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Hydrex has developed a flexible mobdock repair method that enables the underwater replacement of all types and sizes of shaft seals. This technology has been successfully used by Hydrex diver/technicians for over a decade. It allows ship owners to keep their vessel sailing, saving precious time and money.
Damaged stern tube seals will cause an increasing amount of oil leaking or water ingress as the damage worsens. By replacing the seals when the damage is first discovered, Hydrex keeps the down time low. The ship can keep its schedule as seal repairs can be performed during cargo operations. This is done by creating a dry underwater working environment around the shaft.
It is not always straightforward to replace seals, because there can be quite a bit of variation in the configurations of the stern tube itself. There can also be complications with the liners, which can be worn down and show ruts. All this is routinely handled by Hydrex teams on the jobs.
The USCG has published a safety alert informing marine inspectors that ethylene vapors on LNG carriers can activate Carbon Monoxide alarms. Specifically, during an examination of a LNG carrier whose cargo tanks contained ethylene vapors, PSC Officers (PSCOs) received alarms on their portable four gas meters giving a reading of 60 to 100 parts per-million (PPM) Carbon Monoxide (CO).
A certified marine chemist traced the source of the vapors to an eight inch crack on a cargo vapor line. PSCOs initially thought the alarm was related to a combustion event and did not suspect the ethylene vapors were the source, because they did not get a Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) reading on their monitors.
INTERCARGO has published its Bulk Carrier Casualty report that analyses bulk carrier casualties over the period from 2008 to 2017. The report revealed that 53 bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt have been identified as total losses over that period with cargo shift and liquefaction remaining a great concern.
In 2017, the tragic losses of ‘Stellar Daisy’ carrying an iron ore cargo and ‘Emerald Star’ with a nickel ore cargo raised questions of structural integrity and safety condition of high density cargoes carried onboard. These two bulk carrier casualties caused the loss of 32 seafarers, the highest annual loss of lives since 2011.
A recent run of container loss claims by the London P&I Club has highlighted some of the common contributory factors that emerge as part of the investigation process. The Club noted that the subject of misdeclared container weights continues to be a problem. But with this particular run of claims it was the attending surveyor’s observations about cargo securing equipment that caught the eye.
In these cases, it became clear that several manual twist locks were not correctly locked at the time of the incident. The causes for this were considered to be two-fold – some twist locks were damaged (specifically with locking levers either bent or missing), or the units in service were a mixture of right and left-hand locking units, leading to confusion over the observed status of the twist lock.
A recent UK court decision has concluded that a cargo insurer was not liable for general average contributions as the owner had failed to exercise due diligence, which led to the breakdown of a vessel’s main engine.
The crude oil tanker, “Cape Bonny”, was sailing between Argentina and China when the number 1 main bearing failed catastrophically. The breakdown happened when the vessel was trying to avoid a tropical storm and towage assistance was needed. The shipowner declared general average and contributions were sought from the parties to the common maritime adventure, which naturally included cargo interests. The cargo’s contribution was assessed at about US$ 2.5 million.
General average is governed by the York-Antwerp Rules and is included into charterparties and bills of lading. However, parties to the maritime adventure are not liable to contribute if they can successfully prove a breach of contract.