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Partially OT question for chengkp75


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7 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Sadly this isn't the first bulker to suffer structural failure. This is all too common and results from poor loading practices and corrosion. In this case the seas weren't even overly excessive.

 

After a similar incident off the Australian Coast, this was broadcast.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch/3m5qxZm_JqM

 

While this has happened to nearly all types of ships at some time or the other, bulkers, by their low value cargo leading to poorer maintenance do tend to have more of these, followed by tankers in years past (though the oil majors and their vetting procedures have eliminated the worst cases).

 

As Andy says, this was caused by improper loading (possibly little load in the forward hatches, just some ballast, and then a full load behind this) and corrosion cracking of the hull plating.  As noted, the seas were not excessive, but it is the period of the seas and the speed of the ship that is most important in situations like this.  I noticed that the camera jarred just before the ship broke, indicating that the ship had shuddered from striking a wave "out of synch" with the ship's motion.  This means that the ship (due to its length) is moving down at the bow when the next wave comes along, so rather than rising over that wave, the ship slams into the face of the wave, causing the entire ship to shudder (I've felt some of these that almost stopped the ship in its tracks).  That violent vibration caused the weakened hull plating to crack at the vulnerable spot between a lightly loaded section (tends to want to float better) and a heavily loaded section (doesn't want to float), and the ship broke up.  Changing the ship's speed slightly up or down can dramatically change the motion of the ship, and get it back "in sync" with the waves.

 

I suspect the crew were aware of a problem, otherwise no one would be videoing vessel motion in those relatively mild seas.  Perhaps they thought they saw flexing of the upper deck before the final shudder, and started to video this in case it repeated.

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gcaptain reports that the ship was at anchor, so the shuddering was likely the ship snubbing up on the anchor chain.  Another poor decision, likely too little chain out to act as shock absorber.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

gcaptain reports that the ship was at anchor, so the shuddering was likely the ship snubbing up on the anchor chain.  Another poor decision, likely too little chain out to act as shock absorber.

 

Thanks for the insights.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

gcaptain reports that the ship was at anchor, so the shuddering was likely the ship snubbing up on the anchor chain.  Another poor decision, likely too little chain out to act as shock absorber.

 

OMG - didn't realise she was anchored. Rather than filming the fore deck they should have increased the scope of chain.

 

Even under the best conditions, we used a 4:1 ratio of chain to depth. In poor holding grounds, deeper water and winds that increased to as high as 8:1.

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chengkp75: I wonder if the shudder/shake on the video was snubbing on the anchor or simply the fracture of the ship, whatever the cause of the fracture.  I would think that repeated snubbing might have been the cause, but you would think that each time it snubbed, the ship would have shuddered a bit, and that too would have been caught on the video.  It will be interesting to see the investigative report when and if it comes out.

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8 hours ago, bbwex said:

chengkp75: I wonder if the shudder/shake on the video was snubbing on the anchor or simply the fracture of the ship, whatever the cause of the fracture.  I would think that repeated snubbing might have been the cause, but you would think that each time it snubbed, the ship would have shuddered a bit, and that too would have been caught on the video.  It will be interesting to see the investigative report when and if it comes out.

Probably chicken and egg.  Something caused them to start video, I suspect it was repeated shuddering.  Considering that it happened in a Turkish port, and the ship is flagged in Palau, and the cargo was urea (an extremely low value cargo), I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an investigation report to become public.

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I read the book "Freighter Captain" by Max Hardberger who claims to have been the captain of a tramp freighter working the Caribbean.  The book describes how a poorly maintained ship managed to successfully elude inspectors, perform makeshift repairs and scrape by without sinking (at least I think they did, couldn't bring myself to read to the end.)  The author tries to make himself out to be the hero but basically comes out as someone with little regard to safe passage and the lives of his crew.

 

The book tends to pitch the idea that many ships on the seas are in this condition.

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14 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Something caused them to start video, I suspect it was repeated shuddering.  

 

I was wondering the same thing.  I'm seeing more and more permanently fixed dash cams on ships, but that was a hand-held.  My spidey senses say they knew something was up.  

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1 minute ago, Aquahound said:

 

I was wondering the same thing.  I'm seeing more and more permanently fixed dash cams on ships, but that was a hand-held.  My spidey senses say they knew something was up.  

Coming from your investigative background, that's golden for me.

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2 hours ago, txjim09 said:

I read the book "Freighter Captain" by Max Hardberger who claims to have been the captain of a tramp freighter working the Caribbean.  The book describes how a poorly maintained ship managed to successfully elude inspectors, perform makeshift repairs and scrape by without sinking (at least I think they did, couldn't bring myself to read to the end.)  The author tries to make himself out to be the hero but basically comes out as someone with little regard to safe passage and the lives of his crew.

 

The book tends to pitch the idea that many ships on the seas are in this condition.

There were a lot, and there are still some out there, but it is getting better, with owners being held financially responsible for damages done by their rust buckets.

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2 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

There were a lot, and there are still some out there, but it is getting better, with owners being held financially responsible for damages done by their rust buckets.

 

Exactly.  In the US, there's a felony law on the books that holds owners/masters responsible for deaths as a result from negligence.  It's referred to as Seaman's Manslaughter.  Similar laws exist in other countries with robust maritime commerce.   

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