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Veendam runs into a crane...blog from ship


Kelownabccan

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From a person on the Veendam right now.....Dec 20th cruise.....I hope we do not have any trouble on the next one.....

 

 

 

 

The sail away was scheduled for 9:00 pm and we were right on time. However, sailing out of the harbor, we had a little mishap. Seems that one of the container ships had a container derrick swung out over the channel and in squeezing between two container ships, the derrick managed to tear off about a 50 foot section of railing on our Deck 12—and crack a window in the Crows Nest…narrowly avoiding more serious damage. However because of the accident, once out of the immediate harbor area, we had to pull over into an anchorage area a few miles downstream and wait until the next morning for the Argentine Coast Guard to come aboard and inspect the damage as required by International Maritime Law (according to announcements on board). That required us to stay overnight unexpectedly and the inspection took much longer than anticipated..so we did not get underway again until about 11:00 am. All of that delay meant a major shakeup in our original schedule. The captain announced mid-afternoon that we were going into Montivedeo, Uruguay that evening, would stay overnight to do some preliminary repairs, refuel, and restock for the remainder of the trip. That necessitated adjusting our onward itinerary. The cruise line made a decision to SKIP the stop at Puerto Madryn, Argentina…and instead sail directly for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. That would get us back on our original schedule—in the Falklands on Christmas Day. What impact it will have on our anticipated viewings remains to be seen. We had a tour scheduled at

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It was likely under the control of the pilot, but the captain is always ultimately responsiible, even with the pilot.

 

 

 

There is only one place in the world where the Pilot is in control of the ship rather than the Captain - and that's the Panama Canal.

 

Otherwise, the Pilot is merely an advisor.

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We met a great couple on our Galapagos cruise, that was doing this cruise immediately after the Galapagos Islands. They were so excited about it. So sorry to hear about this. Anything can happen at sea. Hopefully all goes smoothly for the rest of the cruise.

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  • 3 weeks later...
From a person on the Veendam right now.....Dec 20th cruise.....I hope we do not have any trouble on the next one.....

 

 

 

 

The sail away was scheduled for 9:00 pm and we were right on time. However, sailing out of the harbor, we had a little mishap. Seems that one of the container ships had a container derrick swung out over the channel and in squeezing between two container ships, the derrick managed to tear off about a 50 foot section of railing on our Deck 12—and crack a window in the Crows Nest…narrowly avoiding more serious damage. However because of the accident, once out of the immediate harbor area, we had to pull over into an anchorage area a few miles downstream and wait until the next morning for the Argentine Coast Guard to come aboard and inspect the damage as required by International Maritime Law (according to announcements on board). That required us to stay overnight unexpectedly and the inspection took much longer than anticipated..so we did not get underway again until about 11:00 am. All of that delay meant a major shakeup in our original schedule. The captain announced mid-afternoon that we were going into Montivedeo, Uruguay that evening, would stay overnight to do some preliminary repairs, refuel, and restock for the remainder of the trip. That necessitated adjusting our onward itinerary. The cruise line made a decision to SKIP the stop at Puerto Madryn, Argentina…and instead sail directly for Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. That would get us back on our original schedule—in the Falklands on Christmas Day. What impact it will have on our anticipated viewings remains to be seen. We had a tour scheduled at

 

I just returned from this cruise after staying over in Chile.

 

I am a maritime lawyer, with an llm in admiralty and maritime law (1992).

 

I was on the bow, on deck, above the "Crow's Nest" lounge, an ideal point of view. The Veendam was "bow in", and backing down with tug assistance, with the M/V Argentina, a container ship, moored on Veendam's starboard side, and another container ship moored further back on Veendam's port side.

 

The M/V Argentina was moored "stern in," and at the time of the allision, a shoreside crane was loading containers into its midship hatches. The Argentina has its own bow and stern cranes, both of which had been stationary for some time before the Veenam began its voyage. The Argentina's stern crane was more or less "in place" or over the dock, and its bow crane was only slightly over its starboard side.

 

It appeared that the Veendam's master or the compulsory pilot intended to remain in the center of the "channel" or anchorage area while backing down, to remain clear of the vessels on either side.

 

I did not see a ship's deck or other officer on my deck or the deck below (where the allision occurred), or anyone else keeping a lookout, with a radio. Shortly after the allision began, and it continued for some time as the vessel was making 1 knot or less, a deck officer came to the deck where it occurred and shouted at people to leave the deck, though the impact was largely over at this time.

 

I saw the Veendam's bow drifting toward the stern of the Argentina, and feared this collision would occur, first, though I saw the crane arm, too. When the Veendam got within 40 feet or so of the Argentina, this "drift" appeared to stop, but by that time the Veendam's 12th deck (level) was level with part of the STATIONARY crane, and the impact occurred in excrutiatingly slow motion.

 

I saw a group of about 15 people standing very near the Veendam's rail, where the allision began, and watched in disbelief as 200-300 pound wooden railing flew up into the air and onto the deck. Initially, I though someone would be crushed by a rail, and shouted, "Get out of there.", and, fortunately, they did, but one fellow slipped and fell.

 

Later, the master announced that the Veendam was "in the center of the channel," and implied that the Artentina's on-deck crane was in operation, which contradicted what I saw. He also stated or implied that the Veendam had been exculpated by the Argentinian Coast Guard.

 

From my vantage point, this allision could have been avoided by a proper lookout, and the master had more than ample time to intervene. I believe a very bad situation was avoided at the last possible moment, and I am amazed that no one got crushed by the flying wood railings.

 

Others may have varying opinions, but these are mine, based on what I saw and heard (not what others told me, but the sounds I heard).

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. . . Others may have varying opinions, but these are mine, based on what I saw and heard (not what others told me, but the sounds I heard).

Thank you for the firsthand account.

 

Woody

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It was likely under the control of the pilot, but the captain is always ultimately responsiible, even with the pilot.

This is a very accurate description of the pilot/captain relationship.

 

There is only one place in the world where the Pilot is in control of the ship rather than the Captain - and that's the Panama Canal. Otherwise, the Pilot is merely an advisor.

This is not correct. The maritime pilot is generally in control of the ship within the dock area, because he is more familiar with his waterway. However, as pointed out, with the exception of the Canal Zone, the captain has both the ultimate responsibility and the right to relieve the pilot of control. Relieving a pilot of control is a major act, and, among other things, legal/financial responsibility of any consequential incidents falls entirely on the shipping company.

 

Until Dec. 31, 1999, in exchange for not allowing a captain to relieve the pilot of control in the Panama Canal, the United States government accepted unlimited financial responsibility for any accidents. After the take back of the Canal by the government of Panama, that government continued to insist on the policy of giving total unrevokable control to the pilot, while at the same time refusing to accept unlimited financial responsibility. Fortunately, the apparent contradiction of those two policies has not come to litigation, since, so far, the Panamanian government has by all accounts done an excellent job of operating the Canal.

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This is a very accurate description of the pilot/captain relationship.

 

 

This is not correct. The maritime pilot is generally in control of the ship within the dock area, because he is more familiar with his waterway. However, as pointed out, with the exception of the Canal Zone, the captain has both the ultimate responsibility and the right to relieve the pilot of control. Relieving a pilot of control is a major act, and, among other things, legal/financial responsibility of any consequential incidents falls entirely on the shipping company.

 

Until Dec. 31, 1999, in exchange for not allowing a captain to relieve the pilot of control in the Panama Canal, the United States government accepted unlimited financial responsibility for any accidents. After the take back of the Canal by the government of Panama, that government continued to insist on the policy of giving total unrevokable control to the pilot, while at the same time refusing to accept unlimited financial responsibility. Fortunately, the apparent contradiction of those two policies has not come to litigation, since, so far, the Panamanian government has by all accounts done an excellent job of operating the Canal.

 

It is well-settled under the general maritime law of the U.S. that the master has a duty to intervene, even when the pilotage is compulsory, when, in the exercise of prudent seamanship, he or she knows or should know of a peril to the vessel, crew or passengers. Intervening is NOT a "major act," but rather merely one of due care under the circumstances.

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derrick swung out over the channel and in squeezing between two container ships, the derrick managed to tear off about a 50 foot section of railing on our Deck

 

This is very old news..

 

I certainly don't know what you mean by "old news," and I can assure you the "derrick" (ship's on-board crane) did NOT swing "over the channel," but rather it was stationary and had not been in operation for quite some time. To me, it was in a place it had a right to be, though I certainly don't know anything about custom in Buenos Aires or similar ports.

 

Also, it was far more than 50 feet, and more like 100.

 

Had you been there and seen it, I doubt you would pass it off so blithely.:mad:

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Intervening is NOT a "major act," but rather merely one of due care under the circumstances.

This is an exciting addition to CC: arguing about linguistics. From a financial point of view, it is hard to be more "major" than an act which results in your taking entire financial responsibility. :rolleyes:

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