An accident waiting to happen

30th April 2004

An accident waiting to happen

Initial Report

The vessel ran aground.  I heard later that the Captain on board and 2/O were not paying attention to the ship’s movements; talking around the radar to the Cadet when the vessel ran aground.  I was the engineer in charge of the watch at the time.  The motorman and myself noticed a great increase in vibration; I had to change the sea strainers over straight away and I had all sorts of high exhaust temperature alarms.  I telephoned the Bridge.  The Chief Engineer did not come down to the engine room to assist me at any time.  None of the C/E’s or 2/E’s bother to come down for stand-by, which I’ve never seen before.

I’ve never had a safety tour of the vessel.  It’s even the most basic things, no first aid kit, the fire alarms are never tested and the oily water separator does not work.  The vessel has had problems with the authorities for pumping oily waste overboard.  The vessel was sailing with a cadet as a senior watch keeper. One of the other officers was sacked when he complained about standards. This is the worst vessel I have ever worked on and is an accident waiting to happen.

 

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CHIRP‘s primary function is to support safety management systems by giving organisations the opportunity to assess and, if necessary, act upon information they would not otherwise receive.  This information, including any action taken, may then be shared in a “disidentified” form with other interested parties, including the Regulator.  The majority of CHIRP “business” is conducted this way.

This report was the second CHIRP had received related to this particular operation, so CHIRP was familiar with some of the issues and had tried, unsuccessfully, to establish a dialogue with the operator on a previous occasion.

Occasionally an organisation may choose to ignore the information, leaving CHIRP with the problem of what to do next.

On this occasion the Reporter had tried to raise issues with the organisation and had also been unsuccessful, so it was decided to pass more detailed information to an appropriate authority for their assessment.

The information resulted in the authorities ordering an inspection.  Significant safety related deficiencies were found and the vessel was delayed.

CHIRP, where appropriate, will always seek to achieve more than the mere publication of an issue, valuable though that is, consistent with its objectives and with the agreement of the Reporter.

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