Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sea Breezes Editor, Hamish Ross

Time for a full investigation of the coastal sector

In Sea Breezes we have raised the matter of the loss of the cement carrier MV Cemfjord (Cyprus Flag) on several occasions. At the beginning of January 2015, in severe weather, the Cemfjord was in the Pentland Firth when she was overwhelmed suddenly and catastrophically with the loss of all hands onboard – eight men in all.

The subsequent Marine Accident Investigation Board (MAIB) report into the loss of the Cemfjord revealed quite clearly that there were serious shortcomings in several areas of the operation of this vessel. Readers can access this report at www.gov.uk/maib-reports/capsizeand- sinking-of-cement-carrier-cemfjord-with-loss-of-8-lives.

I said in my Message From The Bridge, Sea Breezes, July 2016, that we owed it to the men lost on the Cemfjord, and indeed to all seafarers in the coastal trade that action should be taken to address the shortcomings exposed in the MAIB Report to prevent such an incident in the future. Cemfjord was at sea with significant safety shortcomings and indeed it was only the granting of Flag State exemptions from some safety regulations that had allowed the Cemfjord to proceed to sea. I also said in reference to various shipping disasters “Whether investigations ultimately reveal flawed systems and procedures, human error, poor maintenance, failure by regulators and inspectors, faults in vessel design/construction or indeed a combination of more than one of these factors, we owe it to all who sail on ships – big or small – to take every possible step to make safety at sea our number one priority.

Well yes indeed – as we are all fond of saying “lessons will be learned“, but will they?

Looking up on my computer the list of “Foreign Flag Ships under detention in the UK during February 2017“ (published in March 2017) I noted that the cement carrier Cemgulf (Cyprus Flag) was detained at Ellesmere Port from 15th February-24th February 2017 with six deficiencies – with four grounds for detention. These deficiencies included – missing nautical publications; onboard training and instruction – lack of training; inoperative lifeboats; ISM – not as required; voyage and passage plan – lack of information.

In my July 2016 piece I also reported that in a Press Release following the loss of the Cemfjord and the publication of the MAIB Report Steve Todd, National Secretary of the RMT said “If the coastal sector was compliant with international safety standards, eight seafarers would be alive today and their families would not be grieving their loss. We welcome the MAIB Report which tells us that this catastrophic loss could have been avoided. Coastal freight traffic should be a success story for maritime skills and in shifting more cargo off roads. Instead it is an industry that plays fast and loose with international maritime regulations and ultimately with seafarers lives. Whilst we note that mandatory reporting in the Pentland Firth has recommenced, the UK Government needs to stop describing high maritime safety standards as “gold plating” and get a grip on this vital, but badly regulated sector, before more seafarers lose their lives. A Public Enquiry into coastal shipping would be the best way to achieve that.“

“In recent months I have read of several examples of ships operating around the UK coast flouting safety and labour standards. I therefore would support the need and call for a full investigation of the coastal sector of our shipping industry.” In the meantime our ‘coastal state‘ inspection regime should be strictly implemented and applied.

HAMISH ROSS, EDITOR

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!

Magellan

Most Popular

  • 1
  • 2

Top 10 Books and DVDs 2017

Maritime Log

  • Benefits of Shipping Power Station Parts by Sea +

    Power Station Boiler Two new 110 tonnes heat exchangers to be used in refitting Centrica’s power station at King’s Lynn, arrived at the Read More
  • Container Ship Fleet Hits 21m Record +

    Port of Hamburg The world's cellular container ship fleet reached a record 21mn teu last November, according to the analysts Alphaliner. Read More
  • Bravery Awards for Pilots’ Actions +

    Michael G McGee and Michael C Phillips Two pilots who brought a burning ship to safety, averting a major maritime catastrophe, have been presented with the 2017 Read More
  • Mammoth Crane Vessel for Obsolete Platforms +

    OOS Zeelandia The Dutch OOS International Group BV has signed a contract with China Merchants Industry Holdings for the design and building Read More
  • Solar Power Boost +

    Immingham Port Associated British Ports (ABP) is to build a further 20MW of solar arrays making the company one of the biggest Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Ship Adrift in Port +

    Helsinki Bridge Port tugs and members of the US Coast Guard, the Massport Fire Department, Boston Police Department and the Massachusetts State Read More
  • Services Mark Four Chaplains Tragedy +

    Dorchester Services are being held in many communities in the United States this month to mark the 75th anniversary of the Read More
  • Fast Crew Supply Vessel Launched +

    FCS 7011 As part of its relationship with Damen Shipyards, of the Netherlands, the Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark is offering the new Read More
  • First Of Three Self-Unloaders Now In Service +

    Algoma Niagara The first of the Algoma Central Corporation’s three Equinox class selfunloading bulk carriers for the Great Lakes and the St Read More
  • Special US Frigate Makes Harbour Trip +

    USS Constitution The historic US frigate Constitution made a special trip to Charlestown, Massachusetts, on Oct 20 last to mark the ship’s Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Protests at Certificate for Bangladesh Yard +

    Chittagong Shipbreaking Trade Unions and non-government organisations have protested following the move by the Italian classification society RINA to issue the PHP Read More
  • Automated Port Tested +

    Yangshan Deepwater Port Trial operations have begun at the world’s biggest automated container terminal at Shanghai, China. Read More
  • MHI Splits Into Two +

    MHI Nagasaki Shipyard The Japanese company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has established two new wholly-owned companies in a major reorganisation of its shipbuilding Read More
  • Fifth Is A First For Japan +

    MOL Truth The first Japanese-built 20,170 teu container ship was named MOL Truth at a ceremony on Oct 25 at the Imabari Read More
  • Sheep Ban After Ship Fails Safety Checks +

    Al Messilah A livestock carrier lost her licence to carry sheep from Australia after failing port state control checks at a livestock Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • New Patrol ship for Danes +

    HDMS Lauge Koch Danish News On 11 December, in a ceremony held at Naval Station Korsør, the Royal Danish Navy commissioned the third Read More
  • Royal Navy ‘Cannibalising’ Ships for Parts +

    HMS Artful UK News Once again, the Royal Navy was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the closing months Read More
  • New Oiler for Canada +

    Asterix Canadian News The Royal Canadian Navy’s long wait for a new replenishment oiler for the fleet is nearly at an Read More
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth Arrives at Home Port +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News An event following the 2010 Defence Review many thought would never happen occurred on Wednesday 16 August when Read More
  • Work Starts on Three Warships +

    Type 25 British News After an almost unseemly wait, the Royal Navy can breathe again having held its breath waiting for the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Lake Cruising +

    Western Belle In the English Lake District, on several of the Lakes, there are lake operations all year round. Read More
  • Wrestling Gales +

    Pride of Kent The sight of the familiar P&O ferry Pride of Kent blown aground while leaving Calais for Dover, is a shock. Read More
  • Indonesian Focus +

    Doro Landa To the Far East – PELNI (Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia) is Indonesia’s national shipping company, state-owned and operated, serving the entire Indonesian Read More
  • New FSG Builds +

    WB Yeats Readers will recall Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG), delivered the Ullapool-Stornaway ship Loch Seaforth to CalMac in late 2014, as well as Read More
  • Nostalgic Scout Trip Remembered +

    South Shields Scouts A morale boosting and nostalgic story from not long after WW2 came to my notice. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Ocean Troll +

    Ocean Troll Meanwhile, as the oil price is showing signs of recovery and the future of other oil and gas fi elds Read More
  • West Coast Drama +

    Fame High drama off the coast of Harris in December, when the small Norwegian flag freighter Fame, long a familiar presence Read More
  • Pickle +

    Pickle After the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson in 1805, the Royal Navy sent their fast schooner Pickle Read More
  • Cargo by Sail +

    Tres Hombres and Morgenster At the beginning of October the brigantine Tres Hombres sailed from Den Helder, North Holland, to Zaandam, Amsterdam before beginning Read More
  • From Rix To Stevie Clarkes +

    “Ronrix” leaving for Hull The name Rix is long associated with Humber ports with origins traced to Hull businessman Captain Robert Rix in the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • International Salvage Union: Challenging Times +

    Costa Concordia The International Salvage Union (ISU) is the global trade association representing marine salvors, its members provide essential services to the Read More
  • Hunterston Port Secures Energy Decommissioning Investment +

    Hunterston Port Hunterston Port and Resource Centre (PARC) in Ayrshire has been awarded grant funding from the Scottish Government that could pave Read More
  • British Antarctic Territory – Royal Research Ships +

    British Antartic Ships Stamps One of the good news stories of 2016 was that, against strong international competition, the famous Merseyside shipbuilding company, Cammell Read More
  • MV Glen Sannox, The UK’s First LNG Ferry +

    MV Glen Sannox Tuesday 21st November 2017 marked a very special occasion when Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the UK's first LNG Read More
  • P&O Report Strong Larne-Cairnryan Freight Demand +

    European Causeway Having spent over twenty years in shipping operations between Loch Ryan (South West Scotland) and Northern Ireland, I still take Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Innovative Itineraries That Make The Difference +

    Scenic Eclipse Whilst it is true that the majority of new cruise vessels emerging from the world’s shipyards fit into the category Read More
  • Hamburg Highlights its Harbour and Cruise Callers +

    Grand Hamburg Cruise Days Parade There are a number of ports around the globe who promote and celebrate their harbours on a fairly regular basis. Read More
  • Pedal to the Metal? +

    Norwegian Bliss NCL has announced that their new build, the Norwegian Bliss, the company’s 16th ship, is set to launch in June Read More
  • Classic with a Twist +

    Project 697 Reminiscent of the beautiful Aurora B dating from 1992, the newly launched 47-metre and somewhat secretive Project 697 from Feadship Read More
  • Rolls-Royce Unveils Hybrid Propulsion Yacht +

    Crystal Blue Rolls-Royce has unveiled a groundbreaking luxury yacht concept designed to showcase the advantages of advanced ship intelligence solutions, and hybrid Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

National Maritime Museum of Ireland Interior

National Maritime Museum of Ireland

The National Maritime Museum of Ireland is located in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. It is housed in the 180-year-old Mariners Read More
Loch Morar

Empire Ships - An Early Experience

During World War Two, the losses of Britain’s merchant ships rapidly overtook their replacement rate, either from new construction, or Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Endeavour

Clews, Bunts & Reefs

With celebrations being planned next year for the 250 year commemoration of Captain Cook’s first landfall in New Zealand, I Read More
Encounter Bay

Shipping Services between Europe & Australia

In 2019 we will mark the 50th Anniversary of the arrival of the first oceangoing container ship, the Overseas Containers Read More
  • 1
  • 2