Every vessel or offshore installation, no matter the size and type, has a high potential accident opportunity. While the seaman, surveyors, contractors may be experts in one area, they may not be fully aware of the dangers and potential accidents that can happen onboard.
We in 24marine strongly believe that virtual reality can contribute to decrease the number of preventable accidents and bring a new dimension of details on the survey reporting systems. It has the potential to document conditions, detect failures, perform tests, and save lives in the long-term.
The virtual replication of the surveys spaces allows decision makers to assess the survey areas, in details and without risking any life, a part of introducing big savings on scaffolding, equipment and preparation time. Below a summary of benefits of using virtual reality in cargo hold and confined spaces onboard ships:
Increase quality. Virtual reality offers a common spatial experience that leads to better decision-making. Because there are almost no misinterpretations.
Save time and money. By allowing a better pre-planning stage, as drones and virtual reality crew and sets are reduced compared with other techniques as scaffolding, ropes crews, cherry-pickers.
Improve survey review. The inspected area gets recorded in real time (real life), can be analyzed and re-analyzed as many times as required.
Reduce downtime. Surveys performed by drones and Virtual Reality, reduced the impact of surveys times on vessels busy and tied schedules.
An inbound container vessel had just picked up the pilot. Two crew were on the upper deck preparing the port accommodation ladder prior to mustering at their mooring stations. Although they had brought two life vests on deck with them, these floatation devices stayed on the deck as they went about their work.
The hoist winch was tested by lowering the accommodation ladder approximately 1 metre and then slightly raising it. It was then lowered approximately 3 metres to allow a crew member to walk under the davit frame. A crew member stepped on to the upper platform and proceeded to the lower end where he rigged a section of collapsible handrails. He then went to the lower platform to make the rails secure while another crew member secured the safety ropes around the upper platform.
Suddenly, a loud bang was heard followed by a whirring sound as the ladder fell rapidly towards the sea. The lower ladder broke away and fell into the water, taking the attending crew member with it. The upper section of the ladder was left hanging vertically down from its upper platform hinges with the hoist wire dangling from the davit.
A crew member alerted the bridge via VHF radio and then ran aft to look for the victim over the stern. A tug was close by, but there was no sign of the victim. The vessel was in the relatively confined waters of the port and making between 5 and 6 knots through the water. One of the attending tugs and the pilot boat were assigned to look for the victim, as the vessel was constrained by the restricted water. The victim was spotted about half a metre below the surface of the water and recovered by the pilot boat crew some 10 to 15 minutes after the event, but there were no signs of life.
The subsequent autopsy determined the cause of death to be ‘drowning with blunt force injuries’. The victim had suffered blunt force injuries to his head, neck, chest, back, abdomen and legs, resulting in a broken right femur, fractured ribs, multiple bruising and abrasions. These injuries were not considered to be fatal.
Accommodation ladder failures, although rare, are certainly not unheard of and numerous lives have been lost as a result. Risks involved in rigging and securing accommodation ladders should be duly accounted for.
As in several of the MARS reports in this issue, the attending crew did not take basic precautions such as using fall protection and donning a PFD. The lack of these precautions cannot be solely attributed to the crew. The company and vessel leadership must also bear responsibility.
The failure in this case to release the lifebuoys and smoke floats once the victim was in the water was particularly significant. It denied the ships involved in the search a visible reference, and also potentially denied the victim the buoyancy he required to remain afloat.
Port administrations need to have an increased safety distance when the weather conditions are not favorable.
During adverse weather conditions is recommended to have the engine on standby mode, since once the vessel start develop momentum it close to impossible to stop without engine.
The anchor performance is heavily defendant on the amount of chain deployed, in order to have the anchor on the correct position to bite the floor.
During heavy weather conditions the position monitoring need to be more often than in normal situations, there in the market many GPS for bridges with anchor monitoring alarm, that give officers on watch a ring when the threshold is passed.
This Incident was taken from Marine Accident Investigation
Branch from UK.
Interesting investigation from U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The U.S. NTSB has determined that an insufficient preventative maintenance program and lack of guidance for responding to engine high-temperature conditions, led to the January 14, 2018, fire on board the small passenger vessel Island Lady, in the waters of the Pithlachascotee River, near Port Ritchey, Florida.
s investigation determined:
• Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz’s lack of guidance regarding engine high-temperature alarms led to the captain leaving the port engine idling, rather than shutting it down, leading to the fire.
• The lack of a requirement for a fire detection and suppression system in an unmanned space containing engine exhaust tubing prevented early detection of, and a swifter response to, the fire in the lazarette.
• The captain’s decisions to return to the dock and to subsequently beach the Island Lady were prudent and increased the likelihood of survival for those on board.
• The failure of the port engine’s raw-water pump led to overheating of the engine and exhaust tubing.
• The raw-water pump’s failure resulted from Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz’s failure to follow Caterpillar’s recommended maintenance schedule.
• The Island Lady’s crew had insufficient firefighting training.
• The use of plastic tubing on local tank level indicators and lack of automatic shutoff valves on the fuel tanks resulted in the release of diesel fuel, which contributed to the severity of the fire.
• The U.S. Coast Guard did not correctly assess the Island Lady’s fuel system’s compliance with applicable regulations during an inspection of the vessel.