Category Archives: oops

MSC Kim Adrift in Gulf of St.Lawrence

CCGS Photo of MSC Kim adrift.

The Coast Guard is reporting that the container ship MSC Kim is adrift off Newfoundland, in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The Ship was bound for Montreal, and sailed from Halifax the night of the 5th.

Last reported position of MSC Kim via MarineTraffic.com

According to Marinetraffic, the ship was making 20kn and then dropped to 1.5kn around 21:50utc on the 6th. The position again updated briefly on the 8th, with the reported speed less then 1kn. Its last reported position almost 48 hours ago was 48°25’24.7″N, 061°48’55.1″W, and the ship was reporting a navigation status of Not Under Command.

The CCGS Terry Fox is breaking ice in Stevenville NL, where the Atlantic Kingfisher is tied up, and will be responding to take the vessel in tow. MSC Kim was built in 2008, and is rated for 4254teu

UPDATES to Follow.

Update 02/09 22:34 with a more recent position. MSC Kim is drifting eastward towards Newfoundland in the wind. It is still 30nm West South West from the closest shore at Cape Saint George NL.

Atlantic Kingfisher is currently taking fuel from CCGS Terry Fox and is expected to Depart at 2300nl. Towing should begin in the morning. CCGS Jean Goodwill will also be responding.

UPDATE 02/09 2342: Atlantic Kingfisher is off the dock, and proceeding to MSC Kim with CCGS Terry Fox. MSC Kim is drifting east at 1.2kn

UPDATE 02/10 0700: Looks like Atlantic kingfisher has arrived at the MSC Kim. Overnight the MSC Kim drifted another 8nm east.

UPDATE 0809: now under tow. heading south.

UPDATE 1101: tow currently off Cape Anguille, NL and is bound for Sydney NS. Currently making 9kn, with CCGS Terry Fox following.

Position at 8:44pm Atlantic time

UPDATE 22:19: the tow is progressing towards Sydney, with an ETA of 1am.

Its also a good time to better understand the response. Its not known at this time when the MSC Kim called for assistance, but it certainly should have reported to MCTS that it was not under command. the CCGS Terry Fox was on icebreaking duty in the Straights of Belle Isle, specifically on the the Saint-Barb to Blanc Sablon Ferry route. On the 5th, terry fox departed for Corner Brook,and spent most of the 6th breaking ice in Corner Brook, before returning to the ferry run on the 7th. Terry Fox then Sailed for Stephenville the Evening of the 8th, arriving the afternoon of the 9th, which is where we picked up the story.

Jean Goodwill, Sailed from Sydney on the 4th to break ice in Charlottetown. The ship then returned to Sydney on the 6th, rounding the Tip of Cape Breton island 30 minutes after the ship appears to have lost propulsion. The ship returned to Sydney, and looks to have spent a portion of the day breaking ice in the approaches to Sydney.

Why does this time line matter – in 2014, the John 1 went aground after refusing a tow from the Coast Guard before the situation got worse. A last minute tow attempt by the Earl Grey failed, and the ship went aground. it was subsequently declared a constructive total loss and recycled.

The MSC Kim lost power in open water, and calm conditions. That doesn’t make the situation an emergency, however the potential for the situation to go bad exists. Even if a commercial tow is desired, there is no reason not to have a Coast Guard ship capable of taking a tow on scene in case situation changes, or conditions get worse. If you have time, you have options.

When a fire alarm is triggered, the fire department begins moving sufficient resources to deal with a fire closer to the site of the alarm in case they are needed. In many cases they get returned on route. but every now and then they are needed, and the improved proximity helps quickly bring the situation under control.

For all the talk of world class response, and the oceans protection plan, once again we have a case where the Coast Guard has failed to take positive control of a situation, to ensure it doesn’t go bad. Once again, we got lucky that a suitable commercial towing vessel was in a convenient place to respond, and the weather held. But if the Coast Guard wants to convince Canadians they have control, they need to step in and be in a position to respond.

UPDATE 02/11 0748: the tow is outside Sydney now. it looks like they might have chosen a path to avoid some ice, and probably were waiting for daylight to enter the Harbour.

UPDATE 02/19: MSC Kim sailed from Sydney this morning, bound for Montreal.

F/V Atlantic Destiny Catches fire and Sinks.

On March 2, The F/V Atlantic Destiny Caught fire, with 31 persons onboard. Facebook posts seemed to indicate that the engine blew up, which was the cause of the fire. The fire was extinguished by the crew, but the vessel was then found to be taking on water, and a Mayday issued at 20:10.

Mayday Relay from Halifax Coast Guard Radio via Colchester Fire and Emergency Calls FB Page.

The RCAF deployed a Hercules aircraft, which parachuted a SarTech to the stricken vessel, and a CH-149 Cormorant Helicopter, Both based at 14 Wing Greenwood.

The Halifax Joint Rescue Co-ordination centre notified watchstanders at the USCG 1st District Command centre of the incident at 20:05. USCG Sector North East deployed a HC-144 Ocean Sentry Aircraft and two MH-60 JayHawk Helicopters to the scene from the USCG Air Station Cape Cod.

Winds were reported to be 55Knots, and 30′ seas at the time. The CCGS Cape Roger also responded, as did Clearwater fishing vessels Maude Adams and Cape LeHave.

Helicopters began removing crew around 11:30pm. 21 were removed by the two USCG Jayhawks, and 6 were removed by the CH149 Cormorant, which reported suffered a winch malfunction. The ships crew were flown to Yarmouth.

The CH149 also delivered a second SARTech, who along with 4 remaining crew worked to dewater the vessel. as of 00:30 the ships generator was operating, and the pumps running. By 8am, the decision was made to cease de-watering efforts, and the remaining 4 crew and 2 sar Techs were transferred to the CCGS Cape Roger. The F/V Atlantic Destiny sank at 10:36am.

The F/V Atlantic Destiny was built in Denmark in 2002, and is a scallop factory freezer vessel, owned by Ocean Choice International of Newfoundland. It sails out of Riverport N.S, and is staffed by two 30 person crews who rotate 3 week stints.

There will be much speculation into what happened. The Vessel was the subject of a TSB investigation after a March 2017 incident that led to main engine failure. The report indicates that the ship had a history of engine shutdowns.

This post is an updated version of the live twitter thread i have been maintaining about the incident.

Ships Laid up with issues

Imedghassen has been laid up for several weeks at pier 36. The ship arrived in Halifax January 9th, on its maiden call for Melfi lines, and was reporting a deficiency, which i am told is engine troubles.

Its unclear why the ship is still here, however there have been reports of engine damaged caused by new low sulpher heavy fuel oils which seem to have quality issues.

The bulk carrier Giulia 1 remains tied up at Pier 9 after an encounter with a large wave that resulted in injuries too 2 crew members, and the death of a third. it put into Halifax afterwards. The ITF were working to repatriate the crew, and get replacements in place to take over the ship.

Hydra Mariner Aground on Navy Island.

The Coast guard has attended the vessel Hydra Mariner, which broke free of its mooring and ran aground on Navy Island, in Wrights Cove of the Bedford Basin.

Built in 1963 by Davie as Cape Mira, The Ex Fishing vessel was purchased for conversion as a chase boat for seismic survey operations, however that never happened, and the vessel has been tied up in wrights cove for a while. It is currently registered as a pleasure craft to Daniel MacNeil of Canso.

Currently the Coast Guard has CGE310 on site – one of their trailerable pollution control craft, which deploy boom. With heavy weather forecast Tuesday into Wendsday, this could be a mess.

Deep Panuke Platform Aground

I have been told that the Deep Panuke platform, Bound for sheet harbour to be recycled on board the Boa Barge 34, have hit bottom outside sheet harbour.

Marine traffic shows a number of tugs working in the area. The chart shows several shallower areas, that could cause problems for the tow. Weather shows a Gale warning, with 3-4m seas forecast tomorrow, with winds of 40knots.

More to Follow.

UPDATE: Atlantic Hemlock looks to have sailed to Assist.

UPDATE Dec 15 1000: it looks like the platform was unstuck on this mornings high tide, and is now moving into Sheet harbour.

UPDATE Dec 16: There was speculation that the platform may have hit bottom again, however Deep Panuke is now against the dock in Sheet harbour. tugs Atlantic Larch, Atlantic Elm, Atlantic Hemlock and Point Chubucto were involved in the move. A crew member on board the Larch reported via Facebook post, that there was no bottom contact today, but the entry into the Harbour required waiting on a couple tide changes.

2 ships collide in Welland Canal.

CHCH News in Hamilton interviewed me yesterday via Facetime about my thoughts on the collision between the Alanis and Florence Spirit in the Welland Canal which occurred July 11th. The Canal, and entire lakes shipping industry got lucky that neither ship sunk. You can see the interview here.

The collision was caught by at least two individuals who were out watching ships. the two video’s of the collision are included below. both of these videos were pretty promptly posted to Social Media.

in what was likely a steering failure, the general cargo ship Alanis loaded with wind turbine parts bound for Cleveland, and the bulker Florence Spirit, Port Colburn for Grand Anse PQ collided. It looks as though the Florence Spirit crossed the channel in front of the Alanis, in the video an alarm can be heard sounding prior to the collision.

The Welland Canal. the Collision occurred just above the current location of the Florence Spirit.

had the Florence Spirit sunk, across the canal, it could have taken weeks or months to clear the vessel. Photos of the Florence Spirit taken after the collision show it listing and down in the bow, suggesting that the hull was punctured by the Bulbous bow of the Alanis.

Despite Pilots being aboard the vessel, they can do little in the case of a machinery issue. a blockage in the canal would trap ships on both sides of the canal, and would have major trade impacts due to the quantities of bulk product that moves through the canal, including Grain and Iron Ore. Perhaps its time to consider compulsory tugs for vessels transiting the canal.

The Welland Canal is located in Ontario. The 43 km passage is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway system, connecting Lake Ontario and Lake Erie through the Niagara Peninsula. It enables ships to bypass the Niagara Falls.

Approximately 40million tonnes of cargo are carried through the Canal each year by some 3,000 vessels,of various types. These vessels are comprised of ocean-going vessels, along with Canadian and U.S. lakers.

US Navy amphibious assault ship on Fire in San Diego

LHD-1 USS Wasp arrives in Halifax in 2010.

At approximately 8:30 on July 12, a fire was discovered aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) while it was moored pier side at Naval Base San Diego. Approximately 160 Sailors were aboard at the time. USS Bonhomme Richard is going through a maintenance availability and normally has a crew size of approximately 1000.

the fire is believed to have started on one of the vehicle storage decks and spread to the well Deck. the ship is designed for amphibious assault, and features a flood-able space at the rear for launching landing craft and has 2 vehicle decks with direct access to the well deck.

throughout the day, the fire spread, into the the hanger deck, and by last night into the island, destroying the bridge area and causing the forward mast to collapse on deck. the ship developed a 3 degree list to starboard.

400 firefighters have been working on board, assisted by 5 tugboats fire monitors, and helicopters with Bambi Buckets.

As of this morning,6:30 a.m. Pacific time, firefighting teams continue operations on board, 57 personnel, 34 USNavy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation.

US Navy Officials are optimistic the ship can be saved, however the extent of the fire may mean the ship is a total loss.

this post will be updated.

UPDATE 22:50AST: as of 3:30 p.m. Pacific time July 13, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard. 59 personnel, 36 U.S. Navy Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized.

Several commentators are further suggesting the heat stress on the ship from the still burning fires will result in the ship being declared a loss. replacement cost for the ship would be in excess of 1.5 billion dollars.

Update July 14 11:50AST: Still Burning. We have some images of damage, and it looks severe.

UPDATE July 16:
06:00 a.m. Pacific time July 15, firefighting teams continue operations on board USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), 63 personnel, 40 Sailors and 23 civilians, have been treated for minor injuries including heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Currently, there are no personnel hospitalized. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE has conducted more than 1,500 helicopter water bucket drops, which is cooling the super structure and flight deck enabling fire crews to get onboard internally to fight the fire.

The fire is now thought to be mostly under control, with teams chasing hot spots. Apparently the superstructure was constructed from Aluminum, which is why the Island was able to burn through – the Heat melted the metal.

at 2:30 am pst, the USN Surface Warriors twitter account tweeted that “Out of an abundance of caution the pier and ship were cleared of personnel due to an initial shift in the ship’s list. Personnel are now pier side. ” there have been no further updates.

the 6 am update indicates that fire teams are back on board. the ship has a noticeable list towards the pier, no smoke is visible, and external water application has ceased.

Operator in Seadoo Incident Shouldn’t have been.

On Friday, a 15y/o was taken to hospital after an incident where two personal watercraft collided. According to a report by CTV, at the time of the incident, the watercraft were participating in a Guided tour led by Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals owner Ossama Nasrallah.

it is still unclear what exactly happened. the Boy was taken to a waiting ambulance at Kings Wharf by Nasrallah. it is reported that the boy walked to the ambulance with assistance, but has been hospitalized with life threatening Injuries.

Staff Sgt. Fox with Halifax Police confirmed to me that the collision involved 2 personal watercraft, and that the “injured 15 year old male was operating a personal watercraft, and was the only rider on that watercraft.”

Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals operates from the Halifax Waterfront behind summit place.

Since the early 2000’s, all operators of pleasure craft are required to show competency. and meet age and Horsepower restrictions. this change came about in part, to a number of fatalities in boating accidents, ironically, involving personal watercraft and teenagers. This is why the horsepower restrictions apply to those under 16.

Note the Restriction on Personal Watercraft

P. 14, TC Boating Safety Guide

Proof of Competency normally takes the form of a Pleasure Craft operator Card or PCOC. To get a PCOC, you take a course, or self study, and write an exam. In the case of rental operators, a checklist serves as an equivalent, and requires the renter to cover important safety topics.

Transport Canada says the following about the the Checklists:

A rental boat safety checklist is a ready-to-use safety briefing. Rental agencies use the checklist to review safety information with clients before they head out onto the water. Clients check the boxes on the list to confirm they have understood each item.

Checklists include information on boat operation, boating safety rules, local hazards, and what to do in an emergency. Safety checklists are available for many different kinds of boats and personal watercraft.

Anyone operating a power-driven boat in Canada must carry proof of competency while on board. Your completed rental boat safety checklist is considered proof of competency.

Transport Canada

You can find the various checklists on the TC Website. Here is the Checklist for a Personal Watercraft.

among the items is

Harbour Watercraft & Adventure Rentals webpage seems to comply with this, as it states that the Seadoo driver must have a valid drivers license.

so yah, clearly Transport Canada rules and, the companies own procedures are not being followed. Since the owner was involved in this incident, it suggests the company from has a lax safety culture from the top, since if the checklist was completed, it would require acknowledging in two places that the operator was at least 16.

German BSU releases Yantian Express Report

The German Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung or Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation has completed the report into the fire onboard the Yantian Express. We covered the Fire and response to the Yantian Express as it happened, and Once it finally made Halifax with remaining Cargo.

the report has cleared up a few details. First the Crew was transferred to the tug Smit Nicobar, and then transferred to the Dalian Express for transport to Halifax. That cleared up the question of how they got to Halifax.

The Tug Atlantic Enterprise showed up in Halifax Jan 14. It turns out it was enroute to the scene, but was damaged by weather, and came to Halifax instead. the Smit Nicobar had to render some assistance to the tug.

The Fire began in a container of Coconut Charcoal in bay 11, row 7. Bay 11 would be the Forward 20′ container in Bay 12. since the ship turned stern to wind, the spread of the fire forward is not surprising. The container was misdeclared as Coconut Pellets. Charcoal can Self heat, and it is believed this led to the fire. Coconut pellets are basically balls of coconut fiber.

The report indicates Coconut-based pyrochar is characterized by the fact that it burns at a high temperature (600 °C to 650 °C) and produces a very low amount of smoke

Man Overboard on the Vincent Coleman

this afternoon on the evening commute, a 31y/o male went into the water from the ferry Vincent Coleman around 5:30pm, mid harbour on the Dartmouth to Halifax run. the ferry crew was able to quickly recover him, and returned to Alderney landing, where he was checked over by EHS.

video posted to Youtube of the rescue.

Police later issued a release stating that alcohol may have been a factor, and no significant injuries were reported. Water temperatures in the harbour are around 13 degrees – about the same as the air today.

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