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SUMMARIES OF MAJOR  ACCIDENT REPORTS
(In event order)

THE KULLUK INCIDENT
December 2012
THE COSTA CONCORDIA
January 2012
THE TRINITY II
September 2011
THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
April 2010
THE BOURBON DOLPHIN
April 2007
THE STEVNS POWER
October 2003
THE OCEAN RANGER
February 1982
THE OCEAN EXPRESS
April 1976

PICTURE OF THE DAY
PIC OF THE DAY ARCHIVES
2007 - 77 Photographs
2008 - 101 Photographs
2009 - 124 Photographs
2010 - 118 Photographs
2011 - 100 Photographs
2012 - 97 Photographs

 

 

         

Go to 'Publications' to buy any of these books.

DON'T FORGET YOU CAN PURCHASE "THE HISTORY OF THE SUPPLY SHIP", "SUPPLY SHIP OPERATIONS" and "RIGMOVES" HERE FOR £52.50 TOGETHER

DATATRAC

The Datatrac Screen is the flat panel on the right - carry on reading to find out more. The photo disappeared during the move and it may be that no-one took up datatrac because although their website exists there is nothing on it!

Marex developed its tank cleaning system to reduce the amount of manual tank cleaning required to ensure that offshore support vessels remained capable of carrying mud out to oil rigs, and the first trials were carried out in about 1987. Here we are in 2003, a little over 15 years later, and the industry as a whole is beginning to show an interest in the product, and are beginning to realize what a red herring water washing is turning out to be, because when they try to use such systems there is more contaminated water than was generated by the boys with their pressure washers.

But I digress. Today we are talking about Datatrac which is product of 2003, but to see its advantages and where it stands in the curious world inhabited by the shipping industry, we have to look back in time to a little before 1987.

There will be many seafarers, still at sea who remember the fair copy log book. We all used to scribble our words at the end of the watch, in the knowledge that some-one was going to do better. Those of us who had the misfortune to be assigned to ships crossing the North Atlantic in winter used to try to outdo each other in our descriptions of the weather conditions. Phrases like “frequent mountainous waves” and “precipitous seas” would appear at the end of every watch, giving the next watchkeeper four hours to think of something better. Then, when the weather got better the Chief Engineer and the Mate would transcribe the pages of closely written script from the day log to the fair copy log, and the latter document would be sent in to the Marine Superintendent, while the former was stowed under the chartroom daybed.

Then came the revolution – carbon paper. Yes folks, some-one suddenly realized that if one placed a piece of carbon paper of similar size to the log book between two pages, one page could be torn out and sent to the office, while the other could be retained on the ship. At a stroke the fair copy log book disappeared.

There will also be those who remember the movement book. In fact the whole business of passing the engine instructions to the engine room was an extremely labour intensive process. The master or the pilot would issue the instruction and usually one apprentice would  swing the telegraph while another wrote up the book, noting the time of the movement and the place within the pilotage area. Again, with the passing of time the task was re-evaluated and often the Third Mate would find himself doing the whole job.

Now the engines or the propeller pitch are often directly controlled from the bridge and the person who operates the lever is the Captain. The records of the events which take place during the process are hastily noted and often the note-taker has to rely on memory when writing up the log book. It only takes a one unplanned event for the whole process to be lost. Obviously if one has to rely on memory in order to write up an activity, is necessary for the activity to be successfully concluded. Should it not be successfully concluded what takes place may be non routine and it may not be possible to remember the precise sequence of events, leaving the Master, the officers and the owners open to all sorts of legal problems.

This is where Datatrac can help!

We all seem to live in a world where electronic systems have been put in place to help us with what we do, but which frequently do precisely the opposite. Indeed in some areas of marine operations we are almost back in the world of the fair copy log book, but instead of the Chief and the Mate spending hours writing up stuff, nearly everybody has to do it.

In the opinion of the writer this is because nearly all computer programmes are designed by programmers who only have a hazy idea of the required outcome, and who get carried away with the technology, forgetting that people with no computer training and limited typing skills are going to have the operate the system. “Tell me about it” I can hear you saying.

You may recollect that I started this article by relating the fact that it has taken 15 years for our tank cleaning systems to begin to be generally accepted. Before that they had only been taken on board by one designer and one ship-owner. I am only writing this because I would not like to see the same thing happen to Datatrac, a system which would genuinely help with the task of operating ships.

Any system which reduces the workload of the bridge teams and the marine crew in general has got to be a good idea, and deserves to succeed.  But the shipping industry is so cautious and so unwilling to spend any money that almost all new ideas fail before they can be taken up, unless those promoting them are already extremely well established.

Unfortunately the technology relating to recording systems is a bit boring, and it is not our place here to describe it to you but you can find full details at www.datrac.com .

Don’t make them wait 15 years!

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FEATURES

THE DEEPWATER HORIZON
Deepwater Horizon -The President's Report
Deepwater Horizon - The Progess of the Event

OTHER ACCIDENTS
The KULLUK Grounding
The Costa Concordia Report
The Costa Concordia Grounding
The Elgin Gas Leak
The Loss of the Normand Rough
The Bourbon Dolphin Accident
The Loss of the Stevns Power
Another Marine Disaster
Something About the P36
The Cormorant Alpha Accident
The Ocean Ranger Disaster
The Loss of the Ocean Express

OPERATIONS
The Life of the Oil Mariner
Offshore Technology and the Kursk
The Sovereign Explorer and the Black Marlin

SAFETY
Safety Case and SEMS
Practical Safety Case Development
Preventing Fires and Explosions Offshore
The ALARP Demonstration
PFEER, DCR and Verification
PFEER and the Dacon Scoop
Human Error and Heavy Weather Damage
Lifeboats & Offshore Installations
More about PFEER
The Offshore Safety Regime - Fit for the Next Decade
The Safety Case and its Future
Jigsaw
Collision Risk Management
Shuttle Tanker Collisions
A Good Prospect of Recovery

TECHNICAL
The History of the UT 704
The Peterhead Connection
Goodbye Kiss
Uses for New Ships
Supporting Deepwater Drilling
Jack-up Moving - An Overview
Seismic Surveying
Breaking the Ice
Tank Cleaning and the Environment
More about Mud Tank Cleaning
Datatrac
Tank Cleaning in 2004
Glossary of Terms

CREATIVE WRITING
An Unusual Investigation
Gaia and Oil Pollution
The True Price of Oil
Icebergs and Anchor-Handlers
Atlantic SOS
The Greatest Influence
How It Used to Be
Homemade Pizza
Goodbye Far Turbot
The Ship Manager
Running Aground
A Cook's Tale
Navigating the Channel
The Captain's Letter

GENERAL INTEREST
The Sealaunch Project
Ghost Ships of Hartlepool
Beam Him Up Scotty
Q790
The Bilbao OSV Conference