Greetings Website Visitor

CE Credits For Surveyor Members

The time period to earn Continuing Education credits ran from November 1, 2008 through October 31, 2009. For those members who missed the November 10th deadline for turning in record of their credits, we ask that you do so immediately.  Information to be turned in: Date, location, type of function, host, subject, and number of hours/days.

Please email your CE Credits to office@namsglobal.org or call Evie in the National Office at 757.638.9638.

National Election and Balloting

To all surveyor members: You still have a few days to cast your ballot for National President and National Vice-president. Please be sure to follow the instructions for completing and returning your ballot. You must return the original ballot sent to you, not a copy. If it is necessary, you may contact the national office for a replacement ballot. You must sign the outside of the ballot envelope when you return it. Please mark your ballot clearly.

Even though there is only one candidate for National Vice-president, if you wish to vote for that candidate, you must mark your ballot. An unmarked ballot for National Vice-president counts as a no vote. Please read the following excerpt of the March 29, 2009 By-Laws (Article V, Section 7, paragraph 9) pertaining to a ballot with only one candidate. “In any election of National President or National Vice President where only one (1) person is proposed for either office, the National Secretary shall include the individual’s name on the ballot, and, in order to be elected to the position, the person must receive a majority vote of those Members who cast votes for that position. Should the sole individual not receive a majority of votes cast for that position, the process of nomination and election as provided for in these Bylaws shall be repeated within sixty (60) days following the original vote.”

Your ballot must be postmarked by November 30, 2009. On December 1, 2009, or within 14 days thereafter, the election tellers shall open and count the ballots properly received (see the March 29, 2009 By-laws, Article V, section 7, paragraph 7).

As to the counting of the ballots, please refer to Article V, Section 7 of the NAMS Bylaws: “Each election of National President and National Vice President shall be supervised by three Tellers of Election, consisting of the National Secretary and two (2) Certified Marine Surveyors in good standing (and not seeking election) appointed by the National President. The National Secretary shall serve as chair of the Tellers of Election.”

Therefore National Secretary, Edward Shearer, is Chair, and Steve Hale and Steve Weiss, NAMS-CMS members, have been appointed as the two Tellers.

If you have any question as to the ballot, the balloting procedure, or the counting of the ballots, please contact your RVP or the national office.

NAMS Applicants, New Members, Changes In Status & Committee Assignments

New Applicants
Name Level Region Sponsor
John A. Wilson, III CMS N. England Douglas Mentuck
Freedom Dennis Apprentice C. Pacific Randall Lund

Upcoming Educational Events

December 1, 2009

ProBoat E-Training’s latest online course, Marine Electrical Systems Part Two (MES2). Written by Ed Scott (Bayside Marine Design), this five-part course will teach you basic marine-electrical system design, including storage-battery theory; how to calculate current requirements of the boat, size the wire and circuit protection; and how to choose the appropriate battery sizes.

MES2 is a follow-up to the Introduction to Marine Electrical Systems course. Either component stands alone. Both are “work at your own pace” courses, with four weeks set as the minimum time needed to complete readings and assignments. (Maximum is six months.)

You can register for either of these courses at any time. As a student, you will interact with your instructor Ed Scott via forums, chats, email, and quizzes. To see sample pages for these and other ProBoat E-Training courses, go to ProBoat E-Training’s Open House and log in as a guest. Contact  Barbara Jean Walsh  ProBoat E-Training manager (561) 922-7220.

December 3, 2009

ABYC and the Mid-Atlantic Mariners Club (MAMC) announced a one day Marine Insurance Industry Educational Summit dedicated to earning up to 8 CEU’s, while gaining valuable professional knowledge and networking with colleagues within the marine industry at the historic Calvert House in downtown Annapolis, Maryland. The day’s events will feature some of the top experts in the Marine Insurance Industry, as well as Marine Industry standards experts. Four credit hours dedicated to towing and salvage and four hours will feature ABYC Marine Standards and In-Water Electrical Shock issues, identification and prevention.

The registration fee is $200 for MAMC and ABYC members and $250 for non-members, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon refreshments and a seasonal holiday social with open bar and finger food. Summit registration can be made at either the ABYC website, www.abycinc.org or at the MAMC website, www.marinersclub.net. A limited number of rooms are being made at the Calvert House Inn at $99 per night on a first come, first serve basis by contacting the Inn at 410 263-2641. For additional information regarding the summit contact MAMC at mail@marinersclub.net. Summitsponsorship opportunities are available by contacting ABYC’s Cris Gardner at 410 990-4460 x33.

ABYC has been developing, writing and updating the safety standards for boat building and repair in the United States for 55 years. ABYC is actively involved with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as well as certification programs for marine technicians. These standards are available on CD-ROM and in printed form. Membership and general information can be requested by calling (410) 990-4460 or by visiting the ABYC web site at www.abyinc.org.

The Mid-Atlantic Mariners Club (MAMC) is an organization of professionals working within the marine insurance industry. MAMC is dedicated to raising the standards of the industry in terms of ethics, knowledge and professionalism, and to providing a forum in which members of the marine insurance community can learn about important issues of the day while networking. The Club has members that are Marine Agents, Underwriters, Claims Professionals, Attorneys, Surveyors, Investigators and experts in many other related fields. MAMC seminars regularly draw attendees from nearly everyU.S.market, as well as from United Kingdom and other foreign ports.

December 6 & 7, 2009

The International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), the largest independent marine surveying organisation in the world is organising its inaugural ‘Marine Insurance and Claims’ seminar at the SP Jain Centre of Management in Dubai AcademicCity on the 6th and 7th of December 2009.

The conference on “Marine Insurance & Claims” covers all aspects of marine surveying for hulls and machinery, cargo and small craft, with a diverse and highly experienced array of speakers and delegates coming from around the world to this first seminar in Dubai. It will bring together marine specialists, encourage a lively debate and discussion and provide a networking opportunity between international insurance companies and their brokers, salvage experts, Protection and Indemnity Clubs, marine lawyers, marine surveyors, government policy makers and ship owners.

Capt. Zarir S. Irani, Regional Director-Middle East, IIMS (and NAMS-CMS) says, “The UAE is a busy hub for marine activities as a large volume of vessels enter its waters on a daily basis or transit through. Fujairah is one of the main bunkering and storing hubs and the Persian Gulf is where most of the world’s energy requirements are exported.

For more information and details on signing up for the conference, please go to http://www.surveycourses.com/iims/.

2009/ 2010 International Institute of Marine Surveying Courses

The International Institute of Marine Surveying is now accepting applications for the for the following professional Diplomas:

  • Yacht & Small Craft Surveying
  • Marine Engineering Surveying
  • Marine Industry Surveying
  • Cargo Surveying
  • Second Level Diploma Course in Marine Surveying Practice Leading to a BSc(Hons) & MSc in Maritime Studies

IIMS Student Membership is included in the price. Make sure you visit their excellent website at: www.iims.org.uk If you would like to see the FULL academic prospectus or have any questions please email: Ken.Lovegrove@mpigroup.co.uk or call +1 604 566 4949.

January 20 and 21, 2010

Annual Yacht Claims Conference: Knox Marine Consultants will hold its 17th Annual Yacht Claims Conference at the VolvoPenta Service Training Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. Cost is $450 for the two-day event. Discounts are available for groups of four or more. On line registration is now available at www.knoxmarine.com.

According to Steve Knox, President of Knox Marine Consultants, this annual program was developed for marine surveyors, insurance adjusters, claims handlers and underwriters, attorneys, repairers, and others who deal in the investigation and adjustment of pleasure boat losses. This is the only national conference devoted exclusively to yacht claims, and has become a favorite networking event for marine surveyors and insurance professionals.

The session topics change each year. Visit Knox Marine’s web site for the latest in conference news – www.knoxmarine.com. You may also register at the web site.

Knox Marine applies for continuing education credits for adjusters. Licensed Florida adjusters will receive 12 CEU’s. Approval is pending in North Carolina, Delaware, and Texas. Credits for adjusters from other states can be arranged by advance request. For more information, contact Steve Knox at 804.222.5627 or sknox@knoxmarine.com.

March 11-14, 2010

American Society of Appraisers is giving the ME 208 Marine Equipment Appraisal course in San Francisco, California. It will be put on by ASA NorCal Chapter. Details will be posted on the ASA website. Location: L’Olivier Restaurant, 465 Davis Court, San Francisco, Ca 94111 Tel. 415-981-7824.

Norman Laskay, ASA and Capt. Joseph Rodgers, ASA will offer  the 4-day MTS course ME208 Marine Survey. This course is designed for the marine professional who wants to learn more about the appraisal side of the industry and the non-marine professional who wants basic knowledge of the industry. The course may be taken as a three-day seminar or, with an optional three hour exam on the fourth day, as an accredited course. Course/seminar includes a field trip to a shipyard to inspect a vessel under the guidance of two expert surveyors. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Manual included. Register before February 11, 2010 for discount rate.

You will learn:

  • Functions of marine surveyor and appraiser
  • Scope of the marine industry
  • Identification of marine systems, commercial & yacht
  • Marine equipment vocabulary
  • Identification of marine equipment, commercial & yacht
  • Preparing the report
  • Application of the three approaches to value
  • Types of Bluewater/Brownwater equipment

April 25 – 27, 2010

NAMSGlobal 48th Annual National Marine Conference East. Conference theme: In Pursuit of Excellence. Conference Chair, Janet Peck, NAMS-CMS. Location: The Embassy Suites Historic Charleston, 337 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina29403. Room rate $179.00 plus taxes per night for a 2-Room Suite.

For hotel reservations phone 843.723.6900. In order to receive the special group rates, you will need to make your room reservation by Wednesday, March 24, 2010, and identify the group and dates of the events. NAMS Group Code: NMS

May 17-19, 2010

The 2010 Clean Atlantic conference is being planned for Baltimore, Maryland. The three-day conference will focus on environmental and wildlife issues, and a significant portion of the panel discussions will be focused on the upcoming Salvage & Firefighting regulations. More information will be posted at the website: www.cleanatlantic.org.

Yachting-Viewed From the Claims Desk by Guy Matthews, NAMS-CMS

There is no better place on the planet to observe the changing nature of yachting than that of the Yacht Claims Desk. Unfortunately for an old grey head whose love of the water and things nautical are rooted in the distant past, the new hordes  of yachts, yachtsmen (or to be politically correct-yachtspersons), boating, service personnel  are not always a satisfying experience.

Nevertheless some old claims never change:

These old favorites include the newly licensed “captain”  who leaves the red marker   to port while returning, those who inexplicably report running aground in the middle of the channel and the owner whose motor yacht was struck by an out of place concrete channel marker while entering a Florida Keys channel.

One of the increasingly popular oldies is the unattended dockside sinking which often involve an automatic bilge pump immobilized by dead batteries or some other fault which is sometimes mysteriously accompanied by an automatic battery charger rendered useless because the shore power was not connected, shut off or otherwise impaired. In some of these cases a hose connection inexplicably fails for no apparent reason. Although excessive rain is often cited by owners as contributing to the sinking, it is universally agreed by the nautical cognoscente that the ever present rain in the tropics is not a fortuitous factor. (Some cynics claim that the number and frequency of these claims seems to be inversely proportionate to the state of the economy) Ah sweet mystery of life, we haven’t found thee!

And of course lightning strike claims in the tropics continue unabated with the catamaran’s propensity to be involved in a lightning incident made more apparent by the increasing popularity of these floating condominiums. The randomness of lightning strike damage continues to amaze all claims persons and is only exceeded by the opportunistic greed exhibited by some electronic technicians advising assureds to replace literally everything on the boat except the scotch after the lightning strike.

While marine claims handlers are familiar with these oldies, there are new categories of claims and vessels representing a major change to the old yacht world:

While some of the old wood hulls of my youth were built “Hell for stout” and the early fiberglass boats were greatly overbuilt, new generations of vessels do not share these characteristics, to wit:

Italian built powerboats are suddenly popular especially on the claims desk. These vessels are characterized by luxurious interiors, sport car styling, inherent frailty and engine rooms in which only dwarfs can check the oil. The claims desk probably overuses the word “Eurostyle” but there is no other word that encompasses the fragility and impracticality of some of these gin palaces.

Many old salts had a difficult time accepting that Volvo Penta’s I/O drive was here to stay. One wonders what their reaction is to the Volvo Penta IPS drive, Arneson surface drives and the various water jet drives that are increasingly crossing the claims desk. Imagine having to dry dock a motor yacht to check the oil in the IPS drive.

Just when we thought that catamaran builders had milked their conspicuous consumers for every available bit of money left on the table, the catamaran hull has been redesigned to be more expensive, lighter, less seaworthy, and equipped with more expensive Rube Goldberg devices. We’ve seen the twin diesel powered catamaran, diesel electric catamaran, solar electric catamaran, the purely battery powered catamaran and now we see the catamaran which converts each DC propulsion motor to a generator when the vessel is sailing. (Only electrical engineers need apply.) It is surprising for owners and insurers to find that just because a 40 foot catamaran costs more than a half of a million dollars from respected builders, the actual construction quality of the hull can be slapdash and unbelievably shoddy.

The convertible sport fisherman is slowly being replaced by a new generation of fiberglass four stroke-outboard powered open fishermen with incredible performance—when everything works. Unfortunately, as the claims desk has found, the construction of many of these vessels is inferior at best. Many of these builders go in and out of business faster than aTexas bookmaker.

The Pirates of Providenciales offer a nice change of pace for the surveyor as the Turks and Caicos seemingly has more than its share of total losses for the number of local yachts than anyplace else in the tropics. What has come to be know in our firm’s surveyor argot as the “Pirates of Providenciales claim” have many things in common – the owner on the boat alone, calm weather in the deepest part of the Caicos Passage, a single small boat fishing nearby, rarely a call for assistance, and a mysterious, sudden, massive, uncontrollable  inflow of water from a unknown source, all of which results in the rapid sinking of the mortgaged vessel in very deep water with the successful evacuation of the frazzled owner to the air port with an air line ticket, reservation, cash and passport conveniently in hand. There’s not much to survey when the boat is sunk in 1000 feet of water.

One of the biggest changes to the yachting world is the appearance of the yacht salvor who operates a service business dedicated to extorting huge sums from the insurers by barely legal means, some of whom have the ethics of a brothel owner. The days of the co-operative local yacht towing and salvage company have been relegated to nostalgia and history. The yacht salvors attempt to mask their business with respectability but some are as opportunistic as the Bahamian andFlorida Keys wreckers of the Nineteenth Century and the Freebooters of the Eighteenth Century. They have the desire to convert the most innocuous event into a salvage claim or potential pollution situation. Once the salvor deploys their pollution booms, the insurers have been zapped. The towage fees for their large RIBs sometimes compares with the fees of fully crewed harbor tugs. Who would have thunk it?

All of these changes cause me to recall that famous honky-tonk philosopher of my wayward youth, Bob Wills, who said it correctly with his, “Time Changes Everything.”

Guy Matthews has been a NAMS-CMS since 1971 and he is accepts assignment s in a wide range of marine survey designations. During his career he has spent 40+ years dealing with commercial and energy claims. For the past ten years he has been doing claims work on yacht claims — a real eye opener.

First Ship with High Temperature Fuel Cell

September 2009 saw the initial operation of the first high temperature fuel cell to be run on board of a ship, within the FellowSHIP research project (Fuel Cells for Low Emission Ships). The HotModule supplied by the Tognum subsidiary MTU Onsite Energy GmbH Fuel Cell Systems is scheduled for service on the offshore supply vessel Viking Lady, operated by the Norwegian Eidesvik shipyard, so as to verify its suitability for green on-board power generation by means of fuel cells. The HotModule is fully integrated in the existing on-board power generation infrastructure and supplies 320 kW of the current power supply requirements, whilst being powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The objective to launch the FellowSHIP project was to test fully integrated onboard fuel cells – both on board of vessels, as well as offshore platforms – and to make them commercially viable. Under the auspices of the classification society Det Norske Veritas, participants in this project include MTU Onsite Energy, as well as a number of companies like Wärtsilä Ship Design Norway, Wärtsilä Automation Norway and Eidesvik Offshore ASA.

The integration of fuel cells serves to significantly reduce health-hazardous and climate-critical emissions in this project: a total of 4,755 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 33 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as 180 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) can be avoided this way every year, equaling the emissions of almost 20,000 private cars. The electrochemical process mainly generates water and heat. It is predominantly sensitive environments like offshore regions or harbors subject to heavy emission runoff, where these environmental benefits come to full fruition. Since two thirds of global cargo transportation is seaborne, this green fuel cell technology offers a vast potential for emission reductions.

The electrical efficiency of the molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) ranges at almost 50%, which – in combination with the effective outgoing heat – results in an overall efficiency of up to 90%. During the coming months, the demonstration system on the Viking Lady will undergo extensive offshore supply operational trials under real seaborne deployment conditions.  Courtesy Maritime Reporter and Engineering News in partnership with MarineLink.com.

Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Act of 2009, S. 1666 Ethanol bill introduced in U. S. Senate

Legislation designed to protect boaters and manufacturers from the problems associated with mid-level ethanol blends in gasoline was introduced Monday in the U.S. Senate. The Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Act of 2009, S. 1666, was introduced by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI.; and Mary Landrieu, D-La.

The Clean Air Act prohibits the sale of mid-level ethanol blends, but the ethanol industry is seeking a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency to sell E15 as a general purpose fuel. The new bill requires that the EPA’s Science Advisory Board study the compatibility of such fuels with current engines before a waiver can be granted.

The study would also include a comprehensive analysis of available independent scientific evidence on the compatibility of mid-level ethanol fuels with the emission requirements of the Clean Air Act and the operability of engines, among other things.

“NMMA applauds and thanks Senators Collins, Cardin, Whitehouse and Landrieu for introducing this important, common-sense bill,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich, in a statement. “This legislation validates a science-first  approach to ethanol policy and shines the spotlight on the myriad of issues associated with hasty attempts by ethanol advocates to introduce mid-level ethanol blends into the marketplace.”  -SOUNDINGS – Trade Only  Courtesy Boatpokers.

For Those Struggling With Your TWIC Card Application:

USCG – extension of unescorted access policy

The US Coast Guard issued an updated policy regarding unescorted access for individuals awaiting receipt of a replacement Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). The previous policy limited such unescorted access to no longer than seven days. Because some individuals are not receiving their replacement TWIC within that period of time, the policy is being changed to allow such unescorted access for no longer than 30 days. The individual must show that the replacement TWIC has been ordered and must provide the VSO, FSO, or other designated employee with security duties, the individual’s first and last names and application ID. PAC 03-09 Change 3 (10/13/09). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting dennis.l.bryant@gmail.com http://brymar-consulting.com © Dennis L. Bryant

Seasonal Cargo Claims

The loss prevention people at the American Club have issued a circular to members dealing with that old menace moist ore fine cargoes. It notes there have been several recent losses of ships which have loaded iron ore fines during the Indian monsoon season.

When iron ore fines are loaded in the rain, or left uncovered on the quayside, they absorb significant amounts of water. This may not be readily apparent, since the surface of the iron ore may appear dry. High water content can cause the cargo to liquefy on board, and shift, creating a perilous situation for the vessel and crew.

The shipper of any cargo prone to liquefaction is obliged to provide details of the moisture content and the transportable moisture limit (TML) to the carrier. These should be kept for record purposes. The master and crew must remain vigilant and ready to question shippers if any doubt arises over the properties of a cargo.

The club recommends that masters apply the Code for Safe Practice  for Solid Bulk Cargoes 2004. Companies should contact the local P&I correspondent over any problems. And it advises that members and ship masters should confirm with shippers the details of cargo  as required under SOLAS Chapter VI (carriage of cargoes), regulations 2 (cargo information) and 7 (loading, unloading and stowage of bulk cargoes).

The ore stockpiles intended to be loaded should be identified so that surveyors can obtain samples for testing. These should be   submitted to an approved laboratory for analysis of the cargo’s moisture content, TML and its flow moisture point. The cargo should only be accepted for loading if the moisture content is below the TML. http://www.american-club.com.

Courtesy Bow Wave–the marine and transport e-zine. BOW WAVE is published each week to over 15 000 Readers in the transport, insurance, shipping and finance industries. To subscribe contact Sam Ignarski sam@wavyline.com.

Ship Maintenance, Manifest Problems On The Rise

When freight rates for bulk vessels skyrocketed two years ago, it became increasingly common to find substandard ships making their way into U.S. ports. Now that there’s too much bulk vessel capacity on the market and rates are sharply down, these problems have compounded as owners and operators have also cut back on basic onboard maintenance. The National Cargo Bureau, a New York-based not-for-profit that inspects the stowage, securing and loading of cargo on merchant vessels on behalf of the U.S. Coast Guard, has witnessed a disturbing trend of improper maintenance particularly onboard foreign-flag grain and coal ships in U.S. Gulf ports.

Capt. James McNamara, National Cargo Bureau president, told attendees at the bureau’s board meeting in Washington that “although the certificates may be in place more things involving maintenance are out of place.” Insufficient maintenance leads to possible dangers, not just to the vessel crews but also to the safety of navigation in waterways and ports, the marine environment, and integrity of the cargo in their holds, he explained. The bureau’s staff has also experienced increased encounters with improperly trained seafarers on vessels. “We’re seeing seafarers getting on ships that they’re not familiar with, such as going from a tanker to a bulk ship,” McNamara said. “We worked aboard a foreign ship last week where the master was unfamiliar with the stability of his ship.” (American Shipper NewsWire, 9/30/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Sinking Superyacht Values

The Monaco Yacht Show was held against the background of a darkening outlook for the industry. That the market has been in dire shape ever since the yachting world convened for the last Monaco Yacht Show is in no doubt, and there was evidence aplenty at last week’s forum. Yacht consultant Jill Bobrow noted that “this time last year, business was pretty brisk. Some yards have 10, 12, 14 yachts in build. Some have orders out until 2013. But by and large, most yards have not signed a new order since last fall. They need new orders.” Robert Toney, president of National Liquidators/National Maritime Services in the US, added that repossessions were up 44% in 2008 compared with the previous year, to around 3,000 yachts, and that there had been only two fewer cases during the August of this year than in the whole of 2008.

Even the brokers, those congenital market boosters, appeared more subdued this time around. Camper & Nicholsons sales director Toby Walker conceded that sales were down by 70% this year and charters were down by up to 40%.  Valuing yachts is a devilishly tricky task in this market, even as demand from buyers and financiers for more accurate valuations is on the rise.  As Martin Baum, general manager at insurance broker Pantaenius, noted: “There are huge discrepancies in values.  You would be scared to finance boats because values are so unpredictable.” The US luxury market, along with those of Hong Kong, the Middle East and Russia, may have been the worst-hit by the crisis, he said, but it was also among those “best poised for a luxury recovery, both in real terms and in terms of the psychology of buying and consuming luxury goods.” (Lloyd’s List, 9/29/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Nautical Institute Launches Mooring Guides

Bridget Hogan has sent in details of the Nautical Institute’s latest publication. She writes:-

Mooring accidents cause of great concern to those in the maritime industry, both ashore and afloat. Good practice is urgently needed to prevent deaths and injuries, particularly in trades such as dry bulk and containers. To address this need The Nautical Institute has published two practical guides. The books have been published following an industry initiative supported by the International Maritime Organization and the International Chamber of Shipping.

Mooring and Anchoring Ships is published in two volumes and was launched a seminar in London which highlighted industry concerns.

  • Volume 1, Principles and Practice by Ian Clarke MNI, looks at the theory behind good practice and explores how shore and sea staff can avoid personal injury and breakaway incidents.
  • Volume 2, Inspection and Maintenance by Walter Vervloesem AMNI,  looks at good practice with hundreds of colour photographs to illustrate the right way to carry out procedures.

The foreword is written by The Secretary General of the IMO, Efthimios Mitropoulos, who said there had been ‘little formal presentation’ of mooring. The books are also supported by the major international associations concerned with ship operations. Mr. Mitropoulos said the IMO had been concerned about mooring accidents for some years and said that the Institute’s books  were ‘remarkable volumes’ that cover a complex subject that has never before been properly explained. He said the texts provide an ‘ideal basis’ for developing training programmes and safe working procedures.

‘It is always a pleasure for me to recognize an industry-wide team effort to produce useful and original work,’ he said, congratulating the authors on achieving a ‘comprehensive insight’ into a complex and wide ranging subject.

At the seminar, held by the Institute with the UK Harbour  Masters’ Association, Karl Lumbers of the UK P&I Club said his research showed large mooring accidents had cost the Club more than $34 million over the last 20 years. These claims were the seventh highest injury suffered by ships’ crews by both number and value and the third highest in average value per claim. He described some of the injuries as “truly horrific” involving not only deck crew but catering staff, engine room staff and apprentices.

Preliminary findings of a survey presently being carried by the UK P&I Club has found that of 94 vessels inspected between February and June 2009, 43% of vessels use non deck crew during mooring operations. Mr. Lumbers questioned the  effectiveness of controls and whether non deck crews are trained to be aware of the risks inherent in a mooring operation.http://www.nautinst.org/publications.

Courtesy Bow Wave–the marine and transport e-zine. BOW WAVE is published each week to over 15 000 Readers in the transport, insurance, shipping and finance industries. To subscribe contact Sam Ignarski sam@wavyline.com.

U.S. Coast Guard: Lessons Learned from Casualty Investigation

Recently in the North East United States, an 83-ft long passenger ferry which has the capacity to carry 306 persons experienced a small engine room fire. The vessel was just off its dock at the time the fire started and onboard were 110 persons. Because of the nearness to the dock, the vessel’s Captain chose to disembark the passengers prior to manually activating the engine room CO2 system and closing the main fuel stop valve. The CO2 system extinguished the fire and when the local fire department arrived later they found the port main engine’s exhaust insulation smoldering. Using a fire hose to cool the area they completely extinguished the fire. Although the casualty is still being investigated, it appears that the fire was caused by a leaking pipe fitting attached to the fuel oil filter of the center engine. Fuel sprayed from the rear of the center engine to the port main engine exhaust piping and ignited.

Polypropylene or PVC Components: The engine room utilized vents to provide air for the engines and cooling. There were no forced supply fans or exhaust systems. Slots in the ceiling at the outboard sides of the engine room, forward and aft, provided the openings to four ducts which contained dampers. The damper closed against the slotted opening located in the floor of the duct (ceiling of machinery space) when the CO2 system was activated. In normal circumstances, airflow from the outside could flow past a moisture eliminating filter, into the duct area, past the open damper, through the slot and into the engine room. Depending on weather conditions, air could enter one side of the vessel and exit the other.

When the extinguishing system was activated, all the dampers closed properly. However, after the fire it was noted that several external moisture eliminator filters were extremely damaged. The actual size of this filter is about five feet by fifteen inches.

High temperature gases flowed through it during the fire causing it to overheat and deform prior to its respective damper closing. It fell on top of the damper after the damper had closed. The small fire in the engine room was about nineteen feet away on the other side of the vessel and aft. Investigators noted that if the filter had melted and fallen on or into the slot of the duct before the damper closed, it is likely to have interfered with the damper operation and possibly have reduced the effectiveness of the CO2 system.

46 CFR 116.610 (b) applicable to this vessel, states that “a ventilation duct, and materials incidental to installation must be made of noncombustible material.” 46 CFR 116.610(c) states that “combustibles and other foreign materials are not allowed within ventilation ducts. However metal piping and electrical wiring installed in a metal protective enclosure may be installed within ventilation ducts, provided that the piping or wiring does not interfere with the operation of fire dampers.”

Owners and operators of any type vessel, as well as those persons involved with the inspection of vessels should be aware of the potential risks associated with this and similar installations and are reminded that inspections of fire dampers should include observation of all related structure near dampers to ensure that the dampers will operate under fire conditions. These structures and any incidental materials should not be made of combustible material. On vessels with manual extinguishing systems, or those with manual dampers whereby when securing the ventilation time is of the essence, consideration needs to be given regarding the materials used should it be subjected to excessive heat carried by high temperature gases.

Failed Pipe Fittings: As stated previously, the investigation into this casualty is not yet complete. The components of the pipe fitting which failed are currently being examined by NTSB metallurgists. It is suspected however that the failed fittings may have been subjected to excessive vibration which could have caused the fracture. The original configuration was modified by adding a fitting that attached two additional sensors (for a total of four) to the fuel filter assembly and was subject to pressures up to 65 psig or greater. The assembly weighed 6.3 ounces and extended about 4 inches out of a reducing bushing that was threaded into the inlet fitting of the filter. Because of the location of the fire and oil soaked insulation it is suspected that the fitting leaked first and did not immediately shear as shown in the photo at the right.

Owners and operators of any type vessel, as well as those persons involved with the inspection of vessels should be aware of the potential risks associated by adding components to an engine assembly and must take into account the effect of vibration on those components. If add–on components are discovered effort should be made to verify the adequacy and safety of the installation by consulting the engine manufacturers and designers. In this instance an improved installation may have involved mounting the sensors directly to a stable surface and attaching the sensors to the filter inlet using a flexible hose.

Hot Spots: In a small engine room containing several engines and having a low overhead there are a number of locations that present enough heat to cause a fuel to flash and ignite other components. Turbocharger and exhaust piping insulation while serving to reduce heating of external areas also helps reduce the immediate availability of ignition hot spots. Care should be taken to ensure insulation wraps and blankets are kept tight and fastened in a manner to prevent dripping or spraying fluids from traveling to an exposed hot spot.

Insulation seams should be made tight and where possible aligned in a manner to prevent pooling of fluid and to repel dripping. Likewise good marine practice may also dictate and ensure that braces which are welded directly to the exhaust pipe which serve as hangers or supports also be insulated. Heat conducting from the exhaust pipe to the brace could be substantial allowing the exposed bracket to become nearly as hot as the exhaust pipe. The brace was only partially covered with the insulation that was wrapped around the exhaust pipe. As with the other concerns in this document, owners and operators of any type vessel, as well as those persons involved with the inspection of vessels should be aware of the potential risks associated with improper or inadequate installation of insulation.

Additional fire protection information is provided in 1) NVIC 9-97 “Guide To Structural Fire Protection” availablehttp://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1997/n9-97 pdfand 2) IMO Maritime Safety Committee MSC.1/Circ.1321 11 June 2009, “GUIDELINES FOR MEASURES TO PREVENT FIRES IN ENGINE-ROOMS AND CARGO PUMP-ROOMS.” Copies available upon request.

Courtesy Maritime reporter and Engineering News, in partnership with MarineLink.com http://marinelink.com.

MAIB Seeks Crackdown On Freight Ferry Lashing

Accident investigators have called for a coordinated clampdown on cargo securing arrangements onboard ferries using UK ports. The call comes in a Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report on an incident in January when a road tanker crashed through the stern door of the high-speed service vessel Stena Voyager shortly after leaving the port of Stranraer.

Investigations revealed that the securing arrangements for the 34-tonne articulated tanker were not in accordance with the vessel’s manual or applicable codes of practice. The driver had failed to apply his parking brakes or leave the tanker in gear and the vehicle was not lashed in accordance with national or international guidelines.

Tests showed that while rubber wheel chocks were used, they could not have been correctly positioned, and subsequent analysis of the web lashings found that these had lost between 43% to 65% of their residual strength as a result of wear and tear.

As the HSS increased speed to 27 knots and became trimmed by the stern, the lashings failed and the tanker – which was the last vehicle to be loaded onto the ferry – crashed through the stern door, with the semi-trailer coming to rest on a waterjet unit.

The ferry was quickly stopped, and crew members managed to secure the tanker. Stena Voyager then returned to Stranraer, but the 156 passengers had to remain onboard overnight because the position of the tanker prevented the ferry from berthing stern to the linkspan. The passengers had to be disembarked by the fire service the following day using a telescopic rescue platform.

The MAIB said neither the Stena Voyager’s deck securing points nor the vehicle’s ferry securing points, to which the lashings were attached, complied with relevant national and international codes of practice. The tanker should have been fitted with four securing rings on each side, but had only one pair at its forward end.

Checks carried out by the MAIB after the incident found widespread shortcomings in the fitting of ferry securing rings on freight vehicles. Some 95% of semi-trailers inspected onboard the Stena Explorer failed to comply with ISO standards, more than 50% had fewer securing rings than recommended by the IMO and 26% had no securing rings at all.

Further inspections conducted in the port of Dover showed that more than half of the articulated freight vehicles awaiting shipment had no securing rings – including 57% of those declared as carrying dangerous goods.

The MAIB did find one ferry in Portsmouth where all the semitrailers loaded onboard were fitted with securing rings. It said that the operator had implemented a strict inspection and reporting regime, but noted that most of the vehicles carried were regular customers and that there was no competition from other ferry companies on the route.

In response to its findings, the MAIB recommended that the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency and the Maritime &Coastguard Agency should conduct a coordinated programme of inspections to identify freight vehicles that do not comply with IMO and MCA guidelines.

It also urged the MCA to review the cargo securing manuals of all UK-flagged high-speed craft carrying freight vehicles and to survey all UK and foreign flagged freight ferries operating to UK ports to ensure that onboard practices and shipboard procedures are in line with cargo securing manuals and safety management system.

Courtesy FLASHLIGHT, a free monthly e-newsletter circulated to more than 5,000 people involved in marine surveying around the world.  It is circulated to anybody who wishes to receive a copy.  It is a collation of articles relevant to our profession taken from various publications together with contributions from readers. Letters, opinions and articles relating to our profession are welcomed for the newsletter. info@kiwimarine.net

North Sea Freight Intelligent Transport Solutions

North Sea Freight Intelligent Transport Solutions (NS FRITS) is set to dramatically improve accessibility for the road freight sector in the seven countries of the North Sea Region by improving safety as well as efficiency and reducing the risk of accidents and security threats for truck drivers. The first project of its kind, NS FRITS will provide live in-cab communications in a series of languages to drivers, transport managers and cargo handlers.

The system will help:

  • improve traffic flow within major transport corridors
  • address logistical problems around congestion and cargo volumes
  • improve driver safety by highlighting poor weather conditions, road accidents, traffic disruption and local driving conditions
  • reduce carbon emissions by encouraging better driving and avoiding extensive engine idling times
  • reduce the risk of security threats, for example by providing information about crime hotspots, secure parking locations and local police practices

Some of the partners in this in initiative include Avantis Communications Ltd., the Netherlands National Police Agency (KLPD), Volvo Technology Corporation, the University of Hull Logistics Institute and ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.

For additional information on this initiative, go to http://www.nsfrits.eu/en/.

Courtesy Barry Tarnef, NAMS-CMS of Chubb Marine Underwriters who also notes “The information for much of the content was taken from a number of public sources that to the best of the undersigned’s knowledge is accurate. The views expressed in this document should be regarded as the personal opinion of the undersigned and not ones made in his capacity as an employee of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. If anyone wants additional information on any of the topics covered should contact the undersigned.”

Liquefaction Of Solid Cargo

Liquefaction of solid cargo continues to be a problem even though shippers, surveyors and masters have access to the IMO Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes or the “BC Code.” (Note: the BC Code will be replaced on/about 1 January 2011 by the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code or IMSBC that was adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee in 2008). Here are some recommended practices:

  • Obtain full cargo information before loading: characteristics of the cargo that may suggest trimming or continuous monitoring of moisture content.
  • Check the cargo declaration: since some cargo that could liquefy may not be listed in the BC Code, all shipments consisting wholly or partly of small particles should be checked.
  • Perform on-board tests as needed; samples should be take regularly and subjected to test as outlined in the BC Code.
  • Stop operations if in doubt.

There is a concise report on this issue contained in the April 2009 issue of “Signals”, a quarterly loss prevention newsletter published by the North of England P & I Club. This and other articles related to loss prevention can be downloaded at:http://www.nepia.com/publications-and-guides/

Courtesy Barry Tarnef, NAMS-CMS of Chubb Marine Underwriters

Protective Packaging

There is continuing debate over the use and efficacy of new materials in the field of protective packaging. One “expert” in sustainable packaging with over 30 years of field and real-world application states: “Green packaging doesn’t damage products, people do”, in other words it is not the not the packaging but the way in which it is used. To back this assertion, he gives a number of reasons why damage may occur:

  • Trying for a one-size fits all packaging solution- there is no universal answer to satisfy all protection needs of a wide variety of products.
  • Attempting to reduce costs beyond a reasonable point- a few pennies saved on packaging can quickly be offset by the RE factors (replacement, reshipment and repair).
  • Designing to satisfy a singular need- shipment protection during handling and transit is often secondary to focus on other aspects of the packaging or product.
  • Failing to seek an outside, fresh perspective- Don’t expect the company/person who helped create the problem to fix it for you.

In 5 short years it is estimated that 32% of all packaging worldwide will be sustainable, arguably jumpstarted by Wal-Mart and their “Packaging Scorecard”, yet the available packaging products that meet this definition are limited and in some areas appear to be far inferior to what are currently in use. Moreover, there is little data to indicate whether eco-friendly packaging is more or less sturdy or safe than traditional materials and methods. For more thoughts and case studies on Green Packaging failures go to www.packagingdigest.com/greenfails

Courtesy Barry Tarnef, NAMS-CMS of Chubb Marine Underwriters

Heavy Lift Cargo Shippers

Project cargo, heavy lift and even break-bulk cargo shippers are experiencing a dearth of adequately equipped ports and qualified stevedores in many parts of the world according to the International Council of Heavy Lift and Project Cargo Carriers (Heavy Lift Club). They claim that the tremendous growth of containerization globally has resulted in an equally significant decrease in specialist cargo handling facilities and personnel. The available labor pool are sued to dealing with containers but not heavy or project cargo that requires special securing and lashing. Rickmers Line, a prominent member of the Heavy Lift Club now hires carpenters to ensure the lashing of cargo is completed safely.

With a far amount of emphasis on infrastructure projects around the world, heavy lift vessels are enjoying an increase in cargo volume while other vessel types struggle for tonnage. It appears as if port authorities and private investors have concentrated on building new container terminals with other facilities neglected. Courtesy Barry Tarnef, NAMS-CMS of Chubb Marine Underwriters.

OSHA Publishes Final Regulation Limiting The Simultaneous Loading Of Two Containers

The U. S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recently published a final regulation limiting the simultaneous loading of two containers, one on top of another, a practice known as vertical tandem lifting or VTL. OSHA ruled that a safe tandem lift cannot exceed 20 tons total, essentially meaning both containers must be empty. This 20-ton figure is 50 percent less than the strength of the corner fittings, used to lift containers, long part of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard. The National Maritime Safety Association, a port management group has also challenged OSHA; however, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union testified in support of the ban.

This is another example of the sometimes competing interests of productivity and safety. There are clearly pitched camps on both sides of the issue and, for that matter, on either side of the Atlantic it would appear.

Incidentally, the National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA) has a web site with some useful technical information. In addition to safety-related videos, the Washington, D.C-based organization has published Container Lashing Tips and Marine Terminal Traffic Safety Tips sheets.

Check out www.nmsa.us/

Courtesy Barry Tarnef, NAMS-CMS of Chubb Marine Underwriters

INCOTERMS Revisited

The universal language governing international and U.S. domestic commerce is due for a revision that could come as early as January 2011. Developed by the International Chamber of Commerce in the 1930s, Incoterms — in essence a dictionary defining 13 critical terms of shipment and delivery used in sales contracts for tangible portable goods — have been revised approximately once a decade to conform with current business needs and practices. They were last updated in 2000. A critical part of global and domestic trade, Incoterms are rules accepted by legal authorities, as well as buyers and sellers, to interpret the commonly used terms in international trade — terms such as “ex-works,” “free carrier,” “free alongside ship” and “carriage paid to.” (For a full list of current Incoterms and critical points, seehttp://www.iccwbo.org/incoterms/wallchart/wallchart.pdf.) (The Journal of Commerce, 11/2/2009.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Useful links

United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) vessel documentation data base. Extract vessel characteristics, documentation, and ownership data. This data base is updated on a monthly basis. Their query program only retrieves data about vessels which are craft that are 5 net tons or larger and are documented by the USCG. You can search by vessel name or Official Number.http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/index.html

British merchant ship investigations. One web page which is a must for all marine surveyors involved in merchant ship surveys is: http://www.maib.gov.uk/home/index.cfm The site gives the investigations currently under way and reports on completed investigations.

Source for Boats and Yachts Information by David H. Pascoe, NAMS-CMS, retired www.yachtsurvey.com