Kulluk Grounding Report Released by USCG # 2

[QUOTE=seacomber;135098]Peggy Dyson aka “Four Meg Peg” sounded good even when the weather didn’t. Too bad she was off air for this one, she might have made a difference. Seems like yesterday, but when she was on, everybody listened in.

In 1974 when Peggy Dyson would get on the radio to her late husband Oscar, a crabber out of Kodiak, Alaska, to ask him “How is it out there today?”. Those chats grew into a service that Peggy provided until January of 1999. It was in 1974 that NOAA contracted Peggy as a ship-to-shore weather broadcaster for the National Weather Service. At 0800 and 1800 hours seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, Peggy, on her radio station WBH-29, would provide National Weather Service forecasts to the mariners plying the waters of Alaska. In turn, she would ask them how the weather and sea state were at their location, and would then relay that information to the forecasters who would use it to refine their predictions. In addition to weather reports, there were often reports of volcano eruptions and earthquakes, and in many instances, her broadcasts included more personal messages - the birth of a child, or a death in the family. Peggy performed this important service for NOAA for 25 years.

The following example illustrates just how much the fishermen and mariners revered Peggy. When NOAA began deploying moorings in the waters of Alaska, considerable vandalism was taking its toll on the surface buoys and equipment. The name “PEGGY” was lettered on the buoys, and amazingly all problems ceased. To the Alaskan fishermen, Peggy’s diligent work represented lives saved and money made.

In a retirement letter to Peggy, NOAA’s Rear Admiral John C. Albright, now retired, wrote:

“Shoreside, you “Minded the Helm” in the finest of maritime traditions. All of us who have worked in the storm ravaged waters of the Gulf of Alaska owe our well-being and very lives to your steadfast and capable services. Our Guardian Angel will be sorely missed.”[/QUOTE]

Ah the good old days. I really miss Peggy. She brought us all together on 4125, and built a close nit community of Alaska mariners. Now 4125 is a ghost town, and we are no longer in touch with other boats outside of our own inner circles on the satphone.

Now that I’m flooded with emails and phone calls from the office all day long, I miss the good old days when the office had to call Peggy to find out where we were.

We appreciate a spirited defense of your friend.

  1. Where exactly were the o rings that failed?
  2. Were the parts that failed in contact with fuel?

But I seriously doubt the USCG has a dog in the fight to produce non-objective findings.

Remember that goes both ways. Evidence they consider must be fact based and objective, and what they do and their conclusions must also be objectively supportable and as you can see, were subject to review at several levels. They have a pretty large vested interest in that, as a member state of the IMO (let alone US law) they are obligated to do it right to the best of their ability.

The findings of SW in the fuel and damage consistent with this at the main engine injectors lends credibility to their findings.

Don’t forget the rest of the report indicating a relatively rapid rise in the FO overflow tank, alarms in the FO overflow vent header and the water intrusion management issues experienced by the engineering team, duly recorded in the log and testimony.

So yeah, there were some water issues and some related to design. Your friend will have (or has had) the opportunity to defend himself before the USCG and I suspect he and his lawyers do not / did not need your help defining their position. The ramblings and insults here are not what counts, and we have all made mistakes that for the grace of God turned out okay, or at least not so bad. I know for sure I have. I suppose one day if I am involved in an incident, I will have to bear the weight of having my name dragged around. But that is why we get the big bucks To wear the robe of responsibility.

One might add a LOT of the readers here find certain highly opinionated posts rather offensive and ill advised, but in life I done run into a lot of unpleasantries, and know I have offered way too many myself. Lord forgive me. So stuff happens. I suppose if something is absolutely wrong and I personally know it, I would speak up too. I actually get paid to do so in my day job.

And besides, the USCG report finds a lot of fault in the tow planning and review that went on, that had nothing, or little, to do with the KULLUK crew.

Now take a “5 whys” example

[B]Why did the towline part?[/B]
Excessive loading on the gear

[B]Why was the gear overloaded?[/B]
Sea state affecting tow
Unusual characteristics of tow that caused cyclic loading in excess of those seen with ship form tows
Short length of tow wire
Minimal surge gear
Vessel speed

[B]Why was the surge gear short?[/B]

More chain was not available (I do not know - example only)
Decision of tow planner (I do not know - example only)
Decision of Tow master (I do not know - example only)
Decision of others (I do not know - example only)

[B]Why was the tow wire short?[/B]

Decision of tow planner (I do not know - example only)
Decision of Tow master (I do not know - example only)
Decision of others (I do not know - example only)
Limited depth of water along parts of route chosen made snagging a risk (I do not know - example only)

… and so on.

And often the answer to the next set of Why and the next set will point to the factors contributing to the screw up and maybe a root cause… and it is WHY I would like to see more WHYS addressed in any discussion. But the lawyers will sort out a whole lot of the Whys for other reasons … involving money.

Be assured the USCG investigators do a damn fine job. I have seen some of the finer points of their techniques and reporting my friend, and at least what I saw was world class.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;135101]It going to have be be the outfit that pays the bills, in this case that’s Shell.

First thing Shell should do is take the computer away from the employee who cut, pasted and emailed the voyage plan and give him a janitor’s job or fire him. Shell needs a competent marine department and ECO needs a good SMS. Once the SMS is in place Shell needs to audit ECO to make sure it’s being followed. If the captains and C/E on the boats can’t or won’t follow it, fire them - some of them will figure it out.

There are plenty of top notch mariners working in the GOM, a lot of them probably are already working for ECO and are perfectly capable of working anywhere in the world.[/QUOTE]

I sure do wish Mainecheng was able to join this discussion as he has been a tremendously valuable contributor in this forum previously on the topics concerning Shell’s Alaska operations however I know he is limited to what he can say due to his unique position at the inner circle to this fiasco even though he was not in his position at the time of the debacle.

It would be of immense value to us outsiders what the take is on the inside, but I know that we will not get that information yet so many questions remain to be answered here not about the past but more importantly about the future. Oh how I wonder how will the operation look different in 2015 compared to 2012? That is, if there is an operation in 2015?

[QUOTE=tugsailor;135107]Ah the good old days. I really miss Peggy. She brought us all together on 4125, and built a close nit community of Alaska mariners.[/QUOTE]

I can hear her voice in my head even now…

“Hello all mariners, hello all mariners, hello all mariners…this is WBH-29 Kodiak with the National Weather Service forecast for Alaskan waters for January 29, 1989”

“Area 5A waters from Castle Cape to Cape Sarichev…storm warning…storm warning…storm warning!”

and all the old time tug masters calling in to give her their local conditions before each broadcast…you knew calling her was the high point of their days which they eagerly looked forward to. so much simpler back then…

Peggy is long gone and they don’t even use the same zones to my understanding…ah for the very bad good old daze of battling Alaskan weather and seas in old underpowered WWII knotship processors for $275 a day as master. In all honesty, would love to go back to that time of long days of suffering storm and wind and wind and storm!

Anybody also remember the little guy who would also give the weather from Yakutat? He did not have the following as Peggy but he would give individual routing advice to anyone who asked for it and he was almost always spot on.

.

[QUOTE=c.captain;135118]

Anybody also remember the little guy who would also give the weather from Yakutat? He did not have the following as Peggy but he would give individual routing advice to anyone who asked for it and he was almost always spot on.[/QUOTE]

I do remember him, fisherman would listen to the forecast and then he’d give anyone who asked more details, times of frontal passages etc. Tugsailor is right, it was a community but I don’ t miss those long days.

I wonder how many nowadays even know what a “Knotship” was …

Come on cap, post some photos.

101.The only means onboard the AIVIQ for testing fuel oil was water gauging paste, while other means of testing for water in fuel was available “Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel is highly hygroscopic. As noted earlier, CAT fuel specifications in reference (k) require water content to be a maximum of 0.05%. It appears there were no means available for the crew to check fuel oil samples taken from the settling or day tank drains for water content (i.e. water dissolved in the fuel oil). Water gauging paste can’t be used to determine the amount of waterabsorbed in the fuel oil.”

-item 101, page 102 of the report

Please note these words emboldened. They’re not talking about a layer of water at the bottom of the glass with the diesel on top of it…that’s what Kolor Kutt would detect.

Here’s a parallel from the world of refrigeration, may shed some light on what may have been the injector corrosion and no-spiking-differential-pressure at the Racors issues:

Many oil analysis labs use the crackle test to screen for water contamination in lubricating oils and hydraulic fluids. If the crackle test is positive, the common Karl Fischer procedure is typically used to quantify the water content as an exception test. However, for certain “hermetically sealed” centrifugal-type refrigeration compressor applications (York, Trane, Carrier, etc.) the Karl Fischer method is the best routine test for water.

In hermetically sealed motor setups, the motor is cooled by a refrigerant vapor that flows directly through the motor body. CFC refrigerants are often exposed to water and high temperatures, which promote the production of hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids. While motor winding deterioration is one effect of this condition, the oil analyst is more concerned with its effect on the lubricant. There are unavoidable refrigerant leaks through the impeller bearing labyrinth seals, and as the refrigerant enters the oil, a part of any acids and excess water present are transported with it.

For chiller systems that use napthenic mineral oils (low carbon-forming potential, low flocculent point, very lightly additized), oxidation and corrosive wear are easily catalyzed by small quantities of water and acids. This can be a double-barrelled attack when water enters the oil from the refrigerant side and the compressor environment simultaneously, or refrigerant-carried acids combine with the acids formed by oil degradation. Various combinations of driers and filters fight this water intrusion and acid formation, but it’s an ongoing challenge to manage the condition.

Since many OEMs recommend the use of this highly effective but contaminant-sensitive oil for their hermetically sealed centrifugal compressors, very low water guidelines (75 to 125 ppm in used oils) are often encountered. This level of moisture is undetectable using the crackle test, making Karl Fischer testing mandatory. It is important to note that the residual refrigerant always present in samples from this type of system has a very low boiling point, and will mask the water response when using the crackle test because the water and the refrigerant both scintillate on the hot plate.

from: http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/130/refrigeration-compressor-lubricant

Kolor Kutt paste to check for molecular level hygroscopic water contamination is about as useful as a cardboard suit of armor in a gunfight.

One wonders where the Coast Guard transferred CWO Sullivan to? He was aboard Aiviq for 11 days, and was with the Chief when he Kolor Kutt the tanks. His testimony while sought by some parties, was denied at the hearing.

[QUOTE=Bilgeman;135122]-item 101, page 102 of the report

One wonders where the Coast Guard transferred CWO Sullivan to? He was aboard Aiviq for 11 days, and was with the Chief when he Kolor Kutt the tanks. His testimony while sought by some parties, was denied at the hearing.[/QUOTE]

I am sure the lawyers can sort it out. Good luck

For the sake of clarity, I certainly wish they had split their report into 3 sections.

One dealing with the weather and the shoreside decision to move the Kulluk

Another separate one for the towing failure(s)

And another for the engine failures.

All the pretty pictures of cool boats in the report is nice and all, but doesn’t really do much to deal with each set of issues that this investigation has set itself to addressing, it DOES in my view, muddy the waters in that the deck and engine sides get jumbled and up in each others’ business.

[QUOTE=+A465B;135121]I wonder how many nowadays even know what a “Knotship” was …

Come on cap, post some photos.[/QUOTE]

here’s one for starters

ah, the smell of ammonia in the morning!

Sailed on the Yardarm Knot myself to Togiak, AK in 93. Overall a good experience but I was only a delivery mate so I didn’t get to see much of the processing operation. 600hp Nordberg diesel for main propulsion looked like it belonged in a museum.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;135120]I do remember him, fisherman would listen to the forecast and then he’d give anyone who asked more details, times of frontal passages etc. Tugsailor is right, it was a community but I don’ t miss those long days.[/QUOTE]
We were working off Yakutat all of '77. After a couple of rigs were drug off location, the oil companies hired their own meteorologist for each rig. Each rig and vessel was equipped with an old weather fax Mimeograph style machine. In 40 ft seas, the chemicals spilled all over the chart table. The professional weathermen on the various semi’s would meet on the VHF every evening to compare notes and argue out a forecast. 99% of the time, they were no where close to what the locals from Kodiak and I assume Yakutat predicted.

There have been several mentions of the USCG and ABS dropping the ball on this one. How many of you guys in the GoM have seen or been on an OSV in Galveston or Matagorda when it came time for topside inspection? The vessel gets relieved by a sister ship so she can go to Fourchon for inspection. What, Texas doesn’t have USCG inspection teams? More like it is that the Inspectors in Texas “don’t understand OSVs” as I actually heard one Operations Manager explain. I’m sure the same could be said for ABS. There are shipyards in Texas and Alabama but you wouldn’t know that by going through 20 years of bottomside/drydock in Larose and Morgan City. The ABS and USCG inspectors have formed “relationships” with the OSV companies in south LA that lets these companies get away with things that would never pass in other states.

How did Aviq pass USCG and ABS you ask? Simple. USCG and ABS have developed their own “down the bayou” culture. But I wouldn’t expect that to get too much scrutiny during this investigation.

Careful, You will end up with a Ruby Ridge scenario on your front door steps. :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=txwooley;135135]How did Aviq pass USCG and ABS you ask? Simple. USCG and ABS have developed their own “down the bayou” culture.[/QUOTE]

Looking at [I]Photo 2 - No. 1 Day Tank Stbd Drain[/I] on Appendix 1, page 10 (page 142 of PDF) should have set off more than a few alarms to any inspector who knows squat about acceptable practices. That photo should be used as a training aid for CG inspectors as a “What’s wrong with this picture?” example. It tells me that the engine gang and the port engineer need to look for work ashore … maybe in the Home Depot plumbing department since they appear to be familiar with that part of the store.

Did the CG not understand the absurdity of the tank "drain?"Drain to what, a decorative fountain that falls into the bilge? Did they think that the collection of pipe elbows leading to an elongated and unsupported assortment of nipples and a hose (what length?) is acceptable? Surely post incident is not the first time anyone looked in the corners of the machinery spaces on that boat? Looking at the photos provides a pretty good insight to the culture of ECO and it isn’t pretty.

The report waves a lot of red flags that make ABS and CG along with ECO and (if there was one) charterer’s vetting process look like they were wearing blinders. That hearing should lead to several more by a third party organization that has no cozy relationship with any of the players.

[QUOTE=txwooley;135135]There have been several mentions of the USCG and ABS dropping the ball on this one. How many of you guys in the GoM have seen or been on an OSV in Galveston or Matagorda when it came time for topside inspection? The vessel gets relieved by a sister ship so she can go to Fourchon for inspection. What, Texas doesn’t have USCG inspection teams? More like it is that the Inspectors in Texas “don’t understand OSVs” as I actually heard one Operations Manager explain. I’m sure the same could be said for ABS. There are shipyards in Texas and Alabama but you wouldn’t know that by going through 20 years of bottomside/drydock in Larose and Morgan City. The ABS and USCG inspectors have formed “relationships” with the OSV companies in south LA that lets these companies get away with things that would never pass in other states.

How did Aviq pass USCG and ABS you ask? Simple. USCG and ABS have developed their own “down the bayou” culture. But I wouldn’t expect that to get too much scrutiny during this investigation.[/QUOTE]

Really? I never got that memo…(whistles tunelessly looking about with an innocent look on my face)…

The sad fact, though, is that this feature of regulatory oversight is by no means located solely “south of I-10 and west of the Mississippi”.

A great deal of my career has been spent out of Baltimore and Hampton Roads. The stories I could relate of pushing wreckage out to sea from Sparrows Point and Norshipco.

Hand-fired the starboard boiler of an SL-7, (that boiler feeds a 60k horsepower turbine set), from Bawlmer to Jax FL once. A week long sea-trial/delivery job. I ran into the guy who did boiler automation for that company a bit later and when I told him about the trip, he informed me that the high or low water alarms for the kettle had been inoperative.

The engineers had rigged a cheat switch to mimic the alarm being functional for when the Boys in Blue showed up to do whatever they were supposed to do.

Very clever of them and all, but when you start cooking superheater tubes in a boiler, especially one that has 5 5’ long burners, things get…interesting and exciting.

Personally and professionally, I HATE “interesting and exciting”.
I’d rather be bored.

If there were design flaws, it should be borne in mind that at the bottom right hand corner of the blueprints there are signatures of approval from the Coast Guard and the ABS.
But now here is the Coast Guard sitting in judgement of…itself?

Not to worry. Item 9 of page 114 states:

9.There is no evidence that any act of misconduct, incompetence, negligence, lack of professionalism, and/or willful violation of law committed by any officer, employee, or member of the Coast Guard contributed to this casualty.

Someone ELSE was at fault…the Coasties are simon-pure, (as usual).

[QUOTE=Steamer;135144]Looking at [I]Photo 2 - No. 1 Day Tank Stbd Drain[/I] on Appendix 1, page 10 (page 142 of PDF)

Did the CG not understand the absurdity of the tank "drain?"Drain to what, a decorative fountain that falls into the bilge? Did they think that the collection of pipe elbows leading to an elongated and unsupported assortment of nipples and a hose (what length?) is acceptable?

.[/QUOTE]

I did kinda raise some questions in my mind lookin’ at it the first time. Draining to what is exactly right.

Where is the frigging drain pan to the waste oil tank or oily waste tank so you can actually DRAIN the tank of water. Draining to bilge being strictly illegal …

I’m not worried about the small size ------ just take all that crap off and it looks like you’ve got 1-1/2 inch valve / flange and you can drain away … straight to the (dirty) bilge. On a new boat …

In the Oil Patch? The comment would be:

“That needs to be painted.”

A fresh coat of Paintenance would make it right as rain…and yes, I’m serious.

It tells me that the engine gang and the port engineer need to look for work ashore … maybe in the Home Depot plumbing department since they appear to be familiar with that part of the store.

It’s not the Black Gang’s job to BUILD the ship, guy. It’s their job to operate it. You want to point a finger, point it at the shipyard.

Sadly, pretty much every shipyard I’ve ever been to, the yardbirds have had only two things on their mind…they knock off at 1700 and this heap has to float away on X date.

Did the CG not understand the absurdity of the tank "drain?"Drain to what, a decorative fountain that falls into the bilge? Did they think that the collection of pipe elbows leading to an elongated and unsupported assortment of nipples and a hose (what length?) is acceptable? Surely post incident is not the first time anyone looked in the corners of the machinery spaces on that boat? Looking at the photos provides a pretty good insight to the culture of ECO and it isn’t pretty.

The report waves a lot of red flags that make ABS and CG along with ECO and (if there was one) charterer’s vetting process look like they were wearing blinders. That hearing should lead to several more by a third party organization that has no cozy relationship with any of the players.

Again, every yard I’ve ever been to, they’re looking at their wristwatch and the calendar, and the company has been looking at the calendar and the hole in the bookkeeping where the day-rate for this boat should be,(as well as how much of a bonus they’ll get for shoving it out to sea before it turns into a pumpkin).

If you know of a company that gives the vessel’s chief engineer and its captain absolute veto power on the shipyard delivery date…the ironclad ability to make the yardbirds do it over again, and do it RIGHT this time, let me know, will ya?

I’d REALLY like to work for 'em.

[QUOTE=Bilgeman;135149]

If you know of a company that gives the vessel’s chief engineer and its captain absolute veto power on the shipyard delivery date…the ironclad ability to make the yardbirds do it over again, and do it RIGHT this time, let me know, will ya?

I’d REALLY like to work for 'em.[/QUOTE]

Absolute veto power not going to happen and it would be a bad idea. Some chiefs / captains are idiots.

Crews can get good at routine tasks, the trap is when there are out of their league don’t realize it. Shaking down a new-build is not routine work, operations in an unfamiliar region is not routine. What is required is a crew that can identity problems and communicate the problems to the office. On the office end technical has to respond in an appropriate manner. BTW did anyone notice all the emails the C/E sent to the company?

The captain has a role in this well. There more to running a boat then handling the sticks.

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;135150]. What is required is a crew that can identity problems and communicate the problems to the office. On the office end technical has to respond in an appropriate manner. BTW did anyone notice all the emails the C/E sent to the company?

The captain has a role in this well. There more to running a boat then handling the sticks.[/QUOTE]

This is exactly correct. Walk the talk is part of it. For the OFFICE too.

As far as how it all works. 1. Money 2. Time 3. Results

Take your pick of any two.