Norwegian Tanker Grounded in Alaska


#1

Nunivak Island is at 60 N in the Bering Sea. I typically see these tankers lightering in Etolin Strait between Nunivak Island and the Alaska mainland. Crowley, Vitus, and Delta Western all charter foreign flag tankers carrying refined product from Asia for their coastal tug and barge units to lighter from to make their local deliveries. I don’t know who chartered this particular tanker.

Coast Guard: No spill in grounding of tanker carrying fuel to Southwest Alaska villages
[ul]
[li] Author: Jeannette Falsey [/li]> [li] Updated: 22 hours ago[/li]> [li] Published 1 day ago[/li]> [/ul]

       The Coast Guard is investigating the Friday grounding of a tanker  supplying fuel to villages in Southwest Alaska, a Coast Guard spokesman  said Saturday.


 The Champion Ebony remains anchored off Nunivak Island in the Bering  Sea, where it ran aground Friday morning while carrying 14.2 million  gallons of petroleum products.


 The crew was able to refloat the vessel and take it under its own power  to deeper water, the Coast Guard said. The weather was calm and  overcast with 3-foot seas.


 None of the fuel oil or unleaded gasoline it was carrying appears to  have spilled and the crew reported no interior breaches to the hull,  according to Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Kelly Parker.


A diving company is doing an underwater survey of the 599-foot, double-hulled vessel looking for exterior damage.


[IMG]https://images.washingtonpost.com?op=resize&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Farc-wordpress-client-uploads%2Fadn%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F06%2F25133936%2Ftanker.jpeg&mode=crop&w=600&q=99[/IMG] 

The Champion Ebony tanker is shown in a Coast Guard photo taken during an overflight near Nunivak Island. (Coast Guard photo / courtesy PA1 Kelly Parker)
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the grounding. It also plans to survey the area for other environmental damage.

 The Champion Ebony had last called at the port in Dutch Harbor. Kelly  did not know which villages it was supplying with fuel. Nunivak's only  population center is Mekoryuk on the north shore of the island.


The Norwegian-flagged vessel has a crew of 24. The Coast Guard has not decided when it will be cleared to resume its voyage.

#2

Anyone hear anything new on this?


#3

[QUOTE=tugsailor;186513]Anyone hear anything new on this?[/QUOTE]

This is from District 17 website but nothing new. Only says they are investigating the cause.

http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2858662/


#4

They must have it wrong, it can’t be Norwegian.


#5

[QUOTE=z-drive;186517]They must have it wrong, it can’t be Norwegian.[/QUOTE]

It is Norwegian flagged.


#6

I just finished my tanker safety class on Friday. Of course you never want to see the technology tested in a real accident, but at the same time a story like this kinda makes you want to hug a marine architect and the guys responsible for MARPOL Annex II.


#7

From their website ( http://www.championtankers.no/ )

[I]Champion Tankers has from the very beginning outsourced technical management and crewing of our operated vessels to Thome Ship Management Pte Ltd in Singapore and Genoa Maritime Pvt Ltd in Greece. [/I]

Don’t know what that means in terms of actual crew onboard though. No doubt the very best, fully qualified STCW, with individual cabins and private T/S units, gyro repeaters in the cabins and most assuredly not smelling like a gorilla cage. Hey, everyone has a bad day once in a while.

So they are carrying fuel to Alaska ports? from where, Canada?

oopps answered my own question. Read the OP and see it typically comes from Asia.


#8

[QUOTE=z-drive;186517]They must have it wrong, it can’t be Norwegian.[/QUOTE]

Oh yes it is Norwegian owned and flagged under NIS as registered in Bergen: http://www.championtankers.no/

Management is by Thome & Co. in Singapore, which is one of the biggest Ship Management companies in the world, with a very good safety record: http://www.thome.com.sg/

Apparently the tanker “touched bottom” but did not get stuck and proceeded under own power to a safe and protected anchorage for diver inspection. No damages reported.
“The incident has been blown out of proportion” according to the Owner.

It raises the question of preparedness for any serious incident in these waters though: http://thebarentsobserver.com/arctic-industry/2016/06/norwegian-tanker-aground-us-arctic-stirs-concern-about-security
What say our Alaska experts here on the forum?


#9

[QUOTE=ombugge;186523]
It raises the question of preparedness for any serious incident in these waters though: http://thebarentsobserver.com/arctic-industry/2016/06/norwegian-tanker-aground-us-arctic-stirs-concern-about-security
What say our Alaska experts here on the forum?[/QUOTE]

Well they operate a tank ship in US waters so they must have an approved response plan with QI and OSRO named. They will have specific steps to call out a response and financial ability demonstrated in advance to pay for a response (COFR)

But what is a little troubling is their attitude.

From the article you link to:[I]
According to shipping company Champion Tankers, the ship «Champion Ebony» only slightly touched the ground when it passed through the area. There was no damage inflicted on the ship and it must all be considered as «a triviality», a company spokesman says to NRK.[/I]

A triviality? And you also quote them as saying it “is blown out of proportion”

Hmm. Sounds like they have a “continuous improvement” issue or a lapse of good PR judgement. Instead of blowing it off they might want to say something like “we will investigate and get to the bottom of this” … “fortunately there were no serious impacts from this incident but our corporate philosophy is to recognize the importance of near hits/misses and take corrective action” …

All well and good they proceeded to a safe place and did a divers inspection but are they seriously saying “no harm, no foul - catch you later”?


#10

but this kind of incident could only happen on a US flagged ship, which may or may not more closely resemble a gorilla cage?


#11

[QUOTE=tugsailor;186426]Nunivak Island is at 60 N in the Bering Sea. I typically see these tankers lightering in Etolin Strait between Nunivak Island and the Alaska mainland. Crowley, Vitus, and Delta Western all charter foreign flag tankers carrying refined product from Asia for their coastal tug and barge units to lighter from to make their local deliveries. I don’t know who chartered this particular tanker.[/QUOTE]

That’s the only possible answer what it was even doing there in the first place. There are no population centers over there. The answer from what I can see is Vitus. [SIZE=4]The T/V [B]CHAMPION EBONY[/B] is on Vitus Marine [B]charter[/B] for the 2016 season.

[/SIZE]Except when you click on the link to read more this is what you get???

[SIZE=4]http://vitus-energy.com/equipment/tv-champion-ebony

This is what I saw for the link?

[/SIZE]


#12

It’s a DP5 Offshore Tanker Support Vessel with the most advanced navigation electronics on this planet. They knew where they were and how deep the water was the whole time. All of the bridge crew wether Norge or foreign went to the worlds premier Norwegian maritime academy. They had access to the worlds most advanced bridge simulation equipment. It is typical of Americans to make a big deal out of the nothing. I think all Norwegian OTSV’s are required to be quadruple bottom hulls anyways. They could have ripped the first two bottoms off and still been just a silly double hull like American tankers. Que Sara Sara…


#13

60 photos from [B][U]multiple photographers that receive the credit for the photos[/U][/B] located here.

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/search.php?query=9290608&x=33&y=3


#14

but how about the accommodations… Ritz carleton or four seasons? Maybe they’re only omni, Hilton or Westin quality and there’s the root cause?


#15


#16

Very interesting.

At Vitus website under “ABOUT” > “EQUIPMENT” you see all their vessels including charters but Champion Ebony is missing.

If you type the link as shown in the search results shown in post #11 you get this:

[I]Oops, we could not find what you were looking for…[/I]

They suddenly go off charter? I don’t know anything about Alaska. The top guy’s bio says he sold family business Smith Lighterage to Crowley. Does Smith = Vitus, a part of Crowley or is Vitus a separate venture started after that sale?

Didn’t realize there was such a big business (look how many vessels they have chartered) in importing clean products up there.


#17

In their defense, I can say The charted depths for that area are about 100 years old. The depths on the western side of Etolin Strait, toward Nunivak Island, are fairly accurate. That’s where the tankers lighter. The depths on the east side toward the mainland are much shallower than charted. Especially so at the NE end of the strait. This is an area that requires local knowledge.

Crowley and Vitus have good local knowledge.

Dutch Harbor is the only port in Western Alaska that can dock a tanker of that size. It’s all lightering everywhere else. The lighter outside of state waters so that they do not need state permits. The companies lightering g from the tankers all have federal and state approved oil spill response plans. Alaska Chadaux is the oil spill response contractor.


#18

[QUOTE=KPChief;186535]Very interesting.

At Vitus website under “ABOUT” > “EQUIPMENT” you see all their vessels including charters but Champion Ebony is missing.

If you type the link as shown in the search results shown in post #11 you get this:

[I]Oops, we could not find what you were looking for…[/I]

They suddenly go off charter? I don’t know anything about Alaska. The top guy’s bio says he sold family business Smith Lighterage to Crowley. Does Smith = Vitus, a part of Crowley or is Vitus a separate venture started after that sale?

Didn’t realize there was such a big business (look how many vessels they have chartered) in importing clean products up there.[/QUOTE]

Vitus is good company with good equipment and one of the 50 largest companies in Alaska. Certainly the largest fuel supplier to remote Alaska. They compete with Crowley and have taken away most of Crowley’s Western Alaska business. Vitus is partnered up with AVEC (Alaska Village Electric Coop). AVEC is an umbrella for many remote Western Alaska Villages that must produce their own power.


#19

[QUOTE=z-drive;186526]but this kind of incident could only happen on a US flagged ship, which may or may not more closely resemble a gorilla cage?[/QUOTE]

I thought the “gorilla cage” thing came up about a Norwegian owned ship operating in the GoM??


#20

[QUOTE=tugsailor;186536]In their defense, I can say The charted depths for that area are about 100 years old. The depths on the western side of Etolin Strait, toward Nunivak Island, are fairly accurate. That’s where the tankers lighter. The depths on the east side toward the mainland are much shallower than charted. Especially so at the NE end of the strait. This is an area that requires local knowledge.

Crowley and Vitus have good local knowledge.

Dutch Harbor is the only port in Western Alaska that can dock a tanker of that size. It’s all lightering everywhere else. The lighter outside of state waters so that they do not need state permits. The companies lightering g from the tankers all have federal and state approved oil spill response plans. Alaska Chadaux is the oil spill response contractor.[/QUOTE]

Thanks heaven we have some level headed members with a bit of actual knowledge of Alaska and the way thing really are.
Appreciate the B.S. though. Good banter.