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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.

THE HISTORY OF THE SUPPLY SHIP
37.50.

SUPPLY SHIP OPERATIONS
27.50

RIGMOVES 5.75

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

OFFSHORE TECHNOLOGY AND THE KURSK

Not for the first time has the versatility and technological capability of the offshore support fleet astounded the military - although in this case the military were the Russian Navy and their own much more limited capability was exposed to the world.

It only comes as a surprise to those not familiar with the offshore oil industry and the demands it places on ships and those crewing them, that the Navies of the world do not have the same level of technology available and their personnel often lack the same levels of skill and experience.

Back in the 1970s when the industry in the North Sea was in its infancy those interested in the level of support which might be provided by the British merchant service to the Navy were extremely surprised by the capabilities of the supply vessel fleet. Even then the average anchor handler had about 7000 bhp available which was the same power as that provided for a medium sized merchant ship. They could hover on the spot for moderate periods of time and move in any direction at will, and they had a range which would allow them to steam to the other side of the world without refuelling.

In 1982 a number of support vessels went to the Falklands either with the Navy or immediately after the war. Most noteworthy was the Stena Seaspread, a diving and maintenance vessel which was taken to the Falklands to act as a floating workshop for the warships. Its manoeuvrability was such that it is rumoured that the warships stayed still and then the Stena Seaspread would move alongside and its workshops and cranage were a revelation to the military. Admiralty pattern moorings were also required for the fleet in Stanley Harbour a task which took an admiralty mooring vessel several weeks to complete back home. The Wimpey Seahorse an 8000 horsepower anchor-handler laid moorings in hours instead of days, amazing everybody. The admiralty bought a few old Seaforth ships for training purposes and commissioned their own diving ship, but it seems that neither of these projects was successful, which some attribute to communication difficulties between the officers and the crew.

The Seaway Eagle, which we believe was originally a cable ship, has even greater capabilities than the Stena Seaspread, and modern positioning systems allow these craft to use GPS and place themselves within a few meters of any position on the earth's surface.

The Seaway Eagle was, we believe, origin- ally built as a cable laying vessel which accounts for the strange bow shape. In this picture the large construction crane can be seen. The moonpool from which the diving bell is deployed is in the centre of the ship. This minimises the effects of the sea and swell.

The helideck is in front of the bridge on top of the accommodation.

Since the working limit for air divers is about 100 ft, almost all diving ships are provided with a hyper-baric habitat in which up to 12 divers can live under pressure for a considerable time. This allows on-shift divers to work on the seabed and those off shift to rest without the problems associated with decompression. For the Seaway Eagle placing three divers on the seabed in a precise location and putting them to work was easy.

A more modern addition to the armoury of offshore subsea equipment is the ROV - remotely operated vehicle - which is a small submarine provided with thrusters and with a camera and in many cases manipulators, to allow it to do work. ROVs are operated from the mother ships by pilots The Seaway Eagle has at least one of these, and it is thanks to the ROV hovering close to the divers that the pictures of them at work on the escape hatch were available. It also looked as if the ROV was used to release the hatch and it is most probable that once the special tool was made for the hatch valve, it was the ROV which transported it from the surface to the divers waiting below. 

Unfortunately lost this picture in the change of format, and no longer have the drawing programme to replace it. That's life on the internet!

This diagram hopefully shows the relationship between the ship and the divers and the ROV. The diving bell hangs directly beneath the mother vessel. It has an internal hatch which ensures that the pressure is stable regardless of depth.

One diver remains inside the bell and looks after the umbilicals to the others. These contain breathing gas, communications and suit heating. Two divers are at work. They stay down for several hours at a time.

The ROV is also connected to an umbilical directly back to the mother ship. This is not a unique capability. There are possibly dozens of ships capable of providing this precise service.

It seems from the reports in the press that no matter when the Seaway Eagle had arrived after the first couple of days there would have been nothing she and her divers could have done, and one assumes that even if they had been successful in fixing the hatch, the submarine being carried on the Normand Pioneer would still have been required. One must hope that if there is ever a next time, the Russians will be more concerned for the saving of lives than the saving of face.

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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