The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M14A0051) into the 14 March 2014 flooding, grounding, and subsequent evacuation of the bulk carrier John I off the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. There were no injuries to the 23 crew members.
We covered the grounding and tow in a couple of posts as events unfolded.
The John I entered ice-covered waters off the southwest coast of Newfoundland on its way to Montreal, Quebec, from Las Palmas, Spain. After the engine cooling water temperature began to rise, the crew opened the sea water strainer housing and found that the strainer was plugged. As the crew began removing ice and slush from the strainer, water began to overflow from the open strainer housing. When the crew attempted to close the leaking sea chest valve to stop the flow of water, its operating mechanism failed. Sea water began to enter the vessel in an uncontrolled manner, overflowing into the engine room. The master then ordered the vessel to be blacked out, causing it to drift. As the vessel drifted towards the shore, commercial towing assistance was requested, but delayed due to the weather.
Upon its arrival on scene, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Earl Grey offered to tow the John I away from the shore. Further delays were encountered while the John I’s master conferred with the vessel’s managing company, the CCG and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC). When the master finally accepted the tow, the first attempt to establish a tow line failed, and the vessel’s proximity to the shoals did not allow for completion of a second attempt. The John I then ran aground on the shoals. The crew members were evacuated by helicopter. The vessel’s hull sustained minor damage.
The investigation found that warmed sea water from the engine cooling system was being partially discharged overboard and partially returned to the main sea water pump suction, rather than being recirculated to the low sea chest to prevent ice buildup. The strainer became plugged with ice and slush. The sea chest valve was prevented from fully closing, likely due to ice buildup, and the valve operating mechanism failed due to overstress when the crew forcibly attempted to close it, which led to the flooding.
The JRCC did not have the authority to direct the master of the John I to accept the tow. Neither the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Environmental Response nor Transport Canada, both of which had the authority to direct the vessel to accept the tow, were actively involved at an earlier stage when it was clear that the time to take action was running out and the environmental risks posed by the vessel going aground were increasing. The delay in starting the towing operation was caused both by the master’s reluctance to accept the tow and by the way that authorities managed the situation. If all authorities responsible for dealing with an emergency are not involved in a timely and coordinated manner, there is a risk that response options will be limited and the situation will escalate
After the owners failed to come up with a reasonable salvage plan, the coast guard turned over responaibility of the salvage to RMI Marine.
The Mini Sub is apparently still aboard, and the source of the flooding is still unknown, though some appears to be tidal. The Coast guard Published the following Pictures:
Pier 9 is collecting a selection of Damaged vessels. The most recent addition is the Stadt Cadiz, which is the operated by CMA-CGM as their contribution to their shared service with Maersk.
She arrived, late, from Montreal last week, and then unloaded all her boxes and proceeded to pier 9. It is unclear if she will be repaired here, or will be towed to a shipyard somewhere.
The Bulk Carrier Harefield is still tied up, awaiting repairs to her damaged rudder. though work seems to have resumed in the past few days.
Spotted in the North West arm.
Check your ThruHulls boat owners.
A Bulker anchored in English Bay in Vancouver spilled several tons of Bunker fuel into the harbour yesterday, Most of the oil has now been collected, it has however reached land in several places.
This incident has angered environmentalists, who are now citing this as an example of why tankers in northern BC waters are a dangerous idea. While this leak, is the equivalent of a leaky fuel tank in your car, it appears that the spill was reported 9 hours before a response was mobilized.
The real issue in this case is not that fuel spilled (though this is unusual, needs to be investigated, and the crew charged if they did something illegal) but that the response took 9 hours. If the response was quicker, and oil booms setup, in all likely hood the slick would have remained around the ship and not reached shore.
Could it happen here? sure. In fact it has. HMCS Preserver left a valve open in 2011 and spilled several tons of fuel by Imperial Oil. Quick action contained the spill, and we only found out about it via the media.
the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center has advised that 2 cormorant Helicopters and 2 vessels have been dispatched to the Coast Guard Ice breaker Ann Harvey, who is reportedly taking on water. Ann Harvey was
breaking ice tending buoys off Burgeo NL at the time of the incident.
She spent a week in Halifax In march.
There are 28 persons aboard, 26 crew, along with 2 cadets, and no one has been injured.
reports are the Ingress is due to the vessel striking bottom. The Burgeo Lifeboat CCGS WG George is on scene assisting and has a tow line attached to the Ann Harvey. The Louis St Laurent is 10-12 hours away, and will be released by the CCGS Teleost on her arrival, expected Thursday afternoon.
UPDATE 02/04/15 1000: She has lost propulsion, as Motor Room is flooded. Ann Harvey is powered by 3 diesels, which drive generators. The 2 fixed pitch propellers are driven by electric motors, which are located in the flooded compartment.
the 2 cadets, and 2 non essential crew members have been evacuated from the ship. DND has sent a team of Navy divers to Newfoundland to survey the vessel, and HMCS Charlottetown also departed Halifax Wednesday to provide support.
Louis Ste Laurent was due around midnight, and was planning to tow the Ann Harvey to safe anchorage in Connoire Bay.
Update 1200: DFO Photo of Ann harvey at anchor
Coast Guard search and rescue crews from Station Gloucester, Air Station Cape Cod and the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke rescued nine crewmembers from the Canadian tall ship Liana’s Ransom 58 miles east of Gloucester, Monday.
Watchstanders at the Sector Boston Command Center received notification at 12:35 a.m. that the vessel’s engines were disabled and its sails were wrapped around the mast.
As the weather deteriorated, and seas reached nearly 10 feet, Sector Boston launched two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Station Gloucester to tow the vessel back to Gloucester. Once on scene, the boat crews connected the tow, but the rough sea conditions caused the tow line to break.
The motor lifeboats crews directed the crew of Liana’s Ransom to don immersion suits and to prepare to abandon ship about 30 miles east of Gloucester and a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod was diverted to assist.
The nine passengers were transferred from Liana’s Ransom to the Coast Guard motor lifeboats. One man suffered a head injury when leaping from Liana’s Ransom and was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital by the Jayhawk helicopter crew.
The Station Gloucester crews returned to the station with the eight remaining crewmembers. A locator beacon was left on Liana’s Ransom for tracking and the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke is en-route to evaluate towing the vessel to port.
“It was fortunate for the crew of the vessel that the owner reached out to us,” said Jay Woodhead, the command duty officer at Sector Boston’s Command Center. He said with winds gusting to 30 knots, it was unsafe for them to stay aboard.
Liana’s Ransom has had a rough few months. In December, she was demasted off cape sable island while attempting to sail to St. Kitts. She is also rumored to have grounded in the sand in Eastern Passage during her last visit to Halifax.
Thanks to the bridge water police for tweeting the above photo. The ex HMCS Cormerant, has developed a severe list. The ship was retired and sold, and has been tied up at the dock in bridge water for at least the past 10 years.
It’s possible this is the result of snow load, or water has accumulated in a space. The list was first noticed a week ago, though it has since gotten worse.
Last year an ex fishing trawler also tied up at the same dock sunk and needed to be refloated. Photo Below is from last summer.
Reports on twitter are that a male fell into the hold of a ship. he reportedly missed the transition between ladders, and fell from the platform approximately 1 story to the bottom of the hold.
it is unclear which vessel was affected, It was considered a confined space rescue, which suggests it is the Sara Desgagnes which is tied up at pier 25, typically an out of the way place for Maintenance work to be performed. She arrived from Saint John, and Offloaded at Imperial Oil, before moving to Pier 25.
the injured person is reported to be conscious , breathing, complaining of back pain but not in any danger.
Will be updated as more details are known.
The Australian Spirit is now anchored in the Bedford Basin. there are conflicting reports that she either outright lost her rudder,or its hard to port. Given the work the stern tug did, and the vessels track, it would seem that the rudder is hard over, and not missing.
The tanker Americas spirit is due early afternoon today, and will anchor in the basin. She will then move alongside the Australian spirit, and transfer cargo so that repairs can be made. it is unclear if all the tanks need to be emptied, or if they will only empty the stern ones, leaving the bow down, and exposing more of the rudder.
UPDATE: Americas Spirit Arrived late on the 15th, and tied up alongside Australian Spirit on the 16th and began the transfer operation.