk is not suppose to be. I am amazed that Maersk allowed itself to get involved in this embarrassing debacle. Maersk is not Chouest, at least it’s not suppose to be.

Its easy enough to rig reliable intermidate towing gear between two “cold” tows without any operational machinery. After all, most tandem tows are of “dumb” barges without any machinery.

There is no excuse for Maersk’s insane attempt to tow two vessels rafted alongside each other in the open sea.


#36

Perhaps the outcome was exactly as intended.


#37

Back in the 80’s I remember working on Tugs that were used in setting up Tandem tows. The First Tug would get underway outbound and that we would bring in the second ship and slide it in between the First Tug and what would become the tail dead ship. IIRC, this was done in Ambrose Channel, which I believe is in no way deeper than where this tow was set up. Both wires were held as short as possible until they got to deeper water, then there were stretched out. We did this on at least three different tows.

While I am a lowly CE, even I know better that rigging something like this for a ocean voyage.

The last time I saw something as stupid as this is when OSG tried to Tow the Tug OSG Constitution / OSG 400 dead ship from the Delaware Bay to The Bahamas with the Tug being held in the notch with soft lines and backing wires. As with the Maersk Tow, this one did not end well and ended up the Tug breaking away and drifting.


#38

Maersk has been under scrutiny from environmentalists and others for scrapping in Alang. Few small vessels scraped in Europe probably a concession without costing much. They are also trying to make profit in a weak market by cutting expense, pressure from the top may have led to a low cost delivery plan. Sinking cost probably less than $ 300 per ton. This all speculation on my part.

I do know having competed against Maersk for 20 plus years, they always do what’s best for Maersk.

Boats3


#39

[QUOTE=tugsailor;193940]Tow it right using proven industry accepted methods, or don’t tow it at all. There are well accepted towing industry methods for dealing with shallow water entries and departures (which are very common).

Innovation should encouraged, but this “tow” was not “innovative” it was insane, and guaranteed to fail.

Maersk is not some fly-by-night, mom and pop, insolvent company. At least Maersk is not suppose to be. I am amazed that Maersk allowed itself to get involved in this embarrassing debacle. Maersk is not Chouest, at least it’s not suppose to be.

Its easy enough to rig reliable intermidate towing gear between two “cold” tows without any operational machinery. After all, most tandem tows are of “dumb” barges without any machinery.

There is no excuse for Maersk’s insane attempt to tow two vessels rafted alongside each other in the open sea.[/QUOTE]

Shipowners P&I Club does not approve of side-by-side or in-line ocean towage (Page 52): https://www.shipownersclub.com/.../PUBS-Loss-Prevention-Tug-and-Tow-Safety-and

They do approve of double tow with two wire, or Honolulu tow, however, which is not a new method: https://m.reddit.com/r/WarshipPorn/comments/4vtxrk/the_smit_tug_elbe_conducting_a_tandemtow_of/

I have never personally been involved in approving side-by-side ocean towage, but I believe it has been successfully performed with near identical scrap ships without overhang.


#40

That was pretty dumb wasn’t it? I was caught up in that donkey show. The surveyor and the tug capt (it wasn’t an OSG tug doing the towing) dropped the ball big time on that one.