Criminalisation of Seafarers

[QUOTE=Urs;189944]Neglecting that a ship turns around her vertical axis, one cannot manoeuvre a sailboat inside a densely packed marina. However, to scale, a sailboat has an enormous rudder surface and is therefore very responsive whereas a ship is not.

From the investigation report, page 28 >>> http://www.safety4sea.com/images/media/pdf/Costa_Concordia_-_Full_Investigation_Report.pdf

For the last minute, Schettino changed his orders from compass course (350°) to rudder angles, speed 16 knots:
21:44:11 starboard 10
21 44 15 starboard 20
21 44 20 hard to starboard
21 44 36 midship
21 44 43 port 10 – helmsman gives only 5
21 44 45 port 20 – helmsman spent 8 seconds to have it right
21 45 05 hard to port
21 45 07 CRASH

Even with correctly executed orders during the last seconds, would the ship’s stern have moved a significant distance to starboard?[/QUOTE]

I hadn’t seen those helm orders, I was just assuming the stern swung into the rocks because that’s where I understood the initial damage occurred. Either way if you’re trying to tiptoe through that close most mariners would agree that the more upstream errors are where the focus should be.

This is the report (or paper)I read on the incident.

EDIT: Missed your point, - impossible to say really, was it required to start a swing or just check the swing? However either way too close.

gCaptain has also made a great audio-video that is on point understandable clear and concise.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;189945]…Missed your point, - impossible to say really, was it required to start a swing or just check the swing? However either way too close.[/QUOTE]
For me it seems obvious that Schettino tried to remove the stern from the rocks… a bit late.

I have seen your paper; it is probably older than the investigation report (mid 2013).

Only when I read my post, I realized that it was not a good idea to change the helm orders from course to rudder in a stress situation. The course being around 0°, it was easy to confound 20 port and 20 compass.

This a reference to the Sea Prince grounding in the mouth of the Nongsa River (Batam) last December. I would be surprised if the liferafts were in poor shape; that company runs some old boats but they are making money - everything I see is well maintained. The Sea Prince is an oldy - possibly 50 years old by now, but in good shape. She is fitted with a couple of noisy Detroit 12V92s. I suspect the crew grounded at half tide. Someone said they hit a floating object; that may have been to cover up a navigation error. The Sea Prince is one of 4 ferries based at the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal but she is the most rarely used. So the crew don’t get much practice navigating in a tight river at night. (You can see from the photo that the incident occurred in the river, in front of Nongsa Point Marina). I get the impression they somehow flooded the engine room and erroneously thought the whole boat was flooding. (She was tilting alarmingly by the stern.) The river is so shallow there that had the boat sunk, everybody could have climbed onto the roof. The crew could do with some more emergency response training. As usual, the media got the story all wrong. When you think about how many ferries are running around the Straits of Singapore, the safety rate is pretty good.

A modern cruise ship moving at 16 knots has extraordinary rudder power. 25 seconds to starboard, mostly hard over, bow is moving very fast. Once amidships she’s still swinging. Then a more meager order to port, for a little less time…stern is not moving to starboard. Bumpidy bumpidy.

[QUOTE=Nelson Delmar;189956]A modern cruise ship moving at 16 knots has extraordinary rudder power. 25 seconds to starboard, mostly hard over, bow is moving very fast. Once amidships she’s still swinging. Then a more meager order to port, for a little less time…stern is not moving to starboard. Bumpidy bumpidy.[/QUOTE]

I agree about the turning power, at 16 kts the ship likely would respond relatively quickly.Not sure if the captain was even aware of the rock that the ship struck.

These details may be of some technical intrest but in the big picture regarding cause and blame etc not so much.

Was there a plan, was it a good one and did the crew follow the plan? Was the progress of the ship monitored to insure the plan was being followed?

In this case there was a plan but it was not created using the normal process and it was in fact a poor one. Once the plan was put into action the captain did not follow turnover procedures. At that point the crew was put into the positon of having to correct the errors of the captain while trying to follow a bad plan.

It’s no wonder really that things came apart. Also the whole thing was an unforced error. It wasn’t orders for a last minute schedule change from shoreside, the entire thing was initiated aboard ship.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;189959]…These details may be of some technical intrest but in the big picture regarding cause and blame etc not so much…[/QUOTE]
I agree. However, the court saw it otherwise in two different trials:

  • First, the helmsman was condemned for mixing up the orders.
  • Later, Schettino was condemned, the helmsman’s actions were refuted as irrelevant for the outcome.

[QUOTE=Urs;189963]I agree. However, the court saw it otherwise in two different trials:

  • First, the helmsman was condemned for mixing up the orders.
  • Later, Schettino was condemned, the helmsman’s actions were refuted as irrelevant for the outcome.[/QUOTE]

I haven’t been following this, I didn’t know there had been two trials. Good the helmsman got off, I don’t think he should have been on trial in the first place. The legal system has it’s own logic however.

Accidents happen for a number of different reasons. To over-simplify, this one could fall in the category of “showboating”.

[QUOTE=Nelson Delmar;189966]Accidents happen for a number of different reasons. To over-simplify, this one could fall in the category of “showboating”.[/QUOTE]

There were several accidents when M/S Costa Concordia sank 14 January 2012. The cause of the [I][B]contact[/B][/I] with the submerged rock while turning the day before was bad, reckless navigation and only causing hull leakage and upflooding of some watertight compartments. Can happen to anyone (including me). The upflooding of some watertight compartments in turn caused BLACK OUT. The main generators stopped working. A new accident.
The Master decided to evacuate all aboard to a port nearby as per ISM procedures. It failed: there was not crew aboard to muster all passengers and staff and to launch all lifeboats/rafts. Maybe the shipowner didn’t provide full crew?
However, it was not serious. The ship was stable and floating. A tug could easily tow the ship for repairs.
Suddenly the ship capsized and sank killing people still aboard. It was a third incident. It seems stability was lost due to progressive flooding of intact watertight compartments through open, illegal, watertight doors left open during the evacuation.
Imagine that - the ship sank due to open watertight doors!
Who was responsible for it?
The Master?
According to ISM the (illegal) watertight doors should be kept closed at sea.

[QUOTE=Evanjonesinbatam;189954]This a reference to the Sea Prince grounding in the mouth of the Nongsa River (Batam) last December. I would be surprised if the liferafts were in poor shape; that company runs some old boats but they are making money - everything I see is well maintained. The Sea Prince is an oldy - possibly 50 years old by now, but in good shape. She is fitted with a couple of noisy Detroit 12V92s. I suspect the crew grounded at half tide. Someone said they hit a floating object; that may have been to cover up a navigation error. The Sea Prince is one of 4 ferries based at the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal but she is the most rarely used. So the crew don’t get much practice navigating in a tight river at night. (You can see from the photo that the incident occurred in the river, in front of Nongsa Point Marina). I get the impression they somehow flooded the engine room and erroneously thought the whole boat was flooding. (She was tilting alarmingly by the stern.) The river is so shallow there that had the boat sunk, everybody could have climbed onto the roof. The crew could do with some more emergency response training. As usual, the media got the story all wrong. When you think about how many ferries are running around the Straits of Singapore, the safety rate is pretty good.[/QUOTE]
Didnt hit bottom in the river it was outside, came out and turned left too early hit the bottom once and kept going then hit another reef.
Beginner mistake, anyone that boats in these parts knew what he hit before we even looked at the charts and yes there are photos on the web of the failed liferafts, they just de laminated once inflated, like every single one not just one, was in all the newspapers the next day.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;189965]Good the helmsman got off, I don’t think he should have been on trial in the first place. The legal system has it’s own logic however.[/QUOTE]

I agree. That kind of vessel had no business being in a situation where a helmsman fuck-up could be that catastrophic.

[QUOTE=Heiwa;190200]the (illegal) watertight doors should be kept closed at sea.[/QUOTE]

If they are truly illegal watertight doors them the families of the dead passengers have an excellent claim to sue the company for big, big money.

[QUOTE=Heiwa;190200]There were several accidents when M/S Costa Concordia sank 14 January 2012. The cause of the [I][B]contact[/B][/I] with the submerged rock while turning the day before was bad, reckless navigation and only causing hull leakage and upflooding of some watertight compartments. Can happen to anyone (including me). The upflooding of some watertight compartments in turn caused BLACK OUT. The main generators stopped working. A new accident.
The Master decided to evacuate all aboard to a port nearby as per ISM procedures. It failed: there was not crew aboard to muster all passengers and staff and to launch all lifeboats/rafts. Maybe the shipowner didn’t provide full crew?
However, it was not serious. The ship was stable and floating. A tug could easily tow the ship for repairs.
Suddenly the ship capsized and sank killing people still aboard. It was a third incident. It seems stability was lost due to progressive flooding of intact watertight compartments through open, illegal, watertight doors left open during the evacuation.
Imagine that - the ship sank due to open watertight doors!
Who was responsible for it?
The Master?
According to ISM the (illegal) watertight doors should be kept closed at sea.[/QUOTE]

WTF are illegal watertight doors?

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190232]WTF are illegal watertight doors?[/QUOTE]

You know very well what illegal watertight doors are. It means they don’t have green cards. No illegal doors! Build that wall! …without doors.

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190232]WTF are illegal watertight doors?[/QUOTE]

In the old days (legal) watertight doors were only fitted in bulkheads between engine rooms, so that one watchkeeping engineer could easily move from one engine/boiler compartment to the other without having to take a ladder or stairs up to the bulkhead/main deck and down again. Other compartments below the bulkhead/main deck were served only by ladders/stairs and to move from one compartment to another you hade to take the stairs up/down.

Then people got lazy and started to fit (illegal) watertight doors in the watertight bulkheads below the bulkhead/main deck for all sorts of reasons, e.g. so that passengers could go to the toilet, etc, etc. M/S [B]Estonia[/B] was one such ship. The Estonia W/T doors were always open at sea and when the ship sprang a leak 1994 progressive flooding took place through these doors … and the ship sank.
http://heiwaco.com

[B]Costa Concordia[/B] is another horrible example 2012. When the ship started to leak due to an accidental contact, crew and staff in their cabins below the bulkhead/main deck opened these doors during the Abandon Ship … and the ship sank due to progressive flooding.

IMO discusses 2016 procedures about these illegal doors kept open at sea. My recommendation is to weld them tight and arrange extra stairs up to the main deck.

The M/S Costa Concordia case will be decided by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, Rome, on Thursday 20 April 2017.
The Master requests a new trial to show that he was innocent of any criminal matters. The contact with a rock was an accident and then they followed ISM procedures, etc, etc.
The public prosecutor requests the punishment to be 27 years in jail for the master.
The wreck is still in dry-dock at Genoa since September 2016! However, it cannot be inspected! The drydock is still full of water!
I have updated http://heiwaco.com/news8.htm with the latest info. The Master hasn’t given up to clear his name. I like that.

Re the batam ferry
Not sure why you think the press got it wrong
http://www.mpa.gov.sg/web/portal/home/media-centre/news-releases/detail/4bc72e14-d069-44de-879f-4d87036439af

Yes, agreed. I have been a regular user of Batam ferries for nearly 40 years (since before there were any ferries ; when we had to use the slow and noisy McDermott crewboat Jaramac 38.)

I have generally admired the good job Batam Fast have done in keep their aging marine assets in good shape. In the case of the Sea Prince liferafts, they or the licensed safety appliance service facility screwed up.

After a few months in the yard, the Sea Prince reappeared last month as Batam Fast 6.

Sea Prince showed up doing Singapore - Riau Islands services, about 20 years ago, initially on the Tj Bali - Singapore run. She was already an old boat - a classic Japanese ferry design from the 60s or 70s. She is now the Nongsa-Tanah Merah backup boat, only used in peak periods, or when one of the other 3 boats are out of service.

The crew don’t get that much seatime. Maybe her 12V-92 Detriot Diesel engines guzzle more fuel than the newer MTU powered boats.

Thanks for the update.
I hope the crew are doing weekly test runs so they can remember how to get to Singapore
Cheers

Can we just use the illegal watertight doors temporarily to build the “beautiful” wall at below-minimum wages with no benefits, thereby additionally benefiting our fine corporate-citizen racketeers, then deport them after they’re done (but only after spending sufficient time in a private for-profit prison)? That would truly be in keeping with the spirit of the times!

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