Disasters Archives - Kemplon Engineering

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

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

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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Chile Earthquake and Port Closure

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Weather conditions and other natural phenomena have always played a part in the operations of the maritime industry. In the case of extreme events like major earthquakes, this is even more so. In Chile, where a magnitude 8.3 earthquake recently hit, extensive damages have caused the closure of Coquimbo Port. Kemplon Engineering takes a closer look at the story. Read More

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: August, 2015

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Kemplon Engineering rounds up some of the most buzzed-about news and developments of August, 2015 in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:

Egypt figured heavily in the news cycles this month, following early August’s launching of an Expansion to the Suez Canal. The inauguration was hosted by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and attended by foreign dignitaries. The project has its critics, but proponents hope the $8.2 billion project could bring in more shipping traffic and revenues to the canal, which is already the shortest connection between Asia and Europe. The expansion had involved deepening the main waterway and carving out a parallel, 35km-channel, taking 12 months to complete. Read More

China’s Tianjin Port Disaster

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121 Dead, 54 missing and hundreds injured in China’s Tianjin Port disaster.

 The Explosion. August 12 proved to be a tragic day for Tianjin in China, where an explosion at a waterfront chemical warehouse in the northern port led to hundreds of injuries, at least 121 lives lost, and 54 missing. Among those who perished were 67 firefighters, while 37 more of the heroic men are missing. 11 policemen are also said to be either dead or missing – a big blow for first responders in the country. Read More