President’s Corner March 2015

January is here and while Houston has been cold, I have spent the past two weeks in Chicago and New York.  Chicago was 40 degrees colder than Houston and Houston was a balmy 38 degrees.  Anyway, welcome all to winter in the Northern hemisphere.

Don’t forget to get the spring conference/Board of Directors meeting on your agenda.  It is March 29 to April 31 at the Embassy Suites in Sacramento, CA.  John Venneman and the local region have been working hard and are building an outstanding conference agenda.  Full details should be ready shortly.  Get your reservations and make your plans to join us in the capital of California.  Reggie Gant is planning a spouse’s event for Monday so watch your email.

Some highlights of the conference are a training session for the fishing vessel USCG inspection program, topics on the roles of the parties to a marine claim, project cargo and other excellent topics.  The purpose of the conference is first training and continuing education of attendees and then to meet and greet your fellow surveyors.  You never know what you learn from a casual conversation.  Sign in and out will be required 8 times to get full credit.  Morning sign in/out and afternoon sign in and out for both days.

Please review the entire NAMSGlobal news.  There is a great deal of information on continuing education, ongoing initiatives in the organization and opportunities for growth and development.

One important item is that the IAMWS is accepting applications.  The application form is available on the IAMWS website.  Please contact Chris Bowman or Greg Gant for sponsorship if you are a NAMSGlobal member and decide to apply to the IAMWS organization.  As we have discussed, the IAMWS organization is focused on the London Joint Rig Committee Scope of Work and the offshore energy type warranty work.  It is not focused on the other types like project cargo or trip in tow work.

Please contact the undersigned, the Executive Committee or your Regional Vice President if you have questions, concerns or want to volunteer.

Best Regards,
Steven P. Weiss, NAMS-CMS


NAMS Applicants

Applicant list as of 29 January 2015
Name Status & Discipline Applying For Region Sponsor(s)
Charles  Parker NAMS-CMS / H&M W. Rivers Mark Ledet
Ian Martin NAMS-Associate / Yachts & Small Craft S. Atlanta John Graff, Ed Hays & John Venneman


Upcoming Educational Events

March 7, 2015 Fort Pierce, Florida
SAMS Florida Regional Meeting and Educational Seminar
Pelican Yacht Club
1120 Seaway Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
For more information:

March 20, 2015; Atlanta, Georgia
American Society of Appraisers
ME201-Introduction to Machinery and Equipment Valuation
This course will introduce appraisal terminology and concepts and provide students with a solid foundation for a career in appraisal of machinery and equipment. This course covers ME field inspection techniques and safety; introduction to the issues of indexes in machinery and equipment appraising; basic pricing exercises for current and obsolete assets; ethics and professional standards. Other key topics include:

  • ME Appraisal terminology;
  • Functions and purposes of appraisals;
  • Introduction of the three approaches to value; and
  • Depreciation and factors affecting depreciation.

CE: 27 hours
Price: $1,020 Member; $1,170 Non-Member

For more information:   (800) 272-8258

29 – 31 March 2015, Sacramento, California
NAMSGlobal 53rd Annual National Marine Conference
The conference registration form and program is available on the NAMS website
The NAMS Conference will be 29 – 31 March 2015 at the Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade, 100 Capitol Mall, Sacramento, CA. 95814.
Information to make your hotel reservations
Call Reservations: 916.326.5000 and ask for the NAMS Conference discounted rate, $139.00 plus taxes.
Go to and make a reservation using the group/convention code:  NMS
Keep in mind the hotel reservations must be made prior to 10 March 2015.

ABYC 2015 Course Calendar
For the latest information on ABYC’s 2015 educational programs, please go to the ABYC home page by clicking here and 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.

Upcoming Opportunities!  Students have two options: attend the classroom in person or remotely.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. Education credits are available for in-class attendees (brokers and agents only). Register at

Applying for CE credits for 2015 classes.

On-demand AMIM  121 Webinar Series
45-75 minutes in duration
On-demand 30 webinars are available at 60-90 minutes in duration
On-demand Introduction to Hull Insurance webinar 45 minutes in duration
2/25/2015 Introduction to Cargo Insurance (2 day course) From 10am to 5:30 pm
CE Credits: 13 – in NY, CT, NJ; 13 – SAMS, NAMS
3/4/2015 Introduction to Yacht Insurance (2 day course) From 10am to 5:30 pm
CE Credits: 13 – in NY, CT, NJ; 13 – SAMS, NAMS
3/11/2015 Introduction to Marine General Liability (1 day course) From 10am to 5:30 pm
CE Credits: 6 – in NY, CT, RI; 6 – SAMS, NAMS
24/2015 Introduction to Ocean Marine Claims Examiner (3 day course) From 10am to 5:30 pm
CE Credits: 15 – in NY, NJ, TX; 15 – SAMS, NAMS
4/14/2015 Introduction to Hull Insurance (2 day course) From 10am to 5:30 pm
CE Credits: 12 – in NY, NJ, TX; 12 – SAMS, NAMS


NAMSWorthy Articles Of Interest


Co-Chair, Fishing Vessel Technical Committee, NAMS
Southwest Passage Marine Surveys


The U.S. Coast Guard and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards establish a standard of reasonable care and reasonable fitness for uninspected commercial vessels. OSHA has regulatory responsibility regarding safety aboard uninspected commercial vessels while they are in US waters. The latest OSHA Instruction on these matters is Directive Number: CPL 02-01-04, effective date: 02/22/2010, Subject: OSHA Authority Over Vessels and Facilities on or Adjacent to U.S. Navigable Waters and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Appendix A of that Instruction lists “Specific Conditions On Commercial Uninspected Fishing Industry Vessels Subject To OSHA Enforcement.”

Cranes are specifically mentioned in paragraph 1 of that appendix which states “Onboard cranes and their maintenance and use [29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart N; 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart G; 29 CFR Part 1918, Subparts B, F, G, and H].”
Other uninspected commercial vessels fall under par. A-XIV, Uninspected Vessels. The first part of that paragraph delineates the equipment and areas of USCG authority on those vessels. The second paragraph states: “All other working conditions aboard an uninspected vessel are subject to OSHA authority.”

OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-055, Marine Cargo Gear Standards and 29 CFR Part 1919 Certification, effective 30 September 2013 (OSHA CPL 02-01-055) also applies. It’s purpose is “To provide national, regional and area offices, interested industry groups, and State and federal agencies guidance concerning OSHA’s policy and
procedures on the enforcement of standards and the requirements for 29 CFR Part 1919 Gear Certification in the maritime industry (shipyard employment, marine terminals and longshoring operations).

The controlling authority for cranes is 29 CFR 1919, Gear Certification. 29 CFR 1919.2 (a) Definition of terms, defines vessel as “every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water, including special-purpose floating structures not primarily designed for or used as a means of transportation on water.”  Special purpose floating structures obviously refers to cranes and derricks mounted on barges and pontoons.

Crane as defined in 29 CFR 1919.2 (c)(2) “means a mechanical device, intended for lifting or lowering a load and moving it horizontally, in which the hoisting mechanism is an integral part of the machine. A crane may be a fixed or mobile machine.”

Derrick as defined in 29 CFR 1919.2 (c)(1)(i) “When applied to vessels’ cargo handling gear, a mechanical device for lifting, including a boom which is suspended at its head by a topping lift from a mast, king post, or similar structure, controlled in the horizontal plane by vangs, and used either singly or in pairs with married falls.”

29 CFR 1919.2 (b) Definition of terms, states: “except as otherwise noted, “cargo gear”, as used in Subparts B through E of this part, includes that gear forming a part of a vessel’s equipment which is used for the handling of cargo other than bulk liquids, but does not include gear which is used only for handling or holding hoses, handling ships’ stores, or handling the gangway, or boom conveyor belt.”
Cranes aboard fishing vessels, dredges, work boats, OSVs, barges and other uninspected commercial vessels fall into this category.

OSHA CPL 02-01-055 further clarifies this for vessels other than those fishing industry vessels with a Certificate of Inspection (COI) or Aleutian Trade Act vessels whose cargo gear inspection requirements are covered under 46 CFR 28.855). Section XIII A-3f, Commercial fishing industry vessels, states “All other commercial fishing industry vessels  are subject to OSHA’s 29 CFR Part 1919 Gear Certification requirements if the gear is used to transfer cargo (including fish, crabs, etc.) from vessel to vessel or from a vessel to shore (gear used only to catch fish or set traps, for example, is not subject to these requirements).”
Inspection and Testing.

Inspection and tests of cranes and derricks fall under 29 CFR Subpart D, Certification of Vessels’ Cargo Gear. This encompasses 29 CFR 1919.14 Initial tests of cargo gear and tests after alterations, renewals and repairs; and 29 1919.15 Periodic tests, examinations and inspections. These sections require cranes and derricks to have an OSHA inspection when they are first placed on the vessel and one before it is used after the vessels last yard period.

Inspection of accessory gear is also required. 29 CFR 1919.15 (a) states: “Derricks with their winches and accessory gear, including the attachments, as a unit; and cranes and other hoisting machines with their accessory gear, as a unit, shall be tested and thoroughly examined every 5 years in the manner set forth in subpart E of this part.”

Annual inspection of cranes and derricks is also required. 29 CFR 1919.15 (b) states: “Derricks, their permanent attachments and any other fixed gear, the dismantling of which is especially difficult, shall be visually inspected every twelve months. In order to facilitate such inspection, all derricks shall be lowered.” 29 CFR 1919.15(c) requires a thorough examination every 12 months not only of the crane but also blocks, shackles, and all other accessory gear. 29 CFR 1919.15(e) give more annual inspection requirements for items such as:
• derrick heel attachment points;
• shrouds and stays;
• deck fittings for the securing of vangs, topping lifts, and/or preventers;
• means of attachment to the hull of “A” frame or other fixed derrick or crane structure and of mobile types of equipment permanently placed aboard the barge or vessel;
• Clamshell buckets or other similar equipment, such as magnets, etc.; and
• Winch and other operating drums for excessive wear or defect.

Not only are the cranes and derricks themselves required to be inspected but other gear associated with them as well. 29 CFR 1919.14(a)(1) requires that “Before being taken into use, hoisting machines, fixed gear aboard vessels accessory thereto, and loose gear and wire rope used in connection therewith shall be tested and examined and the safe working load thereof certified in the manner set forth in Subpart E of this part.” Further subparagraphs in this section requires testing of: “replacement or additional loose gear and wire rope obtained from time to time” and “in the case of important alterations or renewals of the machinery and gear and also after repairs due to failure of or damage to other than loose components, a test as required in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be carried out.”
Marking of Safe Working Loads.

The marking and posting of safe working loads are required in 29 CFR 1919.21,  Marking and Posting of Safe Working Loads. These are the loads determined by the tests required in 29 CFR Subpart E, Certification of Vessels: Tests and Proof Loads; Heat Treatment; Competent Persons,

29 CFR 1919.21(a) states that: “The safe working load of the assembled gear and the minimum angle to the horizontal at which this load may be applied shall be plainly marked at the heels of all booms along with the date of the test. Where gear is certificated for use in union purchase, the union purchase safe working load shall also be plainly marked. Any limitations shall be noted in the vessel’s papers.”

29 CFR 1919.21(b) states that: “The safe working load shall be marked on all blocks used in hoisting or lowering.”

29 CFR 1919.21(c) states that: “When the capacity of the boom of a crane or derrick has been or will be rated in accordance with the variance of its radius, the maximum safe working loads for the various working angles of the boom and the maximum and minimum radii at which the boom may be safely used shall be conspicuously posted near the controls and visible to the crane operator. Ratings may be stated in pounds. When they are stated in tons of 2,000 pounds, this fact shall be indicated.”

Competent or Accredited Person

The tests and inspections listed above are required to be performed by an accredited person. A competent person is defined in 29 CFR 1919.2(g)(1) as “an individual qualified to perform gear certification functions with respect to vessels’ cargo handling gear, as specifically set forth in 1919.37.” Procedures for becoming accredited are contained in 29 CFR 1919 Subpart B, Procedure Governing Accreditation. Their duties are outlined in 29 CFR 1919 Subpart C, Duties of Persons Accredited To Certificate Vessels’ Cargo Gear.

Record Keeping and Documentation.

29 CFR 1919.12 Recordkeeping and related procedures concerning records in custody of the vessel. This provides for record keeping of required inspections, examinations, heat treatments by the owners of the vessel “in the form prescribed or approved by the Administration.”1919.12(g) states that: “In cases where derricks, spouts, suckers, or cranes are mounted permanently aboard barges which remain in domestic inland waters service, the certification documentation shall comply with the provisions of 29 1919.90 Documentation  of this part.

Crane and derrick barges:

The only mention of barge or pontoon hulls is found in 29 CFR 1919.15(d) Periodic tests, examinations and inspections, which states: “Where a derrick or crane is mounted on a barge hull, and ballast tanks within the hull are used to facilitate use of the derrick or crane, or uncontrolled free surface may be a factor, each annual inspection or examination, as required, shall include such inspection as is necessary for the purpose of determining the integrity of any internals contributing to stability under conditions of use. The owner shall provide the accredited person with necessary information on any ballasting arrangements required.”

The industry standard to be used when surveying these hulls and pontoons is American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30.8-2010, Floating Cranes and Floating Derricks. This publication is available from a variety of sources. The download is available on line or from the author. Chapter 8-1 Construction and Installation covers hull construction, electrical installation and other safety issues. Chapter 8-2 Inspection, Maintenance and Testing covers is another chapter surveyors will want to familiarize themselves with.

Interestingly the electrical standard referred to is IEEE 45-9777 Recommended Practice for Electrical Installations on Shipboard, which references 46 CFR 110.10-1. This publication is available from a variety of sources. The download is available on line or from the author.

Of particular note are the watertight compartment requirements found in section 8-1.3.2 Compartments. This covers seagoing barges, inland deck barges or pontoons and inland hopper barges. The important requirements for seagoing barges, inland deck barges are longitudinal watertight bulkheads: “they shall have at least one longitudinal watertight bulkhead on the centerline or at least two longitudinal watertight bulkheads at one quarter the breadth of the barge off the centerline to port and starboard. This configuration limits free surface.”

In addition, “bulkheads designated as watertight shall not be breached by piping, electrical wiring or manways unless such penetration are also fitted with watertight fittings or closing appliances at the penetrations.”

Another requirement for seagoing and inland deck barges is that “there shall be enough watertight compartments to prevent capsizing or sinking when any one compartment is flooded while the boom is stowed and the barge or pontoon is fully loaded with its design deck load and fuel.”

Par. 8-1.3.2(c) states: “For inland hopper barges operating on rivers, lakes, bays and sounds within 20 miles from shore watertight integrity of the cargo deck and hopper sides and ends shall be maintained. Any accumulation of water shall e investigated to determine the source and need for repair to restore the watertight condition.”

The above are especially relevant with surveying barges or pontoons on which land cranes or derricks have been mounted. In addition section 8-1.2.2 Operational Criteria, has  requirements for operating list and trim, design load conditions, and stability analysis for these vessels. In the case of land cranes and derricks mounted on barges or pontoons, the barges and pontoons have not been designed for these mountings and have probably not been retrofitted to meet the longitudinal bulkhead and other watertight compartment requirements. They should therefore should be surveyed with great care.

Section 8-1.4.3 Miscellaneous Equipment, contains a wealth of information on the requirement for fire extinguishers, audible alarms, self-closing filler caps on fuel tanks and other items which a surveyor should be familiar with.

An interesting aside is the requirement in section 8-1.3.6 Rescue Skiff, is the requirement for “a rescue skiff with oars and ring buoy 30 in. (760 mm) in diameter with at least 90 ft. (27 m) …”

Travelifts and shipyards.

Travelifts and shipyards are really outside the scope of this article. However for obvious reasons a few words are felt to be in order. They are considered a gantry crane by OSHA and their requirements are found in 29 CFR 1910.179 Overhead and gantry cranes. 29 CFR 1910.179(j) Inspections requires an initial inspection when the crane is first put into use as well as frequent inspections, defined as daily to monthly intervals, and periodic inspections, defined as one to 12 month intervals. This also provides for inspections of hooks, chains, lines and other accouterments.

The OSHA requirements for shipyards are found in 29 CDR 1915 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Shipyard Employment. 29 CFR 1915.111 Inspection states: “All gear and equipment provided by the employer for rigging and materials handling shall be inspected before each shift and when necessary, at intervals during its use to ensure that it is safe. Defective gear shall be removed and repaired or replaced before further use.” It further states that: “The safe working load of gear as specified in 1915.112 and 1915.113 shall not be exceeded.”
State Requirements.

Many states have state OSHA requirements as well. Surveyors should familiarize themselves with those requirements prior to surveying these vessels. In cases where a river is the boundary between two states (such as the Columbia River) the vessel may have to comply with both states OSHA.

Marine surveyors should be aware of the OSHA requirements and industry standards when surveying uninspected commercial vessels equipped with cranes or derricks and should be prepared to survey to those standards. It is not expected that they should become an accredited or competent person, but that they be able to determine during their survey if the cranes or derricks aboard uninspected commercial vessels are being properly inspected and tested. They should also be prepared to discuss these requirements with their clients.

If the crane of derrick has not been properly inspected or tested to OSHA standards then the vessel “is not capable of being used in its intended service.” This can be especially critical if the vessel is a crane barge or derrick barge and the survey is an on-hire survey where the vessel is to be immediately placed into service for a construction project.

If the barge or pontoon does not meet the watertight compartment and longitudinal bulkhead and other requirements of ASME B30.8-2010 whether the vessel is “capable of being used in its intended service” will probably depend on the condition of the hull and, its intended service and the waters it will be used upon. If nothing else the surveyor should include the industry standards and where the vessel doesn’t comply as part of his report with a strong recommendation to upgrade the vessel to those standards at the earliest possible opportunity.

A good general summation of the OSHA requirements for cranes is available from the Commercial Fishing Industry OSHA Compliance Guide, Revision 4/November 2007, available from the North Pacific Fishing Vessel Owners Association, Seattle, WA,

One last thought when surveying vessels with cranes or in shipyards where cranes are in use – never get under a load – under any circumstances. Maintain situational awareness of what the crane is doing and don’t assume that the operator of the crane sees you on the deck.

United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has decided to make it mandatory to weigh loaded containers before they are transported by sea. This will enhance safety and prevent pollution of the marine environment.

In the future, loaded containers must not be taken on board a ship until their weight has been determined. This was decided by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) at last week’s meeting. The correct weight – the so-called verified weight – can be determined in two ways. You can either weigh the loaded container at an approved weighing station or you can ensure that the individual items in the container are weighed and added to the container’s net weight.

Weight is of importance to safety
Denmark has been one of the initiators of the new stricter requirements on the weighing of containers and has persistently maintained that mandatory regulations should be introduced for reasons of safety.

Since the freight rate depends on the weight, it has not been easy to get the provisions in place. But now there is a general understanding that incorrect data may result in container stacks collapsing, containers falling over board and ship accidents as a consequence of overloaded ships. The fact that container ships are becoming larger and larger has contributed to an improved understanding of the problems.

The new international regulations take effect on 1 June 2016.

Among other especially interesting items on the agenda were the following:
• Approval of the IGF Code.
• Passenger ship safety.
• E-navigation.
• The Polar Code.

Courtesy Danish Maritime Authority

Following a catastrophic failure on one of the cargo handling cranes aboard the bulk carrier Seapace in Bécancour, Quebec, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) issued a warning to vessel owners. On 13 August 2014, the bulk carrier Seapace sustained a failure of its cargo crane #4. The slewing ring bearing broke apart and the complete cabin and jib assemblies collapsed into a cargo hold, injuring the crane operator. The TSB is participating in the investigation of the occurrence with Transport Malta’s Marine Safety Investigation Unit. There is a possibility that the same progressive failure of a slewing ring bearing will occur on any vessel fitted with similar cargo handling cranes. While the TSB has asked the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to share information about the safety risks, there is no known central database of such vessel owners. The TSB is therefore communicating this message to help reach vessel owners. The bulk carrier is one of a series of 443 sister ships that were constructed between 2008 and 2014, by various shipyards located in China. The cargo handling crane was built for Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (IHI) of Japan, under license by Wuhan Marine Machinery Plant Co. Ltd. (WMMP) of China. It was an electro-hydraulic jib crane of the slim type SS36T (serial number DC09-11102-4). The slewing ring bearing assembly was fabricated by Dalian Metallurgical Bearing Co. Ltd. of China under the standard JB/T2300 of the type 133.34.2300.00.03 (2-row roller slewing ring bearing with internal gear, serial number D00984). For pictures of the occurrence, visit Flickr page. Vessel owners should take whatever measures considered appropriate to ensure the integrity of any similar unit in service on board vessels. The TSB would appreciate being advised of any measures implemented either by phone at 1-800-387-3557 or by email at [email protected]. (, 11/24/2014)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code), and related amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to make it mandatory, marking an historic milestone in the Organization’s work to protect ships and people aboard them, both seafarers and passengers, in the harsh environment of the waters surrounding the two poles. (, 11/21/2014)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

This safety alert serves to remind shoreside and vessel personnel of the importance of 1) designing and maintaining emergency systems to be logical and easily operated in high stress situations, 2) maintaining a high level of crew familiarity with emergency systems, and 3) exercising safeguards during testing to mitigate the risk of human error or system malfunction.  Although regulations prescribe standards for safety systems aboard vessels, installations particularly those onboard uninspected vessels, can vary dramatically.
>> During a recent Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) exam, a vessel crewmember intending to test the fuel oil shut-off cables instead pulled the CO2 system release cables.  As seen in photos directly below and at the end of this safety alert, the emergency control panel used during the incident contained pull cables for both the CO2 system and fuel oil shut-offs.
>> Accidental releases are not uncommon and vessel crewmember and Coast Guard inspector fatalities have occurred in the past.  Fortunately, in this instance the audible alarm system and release time delay functioned as intended, allowing all personnel to safely evacuate the machinery spaces prior to discharge.
>> In a separate recent UTV examination, an inspector found two sets of remote emergency shutdowns with only one set operational.  The original station (see image on the right) appears to be fully operational, but was not connected. The operational shutdowns were at a separate location.
>> Crew interactions with emergency systems often occur during periods of increased stress (e.g., a compliance exam, drill, or an actual emergency). System design, proper human engineering, labeling, and detailed training will substantially reduce the risk of human error.
>> The Coast Guard recommends conducting a comprehensive pre-test meeting and simulated step-by-step walk-through between involved parties prior to actual testing of complex or potentially confusing systems.  Operational controls should be implemented to maximize safety and reduce risk.
>> Furthermore, the Coast Guard strongly reminds all maritime operators of the importance in performing regular vessel specific emergency drills and to ensure that all crewmembers have the proper knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to any potential emergency.
>> UTV regulations in 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 27.209 require all crewmembers to be familiar with the location and operation of engine room fuel-shutoffs and fire extinguishing equipment.  All credentialed mariners are required by 46 CFR 15.405 to be familiar with firefighting and lifesaving equipment.  Additionally, Coast Guard guidance on CO2 system safety and is available at: > . >>

• Emergency systems should be designed with human factors in mind – logically understood and easily operated during high stress situations.
•  System training will provide the familiarity needed during an emergency.
•  Pre-test coordination and review of procedures will minimize accidental and potentially fatal discharges.

This safety alert is provided for informational purpose only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirements.  It was developed by the Coast Guard Towing Vessel Center of Expertise and Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis.  For questions or concerns please visit the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise web site ( and click on the About Us tab under TVNCOE Home for contact information or send an e-mail to the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis at: [email protected].

A recent special issue of Bloomberg Businessweek chronicled the most disruptive ideas of the past 85 years.  Number 16 on the list is the Shipping Container along with these interesting facts: 1956 – The first container ship, the SS Ideal-X, carries 58 containers from the Port of Newark, NJ to the Port of Houston; The Federal Maritime Board established standard dimensions for containers in 1961: 8 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 10, 20, 30, or 40 feet long. Soon the containers were standardized to fit on trains and trucks, linking the three primary modes of transport for the first time. This eliminated one of the biggest costs of shipping: the bottleneck of unpacking and repacking cargo multiple times en route to its destination; In 1956 hand-loading a ship cost $5.86 a ton. Containers reduced that to about 16 cents a ton by cutting the number of man-hours needed to load ships. The introduction of the world’s first crane designed specifically to lift containers, in 1959, meant that 400 tons could be loaded onto a ship in an hour – more than 40 times what a team of longshoremen could do. During the era of the shipping container, world trade has grown by 700 percent. Until the 2008 recession, it had expanded for 50 consecutive years. (Bloomberg Businessweek, 12/8/2014)  Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

The US Coast Guard posted a Marine Safety Information Bulletin reminding the commercial fishing industry about safety and equipment requirements. MSIB 18-14 [located at ] (12/1/14).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) posted the report of its investigation of the sinking and abandonment of the DUKW amphibious passenger vehicle Wacker Quacker 1 in Salthouse Dock, Liverpool on 15 June 2013 and the fire and abandonment of the DUKW amphibious passenger vehicle Cleopatra on the River Thames, London on 29 September 2013. The investigation found that the converted World War II-vintage craft had not been properly approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) when they were certified to carry passengers in 2000. Over the years, the MCA’s regulatory supervision was insufficient to ensure the DUKWs were being operated safely. Report 32-2014
[located at ].
Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog

New requirements for musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure come into force on 1 January 2015.  Further SOLAS amendments entering into force address enclosed-space entry and rescue drills and the code for recognized organizations. Passenger muster the amended regulation III/19 in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was adopted in 2013 in the wake of the Costa Concordia incident, to ensure that passengers undergo safety drills, including mustering at the lifeboat stations, before the ship departs or immediately on departure.  (, 12/23/2014)Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

In its investigation report (M14P0023) released today on the February 2014 loss of propulsion of a tug on the South Arm Fraser River in British Columbia, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) highlighted the need to follow manufacturer’s recommendations for engine maintenance.
On 11 February 2014, the tug Jose Narvaez sustained a loss of propulsion due to a main engine seizure while towing an empty barge down the South Arm Fraser River in British Columbia. The tug and barge were towed back to the dock and secured. The main engine was deemed a constructive loss. There were no injuries or pollution.
The investigation determined that the lubricating oil was contaminated with combustion, freshwater, and/or anti-freeze, because the system had never been completely flushed out and cleaned after past major engine failures—even though this was recommended by the manufacturer. Investigators also found that the oil cooler was not maintained as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, and it developed internal leaks that further contaminated the oil system, ultimately resulting in a loss in oil pressure. Furthermore, the loss of lubrication and piston cooling caused by the contaminated oil caused the engine cylinders to overheat. This further exacerbated the overheating of the rest of the engine and eventually led to its seizure and loss of propulsion.
Following the occurrence, Lafarge, the owner/operator of the tug, initiated weekly meetings to review safety procedures, drills, and preventive maintenance at the beginning of a shift. They also replaced the main engine and the cooling system on the Jose Narvaez, including upgrades to the monitoring system and alarm panel.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Courtesy Professional Mariner, Magazine:

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a Marine Information Note reminding stakeholders that the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks enters into force on 14 April 2015. Seagoing vessels of 300 GT and over will be required to maintain insurance or other financial security to cover the costs of locating, marking, and removing wrecks. Vessels will be required to carry evidence of this insurance in the form of a certificate issued by or on behalf of a State party. MIN 499 (M&F) [located at ] (1/8/15).  Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog


Poem of the Month

courtesy Ted Crosby, NAMS-CMS


In the bunker shaft of Hades,
One sultry summer night,
An insurer and a vessel owner
Shoveled anthracite.
“I do not see,” the former groaned,
“Why I should labor here,
Although to me the justice
Of your plight is very clear.
You sent a rotten coaster
Built in eighteen-eighty-three,
To crack her ribs and drown her crew
Beneath a wintry sea.”
“You may be right”, the owner said,
“But now I think upon it,
If it hadn’t been for you, my friend,
I never could have done it.”

By James A. Quinby
The Street And The Sea



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