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President’s Corner

Dear NAMSGlobal and all other readers;

Happy Holidays to all and wishes for a New Year full of health and prosperity.
As many of you know, the elections were tallied in early December 2013. I have the honor of being re-elected to serve for two more years as the NAMSGlobal President and John Venneman has been elected as NAMSGlobal Vice-President. If you don’t know John, April would be a good time to get to know him in Norfolk.

As we all now know, the Spring Conference and Board of Directors meeting will be held in Norfolk, Virginia at the Marriott Waterfront. The dates are April 6-8, 2014. The initial schedule of speakers should keep us all entertained and educated. Please make every effort to attend. You will not be disappointed.

2014 promises to be another busy year for NAMSGlobal and IAMWS. We are making plans for a website redesign and online testing. Stay tuned here as this will be a major adventure for the group.

We expect the first online testing modules to be up and ready by the end of First Quarter 2014.

We will be testing the IAMWS Board of Directors as a first run through testing protocol. We will also be setting up the NAMSGlobal testing to be online. All other protocols (proctor, etc.) will remain the same.

The various committees are hard at work – especially the two newest –(Sub-Chapter M and Fishing Vessels). There are updates on developments for both of these included here. Please review and contact the Committee Chair if you have any questions.

Marketing and the Website committees are looking for input on website changes/upgrades to incorporate or opportunities to better market NAMSGlobal. Please refer these notes to Mike Hunter/Dick Learned for Marketing and Mike Beijar for Website.

I am looking forward to two more years leading NAMSGlobal and IAMWS forward. Please let me know if there are any questions or comments on what and how we can do things better.

Happy New Year to All!

I remain,

Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS


New NAMSGlobal Committee Formed to Certify Surveyors Upcoming Subchapter M

At the last NAMSGlobal Board of Directors’ meeting, a committee was formed to set up the criteria and testing procedures to start certifying Surveyors for the upcoming Coast Guard Regulations (Subchapter M) for Inspected Towing Vessels.

Ed Shearer has been named chairman and has appointed four NAMSGlobal Surveyors to assist in the development of the policies and procedures: Capt. Joe Derie, representing the members on the West Coast; Capt. Andrew Kinsey, representing the members on the East Coast; Glenn Davis representing the members on the inland waterways; and Ric Singley representing the members on the Gulf Coast. Dick Frenzel and Greg Gant have been asked to serve as ad hoc members.

On November 26, 2013 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the Unified Agenda of Federal regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, which was the semiannual summary of all current and projected rulemakings. Regulation Identifier Number 1625-AB06 is the Inspection of Towing Vessels and it was stated that the Final Rule will be issued 09/00/2014.

However, people in the industry as well as the Coast Guard said that the Final Rule has yet to go through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), so the Rule may not (and probably will not) be issued on that date. Coast Guard Admiral Papp is scheduled to retire soon after the proposed issue date and they don’t want someone new coming in and changing the Regulation again.

The first meeting of the committee will be held in January by teleconference to develop and approve a Scope of Work. By the March meeting in Norfolk, we hope to have a definitive planof the work of the committee as well as accomplishments.

Ed Shearer, NAMS-CMS

Editor’s Message

The news articles and current events you send in make the NAMSGlobal E-News interesting to readers in all disciplines of marine survey: Please send new material to [email protected].

Thanks, and best regards to all.

Greg Weeter, Editor

Publisher Message

We request those wishing to submit articles and / or papers for publishing in the NAMS eNews, please refer to the Disclaimer, Copyright Statement and Submissions Policy at the bottom of this NAMS eNews or use the link to the left.


Mike Beijar, Publisher

NAMS Applicants, New Members, and Changes in Status

New Applicants
Name Status / Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
Mark Clark Associate / H&M, & Cargo N York Andrew Kinsey, Richard L. Frenzel, & Reinier Van Der Herp
Mike Cox NAMS-CMS / Y&SC S Atlantic Henry Pickersgill
Dean Ford Apprentice / Y&SC S Pacific George LeBaron
Douglas Jones NAMS-CMS / Y&SC S Pacific Peter Britton
Dean Krienitz Apprentice / H&M, & Cargo W Gulf James F. Moore

Upcoming Educational Events

ABYC 2014 Course Calendar

For the latest information on ABYC’s 2014 educational programs, please go to the ABYC Education Page by clicking hereand look under Events in the right sidebar. Be advised it opens a new window in your browser. Simply close it to return here.

ABYC conducts many educational programs including, but not limited to, Marine Electrical Systems, Corrosion Surveys, Diesel Engines & Support Systems, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, and ABYC Standards.

If you have questions regarding registration for the ABYC courses please contact Cris Gardner or Sandy Brown at 410.990.4460.

AIMU Education 2014 Calendar

There are new additions to AIMU’s online Web Lecture Center, which now offers fourteen webinars. The online Web Lecture Center can be accessed through the AIMU website under the ‘Education’ tab or directly at Additional recordings will be added continually and will particularly benefit those who prefer viewing the lectures at their convenience. The fee for each webinar is $50 (members) and $75 (non-members).

Students now have two options: Attend in the classroom or as a Distance Learning Student. AIMU now offers this option as a means to train the ocean marine industry. You can attend from anywhere in the U.S. We provide you with a link to videoconference into the classroom. Turn on your computer, dial your phone (or turn on your computer speakers) and attend. This includes video and audio capability using Microsoft Live Meeting! You will have the ability to see, hear, and ask questions of the instructor. For a list of classes go to:

SUNY Maritime College

SUNY Maritime College is offering online courses. Typical costs for the online classes are $800.00 plus class book, saving travel, lodging, meals and time away from your business practice. The typical 6-week course earns 18 credit hours for continuing education credits.

Each of the classes will require at least 20 hours completing and some may take up to 30 depending on the extensiveness of the student. If Members require CEs, I am now able to provide the office with an attendance time on task for each student so that you know the minimum amount of time put in by each student.

To obtain syllabus of the classes contact: Janet Peck, NAMS-CMS, 843.628.4340 or 843.291.2922 or email [email protected]. To enroll in any of these classes you should contact: Margaret Poppiti Administrative Assistant Department of Professional Education & Training SUNY Maritime College 6 Pennyfield Avenue Throggs Neck, NY 10465 (718) 409-7341 [email protected]

MPI Online Education

On-Line modular Marine Incident Investigation course, specifically designed for people who are: personnel responsible for accident prevention such as ship safety officers, company safety officers, designated persons ashore (DPA), Captains and senior ship officers, operational ship managers, engineering and/or marine superintendents. It also applies to safety professionals, incident investigators, marine surveyors, loss prevention managers, risk managers, P&I underwriters and claims managers, solicitors, accountants, flag and port state control inspectors and classification society surveyors. Contact Lou Blackaby at [email protected] or telephone +44 (0) 1252 732220

ProBoat E-Training

ProBoat E-Training is a series of online courses developed by the staff of Professional BoatBuilder magazine offering a variety of web-based courses. If you have suggestions for new offerings, please contact us.

Please visit our website for the current ProBoat course list.

Houston Marine Education Schedule

Since its inception in 1972 Houston Marine has become the premier source for the certification and training of maritime personnel by offering efficient, cost-effective products and services in a variety of locations and formats. The education schedule is available at

Maritime Training Academy (MTA)

The Maritime Training Academy has a selection of short courses designed to grow your skills in key areas of the maritime industry . If you require more information, please email [email protected]. Alternatively click here to download the brochure and application for ship building & repair.

Click here for other short courses including, but not limited to, marine incident investigation.

Svitzer Salvage Academy

With a history spanning centuries and an unbeaten track record in maritime emergency management, Svitzer Salvage has a unique combination of knowledge and experience to offer. The Svitzer Salvage Academy provides professionals in the marine industries access to the know-how gained over thousands of casualty situations, prevented, managed and controlled by Svitzer and its affiliates over the years. Svitzer Salvage B.V.

MITAGS-PMI, Maritime Training Courses

To visit the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies-PMI website, click here. To learn more about the courses at Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), contact Robert Becker at: [email protected]. To learn more about the courses at Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI), contact Jennifer Pitzen at: [email protected]

National Cargo Bureau Training Courses

The National Cargo Bureau has a number of self-study courses. For more information, visit their website by clicking here.

29 – 31 January 2014 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC), produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI), has published a 20-plus page preliminary brochure detailing plans for the event taking place at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.
The IMBC preliminary brochure includes information about the conference’s 25+ educational sessions, special events. For more information or to register, please visit or call (401) 682-7334.

11 & 12 February 2014 – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Knox Marine Consultants’ 21st Annual Knox Marine Yacht Claims Conference. For more conference information, including group rates, contact Steve Knox at [email protected] or call Knox Marine at 804.222.5627.

21 – 23 February 2014 – Morehead City, NC

Marine Cargo Consultants, Inc. Will host a draft survey course in Morehead City, NC February 21 – 23, 2014. The thee-day school of instruction will take the mystery out of the science of accurately determining a vessel’s weight by water displacement. Designed for students having little or no previous experience with bulk cargo, the program will be presented by an experienced and practicing draft surveyor in a fun, relaxed and easy to understand format. Adhering to standards established by the United Nations and the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and using surveys and publications collected from actual vessels attended by the instructor, attention will be directed toward practical application rather than textbook theory.

Members of the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors (SAMS) will be granted 18 CE credits for course completion.

Additional questions regarding course content and target learning objectives may be directed to [email protected] or call 1-800-567-6294 or + 1(0) 202-239-2729 (Outside USA).

5 & 6 March 2014 – SAMS Pacific Regional Meeting – San Leandro, CA

Two full days of education (Yet to be determined). Times and costs are being determined. Questions: Call or e-mail; Darrell Boyes AMS. Pacific Regional Director.

5 – 7 March 2014 – New Orleans, LA

Inland Waterways Conference. The 2014 Inland Waterways Conference is the only maritime industry event aimed squarely at the Inland Rivers of the United States and involves all segments of the maritime community in important deliberations and sessions.

The 2014 Inland Waterways Conference will engage leaders from the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and others with a state in promoting and sustaining a healthy and prosperous inland river transportation system.

Contact Tamara Callabro, Maritime Meetings at [email protected]

6 – 8 April 2014 Norfolk, Virginia

NAMSGlobal 52nd Annual National Marine Conference
. Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 
235 E Main Street
, Norfolk, VA 23510. Room rate: $107, plus 14% state tax, + $2.00 Occupancy tax
. Reservations: 757 627.4200 or 800 228.9290

29 APRIL – 1 MAY 2014 – St. Louis, Missouri

The Inland Marine Expo.More information will follow, or visit


Articles Of Interest


The web site has been redesigned for optimal display on any device including smart phones, tablets and desktop monitors. The web site content and access to password-protected information remains the same. The Site Search feature has been added for fast location of content. The Calendar of Events on the home page will quickly let you know about AIMU courses/ seminars and industry events.

Class Societies, Consultants Preparing Their Subchapter M Services

Companies and classification societies are working on programs that will help operators comply with the new towing vessel regulations, called Subchapter M.

The date for the final rule has not been determined, so companies are taking different approaches to Subchapter M.

It is extremely important for small companies to start this process as soon as possible. “It is not something they will be able to do overnight,” said Mike Serafin, managing director for Baker, Lyman & Co. “It’s a culture change for a lot of companies.”

In some cases, classification societies are joining with consultants to take care of the entire process. This is what ClassNK did when it acquired Safety Management Systems LLC (SMSLLC) of Portland, Maine.

In other cases, consultants will work with operators to get all the preparation done, and then bring in a classification society to do the audits and surveys. This is the case with the TSMS Strategic Alliance. This partnership originally included the German classification society Germanischer Lloyd and Baker Lyman, a New Orleans-based chart agent and provider of marine safety and navigation products. However, that partnership dissolved by mutual agreement Aug. 30. Baker Lyman has gone ahead and added four companies to the TSMS Strategic Alliance, which is already working with companies to prepare for Subchapter M.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) is not discussing details of its plans. “We are prepared to assist industry in working with the Coast Guard to comply,” said ABS spokesman Rob Whitney.

According to the 2011 proposed rule, companies will be given two options for compliance. One would be to let the Coast Guard perform an annual inspection of towing fleets and operators. The second would be for towing operators to create a Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). This system would allow third-party organizations to conduct TSMS audits and surveys, which would be certified by the Coast Guard.

Consultants can help companies create the TSMS, including processing, procedures and recordkeeping. Due to uncertainty about the final date for the towing vessel regulations, some companies are waiting before they start Subchapter M work.

ClassNK acquired Safety Management Systems so it could develop plans. “We can utilize our experience and expertise of SMSLLC to tailor safety management systems that are specific to the needs of inland and brownwater operators,” said Yasushi Nakamura, ClassNK’s executive vice president.

William Mahoney, director of operations, marketing and business management for Safety Management Systems, believes now is not the time to begin. “We are really not actively marketing to anyone yet,” he said. “We will see how it organically happens and see what the final rule is.” The company is considering holding regional workshops and sessions at major conferences to inform operators about the upcoming regulations.

TSMS Strategic Alliance is already working with operators to set up Towing Safety Management Systems. Baker Lyman and Tug and Barge Solutions of Mobile, Ala., are the lead companies. It also includes Score-Global, Marine Safety Consultants and Vector Maritime Group. by David A. Tyler. Courtesy Professional

US WARNING: the United States could soon find itself without sufficient merchant ships and seafarers to respond to a national emergency, politicians were warned last month.

USA Maritime, a coalition of unions and shipowners, told a Congress hearing that continued cargo preference laws to support US flag shipping were vital if the country is to have enough US seafarers to crew strategic ships. And Paul Jaenichen, the Maritime Administration’s acting administrator, warned that cuts in the $186m maritime security programme to support 58 US-flag vessels and 2,700 US seafarers risk putting the sector beyond ‘the tipping point’. Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession from various publications and contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles are welcomed. Contact [email protected]

USCG – Cargo Securing Manuals

The US Coast Guard issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) proposing to require cargo securing manuals (CSMs) on vessels of 500 gross tons or more traveling on international voyages and carrying cargo that is other than solid or liquid bulk cargo. The proposal would also prescribe when and how the loss or jettisoning of cargo at sea must be reported. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 13 February 2014. 78 Fed. Reg. 68784 (November 15, 2013). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Superstorm Sandy Taught A Harsh Lesson

Superstorm Sandy taught the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey some hard lessons, perhaps the greatest of which was the difference between a hurricane and a storm surge, according to the terminal manager for the Port Authority’s New Jersey terminals. “It was like Armageddon,” said Bethany Rooney of the first time she returned to work after the storm. Debris, largely in the form of scattered shipping containers and other cargo, was everywhere, said Ms. Rooney in a Thursday address to the annual meeting of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters in New York. Preparing for a hurricane, said Ms. Rooney, is vastly different than preparing for a storm surge, which is what Sandy ultimately wrought on the Port Authority and its operations. As an example, she cited the practice of unstacking, or “knocking down,” the myriad stacks of cargo containers that fill the port’s grounds, putting them on the ground to protect from a hurricane’s winds. As things turned out, this could have been the worst thing the Port Authority could have done, as all those containers laid on the ground to avoid wind were saturated with water, said Ms. Rooney. Cargo losses were estimated at 25,000 containers and 9,000 vehicles because the port is a major point of import for many foreign automakers. Even taking a physical inventory of the containers just to determine what had been lost was quite challenging, said Ms. Rooney, as the containers had been strewn about across land and water. The Port Authority’s loss was $2 billion, $170 million of which was in the marine facilities. The storm also served to highlight the fact that many elements of critical marine infrastructure are in the hands of private owners, said Ms. Rooney, making upgrades and improvements on a wide scale more difficult to accomplish.

This article appeared in Business Insurance following the AIMU Annual Meeting.

Mitigation Efforts Create Their Own Risks

When taking steps to mitigate future potential damage, it is necessary to keep an eye what additional risks or complications may arise from such measures, said Ms. Rooney. Building dams, walls and berms may alleviate one problem but cause another. “The water still has to go somewhere,” said Ms. Rooney. Raising electrical equipment may keep it safe from water but could complicate normal operations and maintenance by making it harder to access, she said. Pollution in the water, largely from oil washed out of fuel tank farms surrounding the Port Authority’s waterways, was a major problem after the storm, according to Capt. Gordon Loebl, U.S. Coast Guard Commander for Sector New York. Another point raised by Capt. Loebl was that after a port is shut, there must be an orderly protocol in place to reopen and restart operations as many civic and commercial agendas vie to be first in line to use the re-opened facilities. Total insured losses from Superstorm Sandy reached $19 billion, 15% – or about $3 billion – of which was marine-related, including $650 million in pleasure craft losses, according to Roger Ablett, AIMU chairman and practice leader, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. Cargo vessel and yachts were the hardest hit by Sandy, said Mr. Ablett, with cargo coverage registering a 2012 combined ratio of 131% and yachts 135% for the year. (Business Insurance, 11/21/2013) Courtesy Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Alarm Over Tank Death

Concern has been expressed about an inquest into the death of a Filipino seafarer who entered a cargo tank to carry out cleaning work while wearing an inadequate protective mask.

Ordinary seaman Ryane Palabrica was asphyxiated when he inhaled benzene fumes in the tank onboard the 8,594dwt products tanker Stolt Skua, Norwich coroner’s court was told. He was discovered by shipmates collapsed on the first step of the tank in April last year, while the ship was some 20 miles off the Norfolk coast. He was airlifted to a hospital ashore, but did not survive.

The inquest heard that the cargo tank was being cleaned after the carriage of pyrolosis gasoline, and in a statement to the court, Cayman Islands principal surveyor Angus McLean said the company had extensive procedures in place governing entry to the tanks, with oxygen level tests and the chief officer’s permission being required.

Mr. Palabrica had apparently taken an individual decision to enter the tank, which was marked with hazard warning signs, after the pump he was using became stuck. The filter mask he had been wearing would have offered him only limited protection and the court heard that the company has since banned the use of such masks.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, senior coroner Jacqueline Lake commented: ‘This is a tragic case of an ordinary seaman going into a tank with a face mask that was insufficient to protect him.’

Captain Michael Lloyd, who works as marine adviser for Mines Rescue Marine, which recently published guidance on enclosed space procedures, said the case was another in a growing list. ‘The Stolt tanker company is a reputable operator with known good safety standards, yet this kind of occurrence shows that this can occur even with such companies,’ he pointed out.

‘Yes, the sailor entered a space without the proper equipment and without permission wearing only a gauze mask,’ Capt Lloyd said. ‘But why did he think that he could do this? Why did he think that a gauze mask would protect him from gas fumes? What training had he had in enclosed spaces and the dangers?
Why was he not equipped with an EEBD, which is now recommended as the standard equipment for entering such spaces? And why was this space not cleared of gas in the first place before there was any consideration of entering such a place?’

Capt Lloyd said the flag state surveyor’s reported statement that the ship met industry standards was questionable. ‘There are no standards,’ he stressed. ‘Shore standards, yes, but it is our understanding that no ship presently meets these.

‘It is not our job to condemn or to blame anyone or any company,’ Capt Lloyd added. ‘What we must question is just how long the IMO is going to allow this appalling catalogue of death in these spaces to continue without enacting the essential legislation required to make companies train their crew properly and supply the essential enclosed space equipment required both for entry and for rescue. Then just perhaps, this young boy’s death may not have been pointless.’ Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world. It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession from various publications and contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles are welcomed. Contact [email protected]

Inland Waterways Woes Threaten Growth In US Exports Through Gulf

Midwest grain and soybean exporters who ship by barge down the inland waterways system will gain an advantage over global competitors at the end of 2015. That’s when the Panama Canal’s big new locks open to commercial traffic, allowing larger ships to carry more products from the U.S. Gulf to fast-growing markets in Asia at lower cost. To cite one example, exporters will be able to load an extra 500,000 bushels of soybeans on a bulk ship with 45 feet of draft that can transit the larger locks. That will boost the value of that shipload of soybeans by $6 million to $7 million per vessel compared to a ship limited to 39 feet of draft, the canal’s current depth. But – and it’s a significant but – the cost advantage the larger Panama locks can offer to agricultural exporters in the Midwest depends on the reliability of the inland waterways, which now carry more than 60 percent of U.S. farm exports to facilities on the lower Mississippi River, where they are loaded on oceangoing bulk ships. The inland waterways system also carries about 20 percent of the nation’s coal and 22 percent of U.S. petroleum. About half of the 238 locks on the system are more than 50 years old, and a third is 75 years old, well beyond their useful life.

Because the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t have reliable funding for lock maintenance, they are unreliable, causing critical delays for agricultural shippers that can erode the cost advantage of waterborne transport. The inland waterways system of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers gives the U.S. a tremendous advantage over such competitors as Brazil, Argentina and Ukraine because it provides low-cost waterborne transportation to some of the richest farmland in the world. Brazil is the world’s second-largest producer of soybeans after the U.S. – and its biggest competitor. The lock outages on the U.S. inland waterways have been getting worse, jeopardizing the cost advantage of that route. “The barging system on the Mississippi is not working,” said Walter Kemmsies, chief economist of engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol. There was an eightfold increase in the length of lock outages on the waterways system as they rose from 20,000 hours in 1992 to 160,000 in 2012.

One clear result of the deterioration of the locks and the resulting shift to rail transport is that the New Orleans Port District, which consists of barge-handling facilities from Baton Rouge to the mouth of the Mississippi, has lost 14 percent of its market share of U.S. grain and oilseed exports over the last 10 years. “It just can’t fight the underinvestment in the waterway system, and it is beginning to lose out, particularly to the steel rivers that pull the cargo to West Coast ports,” Kemmsies said. If the government can’t find a way to adequately fund the repair and maintenance of the decrepit infrastructure on the inland waterways, the U.S. stands to lose its competitive advantage as the low-cost supplier of grain and soybeans to fast-growing markets in Asia. The 300 barge companies that use the waterways system are pushing for an increase in the tax on the diesel fuel they pay to 26 to 29 cents per gallon to provide more funding for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Without the increase in funding, the outlook for rehabilitating the system is iffy, and this means private investors would be reluctant to step in. (Journal of Commerce, 11/27/2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Boating Deaths Dipped To Record Low In 2012

The Coast Guard says boating fatalities last year totaled 651, the lowest number on record. In its 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics, the agency says the 651 deaths represent a decline of 14.1 percent from the 758 fatalities recorded in 2011.

There were 3,000 injuries last year, down 2.6 percent from 3,081 the previous year. The total number of reported recreational boating accidents dropped to 4,515, a decline of 1.6 percent from 4,588 in 2011.

The fatality rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 12.9 percent decrease from 2011’s rate of 6.2 deaths. Property damage totaled about $38 million.

“We’re very pleased that casualties are lower and thank our partners for their hard work over the past year,” Capt. Paul Thomas, director of inspections and compliance at Coast Guard headquarters, says in a statement. “We will continue to stress the importance of life jacket wear, boating education courses and sober boating.” Posted on 31 July 2013 Written by Rich Armstrong. Courtesy Soundings Online, August 2013 issue.

Oil Spray Started Fatal Engineroom Fire

The tugboat Patrice McAllister was a total loss after an engine-room fire on Lake Ontario in 2012. Federal officials have called for new fire-safety rules as a result of the incident.

A fatal engine-room fire aboard a tugboat on Lake Ontario in 2012 was sparked when leaking oil sprayed onto a hot surface, investigators have determined.
The chief engineer burned over 90 percent of his body and died. His only means of escape was an accommodation ladder that was in the path of the burning oil spray, which ignited his clothes, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The blaze aboard Patrice McAllister happened at 0229 on March 27, 2012, while the boat was transiting Lake Ontario near Prince Edward Point, Ontario. Federal officials are reviewing the incident as they study whether additional regulations are needed to prevent fires in the engine rooms of towing vessels.

The 4,400-hp tug was previously named Cleveland. McAllister Towing had recently acquired the vessel, which underwent refurbishment at a Toledo, Ohio, shipyard.

The fire was initially extinguished with CO2 but rekindled, destroying the boat. The crew were evacuated by a Canadian helicopter and cutter.

Investigators found that a fracture had covered 75 percent of the circumference of the pre-lubrication oil pump nipple/flange assembly next to the fillet weld. An estimated 35 gallons of oil spilled out.

The probable cause was “the ignition of lubricating oil that sprayed from a fatigue-fractured fitting on the portside main engine’s pre-lubrication oil pump onto the hot surface of the portside main engine’s exhaust manifold,” the report said.

“Contributing to the extent of the fire damage was the crewmembers’ compromise of the fire boundaries when they prematurely began de-smoking the vessel’s superstructure, the inability to completely secure the engine room’s fire boundaries and the abundance of flammable material throughout the vessel,” the investigators wrote.

Inside the engine room was Matthew James Hoban, 49, who had served as chief engineer during all 13 years of the vessel’s existence.

Hoban’s “only exit was an accommodation ladder leading to a watertight door onto the fiddley deck,” the report said. “Because the accommodation ladder was in the path of the oil spray fire, the chief engineer had to exit through the fire, which ignited his clothing. He collapsed on deck after exiting. … The oil spray fire also ignited combustible material on the fiddley deck.”

Deck crew extinguished the fire on his clothes, but he already burned over 90-plus percent of his body. Before releasing CO2 into the engine room from the vessel’s fixed firefighting system, they attempted to secure the centerline passageway by closing the aft watertight door leading to the weather deck and the forward watertight door to the galley.

“However, the crewmembers did not close the watertight door onto the fiddley deck through which the chief engineer had escaped,” the NTSB wrote. “Had the crew done so, the door would have helped segregate the centerline passageway from the engine room to the fiddley deck. In addition, no means existed to mechanically isolate the engine room’s exhaust and supply ventilation.”

The captain released the CO2. Patrice McAllister went adrift after the propulsion, generator and ventilation systems shut down. A reduction in heat and smoke led the captain to believe the fire had been extinguished. The crew opened doors to the superstructure to de-smoke it.

“This action compromised the fire boundary by allowing CO2 to escape and fresh air to enter the interior of the vessel, which caused the fire to re-flash. … Because the vessel had lost power, crewmembers were unable to run the main fire pump, and they had already released all of the CO2. The fire also blocked access to the portable fire pump,” the investigators said.

“As a result, the crewmembers were unable to fight the fire, which now raged out of control,” the report said. “It spread into the accommodation space and consumed all combustible material up through the upper wheelhouse.”

The blaze grew so large that the crew were unable to reach life rafts on the bridge deck. They huddled in survival suits at the stern awaiting rescue. The five surviving crewmembers were treated for smoke inhalation.

The NTSB noted that the Coast Guard already had issued proposed rules to make towing vessels safer from fires. Proposals applicable to Patrice McAllister include minimizing the accumulation of combustible materials, ensuring that spaces are sealed during firefighting responses and stowing the fire pump’s hose and nozzle outside the machinery space.

“Where practical, each space on an existing towing vessel where crew may be quartered or normally employed must have at least two means of escape,” the report said.

“The lack of fire dampers in ventilation systems, along with compromised boundaries due to holes, openings and casual modification, appear to be major problems in containing engine room fires,” the NTSB noted.

Craig Rising, a spokesman for McAllister Towing, said the company would have no comment on the NTSB report.

In September 2013, the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) issued recommendations to the Coast Guard to improve fire prevention in engine spaces. Specifically citing the Patrice McAllister fatality and other serious incidents, TSAC called for improved awareness of potential oil sprays, ignition and the risk of spillage from sounding pipes.

Bulkheads should be “intact and uncompromised,” TSAC wrote in a draft report that was discussed at a public meeting. Bulkheads need a metal door and fire-barrier material should be fitted where pipes or cables penetrate. Ventilation systems should provide a way to close off airflow. Courtesy Professional Mariner.

Article by Dom Yanchunas. Photo courtesy USCG

Inga Beale Named Lloyd’s Of London CEO

Lloyd’s of London has appointed insurance and reinsurance industry veteran Inga Beale as the first female CEO in Lloyd’s more than 300-year history. Lloyd’s said that Ms. Beale will succeed Richard Ward, who announced his departure from Lloyd’s during the summer and was appointed last week as chairman of Amsterdam-based Brit Insurance Holdings B.V. Ms. Beale, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry, previously was group chief executive of Guernsey-based Canopius Group Ltd., a managing agency at Lloyd’s. The first female CEO of the market formed in 1688 also held several roles previously at Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., including global chief underwriting officer. Before Zurich, she was group CEO at Zug, Switzerland-based reinsurer Converium Ltd., which SCOR S.E. purchased in 2007. Ms. Beale takes the helm at Lloyd’s in January. Ms. Beale succeeds Richard Ward as Lloyd’s CEO. Last week, Mr. Ward was named chairman of Brit Insurance Holdings B.V. and of Brit Syndicates Ltd., effective Feb. 1, 2014. John Nelson, chairman of Lloyd’s, said he is delighted about the appointment of Ms. Beale. “Her CEO experience, underwriting background, international experience and operational skills, together with her knowledge of the Lloyd’s market, make Inga the ideal chief executive for Lloyd’s,” Mr. Nelson said in a statement. “Lloyd’s is already an international leader, but this unique market has an extraordinary opportunity to increase its footprint and cement its position as the global hub for specialist insurance and reinsurance,” Ms. Beale said in the statement. In a separate statement, Michael Watson, executive chairman of Canopius, congratulated Ms. Beale on her appointment and thanked her for her contributions to Canopius, where he will assume the additional role of group chief executive. (Business Insurance, 12/16/2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

USCG – Entanglement Accidents

The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert concerning potential entanglement accidents on vessels. Loose clothing, jewelry, personal gear, or long hair may become entangled in moving, rotating, and reciprocating machinery, so mariners should exercise precautions when working in the vicinity. (12/31/13). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Costa Concordia Claim To Rise

Claims from the Costa Concordia disaster are set to break through the $2bn (£1.2bn) barrier next year because of difficulties experts have faced salvaging the 114,500-ton liner, insurance experts warned. The ship capsized off the Italian island of Giglio while carrying 4,229 passengers in January last year, killing 32. Engineers have started removing the wreck, although it is anticipated to take several more months. Insurers, including many in the Lloyd’s of London market, have so far paid out more than $1bn, although these costs are set to rise considerably. As well as insuring the ship’s hull, they are also on the hook for liability claims. Carsten Scheffel, chief executive of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, said: “Due to the vessel grounding in an environmentally sensitive area the complexity of the wreck removal has added significantly to the costs. At the moment, the overall cost of the incident is in the order of $1.6bn, which may not be the final amount. This will be one of the biggest single marine insurance losses in history. Vessels are getting even larger, so insurers have to consider potentially even higher costs should the largest container vessels or bulkers become total losses in areas where wreck removal would be required. David Croome-Johnson, underwriter at Aegis, said: “The increasing cost of removal of large wrecks, such as the Costa Concordia, is fuelled by environmental pressures being applied to politicians and local agencies and the ever-increasing size and scale of vessels and wrecks being removed. There has also been a lack of investment in the salvage industry, and fears abound that for the largest tankers and container vessels already at sea, the available equipment to remove them, if they were to sink, does not yet exist.” In recent years marine insurers have been unable to raise rates because of over-capacity in the market. (The Independent, 12/28/2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

IACS Adopts New Common Structural Rules

IACS, the International Association of Classifications Societies, has unanimously adopted new harmonized Common Structural Rules (CSR) for oil tankers and bulk carriers. The new rules will apply to all oil tankers over 150 m and bulk carriers over 90 m in length contracted for construction on or after July 1, 2015. The CSR will be presented to the IMO, which will verify their compliance with IMO goal-based standards (GBS) that will be compulsory for new building contracts signed on or after July 1, 2016. Mr. Roberto Cazzulo, Chairman of the IACS Council, said “This is a historic achievement and the culmination of many years of hard work by technical specialists from all member societies and intensive and continuing consultation with industry and authorities at every stage. (Marine Log, 12/20/2013) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Useful Links

USCG’s Top Ten Videos of 2013

Top Ten Boat/US Marine Insurance Program Claims

Back in 2005, Seaworthy took a look at the top 10 claims for the Boat/US Marine Insurance Program. After eight eventful years (think Ike, Irene, Snowmageddon, tornadoes, drought, Sandy … ), the time seemed right to revisit our findings to see what, if anything, had changed, and what those changes might mean for conscientious boaters. We analyzed five years of claims, from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012, and ranked loss categories by the total dollar value of claims paid out over that time period. The Top 10 will give you a good sense of where boaters can go wrong, and for each type of loss, we have numerous resources on our website to help you avoid becoming a statistic.
By Beth Leonard

Poem of the Month,

Courtesy, Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS


I have studied all the clauses of my cargo policy

And there comes into my mind a growing doubt,

For the very things the underwriter ought to guarantee

Seem to be the things I’m warranted without.

There is happy indecision as to whom I notify

When my goods are sunk or injured in a crash,

But one thing’s set to catch the eye in glaring letters

plain and high,

The premium is payable in cash.

I can’t quite get it clear about these perils of the sea,

Or exactly what is meant by F.P.A.,

Or why they have to mention “thieves” and later say to me

That theft’s a thing for which they cannot pay.

But when I’m worn and troubled as to what these phrases are

And I fear I’ll never, never understand,

One item shines afar like a bright and guiding star-

The premium’s due and owing on demand.

By James A. Quinby

The Street And The Sea


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