October 2015 - Kemplon Engineering

MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Alpha Kappel Fixed Pitch Propeller

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^ Ship Propeller – Image Courtesy of Eastimages at ShutterStock.com

A Step in the Right Direction

In recently concluded sea trials off the coast of China, MAN Diesel & Turbo made Alpha Kappel Fixed Pitch Propeller (FPP) successfully demonstrated its worth aboard the Elsabeth C.

Another recent development is that MAN Diesel & Turbo has changed its recommended range of Light Running Margin (LRM) and incorporated the change in this latest FPP. Sufficient LRM ensures enough propulsive power for the vessel to deal with challenging weather and shallow water.

Elsabeth C is a 58,500dwt Supramax bulk carrier and is the first in a series of eight ships. The FPP was also successful aboard the Mirela, the sister ship of Elsabeth C. Lemissoler Navigation Co. Ltd. owns these vessels through its affiliate company Frontmarine Co. Ltd. Read More

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: October, 2015

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One month goes by so quickly in the ever-dynamic maritime industry, and yet the days are packed with so many news and developments! Here is a lookback at a few of the topics gracing media headlines this October, 2015:

Hurricane Joaquin swept through parts of the United States, bearing winds, waves and flooding, and leaving damages to both land and sea. Tragically, it also took the lives of 33 crew aboard RO/RO cargo ship El Faro, hit by harsh weather en route from Florida to Puerto Rico (see related article, “Search and Rescue Ops After Hurricane Joaquin”). Since the loss of the vessel and presumed loss of its crew, the NTSB has released a preliminary report on the ensuing investigation; salvage and diving teams from the Navy have been contracted to search for the missing ship; a relief fund has been established for the family by the ship owners; and lawsuits – one to the tune of $100 million – have been filed on behalf of the grieving families.

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Exxon Valdez: Spared from $92 Million in Additional Oil Spill Damages

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More than 25 years after one of the largest oil spills in US waters of all time, Exxon is released from having to pay an additional $92 million from 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil spill.

On the 24th of March, 1989, tanker Exxon Valdez is grounded on Alaska’s Prince William Sound, with a ruptured hull that would launch about 11 million gallons (or 260,000 barrels) of crude oil into precious waters off Alaska. At the time, the disaster was unprecedented in scale, and demanded an equally unprecedented response from various federal, state, local and private entities. 1,500 miles of coastline, as well as parks, wildlife habitats, refuges and sanctuaries, many marine animals, and local livelihoods would ultimately be adversely affected by the disaster.   Read More

Global Implications of Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution

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^ Energiewende: Winds of Green Change – Image Courtesy of WDG Photo at ShutterStock.com

The Road Less Taken

Average men learn from their own mistakes, wise men from other people’s errors. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident goaded German Chancellor Angela Merkel into speeding up the green shift towards renewable power and speed it up big time.

For one, she announced a complete closure of all 17 nuclear reactors by 2022. Nine are already closed. Welcome to the energy revolution the Germans call energiewende.

A fantastic 27% of the country’s electricity now comes from renewables, three times their share (9%) a decade ago. The country plans to cut 40% of its emissions from 1990 levels by 2020, and 80% by 2050. Apart from nuclear power, the Germans are also gunning down coal power. Read More

In the Wake of Tragedy: Updates on Missing Ship El Faro

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Following the heartbreaking tragedy of the El Faro’s October loss, pieces of the puzzle are slowly moving into place: the NTSB releases a Preliminary Report on the investigation; Navy salvage and diving teams are tasked to search for the missing vessel; the owners of the container ship establish a relief fund for the grieving families of lost crew; and lawsuits – one to the tune of $100 million – are filed against those who may be held accountable.

Earlier this October, cargo ship El Faro was believed to have been caught in the clutches of the devastating Hurricane Joaquin, an encounter that would ultimately lead to its loss. The 790-foot, roll-on, roll-off container ship was in the middle of an otherwise regular run between Florida and Puerto Rico when they issued a distress call, detailing lost propulsion, flooding and listing. It would be the ship’s final communication. Read More

Human Element & the Need for Onboard Safety Practices

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^The Sinking of the Titanic in 1912 Triggered the Framing of SOLAS in 1914 Original Painting by Willy Stower Source Magazine Die Gartenlaube Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St%C3%B6wer_Titanic.jpg 

Commercial Pressures & the Human Element

‘The root cause of the Chernobyl accident, it is concluded, is to be found in the so-called human element’.

This is what the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) says in a report on the post-accident review of the Chernobyl Accident of 1986, the world’s worst ever nuclear power plant disaster. Sadly, there is no international consensus on what constitutes human error.

Among other things, this report first used the term safety culture implying human errors. This was before any industry had recognized the role of human behavior (shaped by organizational practices) in industrial accidents. Today, the term is popular in all industries across the globe.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) says it is the safety-conscious behavior of seafarers that determines the safety of life at sea as well as the safety of the marine environment. And it has reasons to believe so.

According to the United States Coast Guard (USCG), a staggering 75-96% of maritime casualties result from human errors. But it was only in the 1990s that the notion of safety culture took root in the industrial world. Earlier, the focus was on technological (equipment) failure. Read More

Re-Drawing the Lines of Piracy’s “High Risk Areas” in the Indian Ocean

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Lines demarcating high-risk, pirate danger zones are being changed to reflect decreasing incidents in the Indian Ocean.

Piracy has a centuries’ old history alongside humanity’s maritime activities. It almost seems as if as soon as we were able to take to the waters with items of value for trade, travel or warfare, piracy has grown too. As early as 14th Century BC, for example, there have been recordings of pirate-type activities in the Aegean and Mediterranean – and we have not heard the last of them since. Over the next centuries they would give grief to mighty civilizations like the Roman Republic, and thrive in multiple waterways including territories in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia. Read More

Historic $20.8 Billion Settlement On 2010’s Gulf Oil Spill

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$20.8 Billion – a staggering amount of money. But then again, this is the figure negotiated as the proposed final settlement against BP, for the devastating Gulf Oil Spill of 2010. The disaster is considered to be the worst accidental oil spill in all of U.S. history and the settlement, also the largest. $20.8 billion, then, is an unimaginable figure to pay for an unprecedented disaster. But is it really enough?

The Gulf Oil Spill started with the April, 2010 explosion and sinking of oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster claimed 11 lives. But with a pipe leaking an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil until it was successfully capped only 87 days later, the event would ultimately be detrimental to the communities and livelihoods of thousands of other people, with untold long-term environmental effects we are still yet to fully comprehend.

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35th Annual Salute to the U.S. Coast Guard

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35th Annual Salute to the United States Coast Guard honors members, and raises $1 million.

The Coast Guard Foundation was founded in 1969, by USCG veterans who wanted to bridge the gap between the Coast Guard Academy’s needs and the USCG’s operating budget, using private funds. The Foundation’s mission has since expanded to cover the needs of all USCG members and their families. Their many accomplishments include scholarships and grants for select enlisted personnel, their spouses and their children; construction and donation of training and workout equipment; and fostering community environments at USCG bases by building playgrounds for families.

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Causes & Remedies of Onboard Accidents

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^ Soviet Ship SS Admiral Nakhimov sank in 1986 after Collision with Bulk Carrier Pyotr Vasev  – Image Courtesy of Bain News Service – Source: United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photograph DivisionRetrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_(III).jpg

Persistent Error: Inadequate Safety Culture

November 10, 2010, Nieuwe Waterweg, Netherlands: Towage vessel Fairplay 22 capsized due to over-speeding, inadequate vessel stability, and the crew failure to close watertight openings.

And this happened because the vessel had an incomplete hazard identification and analysis system that is a part of safety management and culture. Flimsy monitoring did the rest. Read More