The Marine Accident Investigation Branch annual report for 2017 has been published

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its 112 page annual report for 2017 today.  the report in full can be downloaded in pdf format below. Writing in his introduction for the final time after eight years with the Branch, Steve Clinch, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents, says:

“2017 was a typically busy year for the Branch, not only in terms of its investigation workload but also in respect of its effort to promulgate the safety message, build relationships with stakeholders and train its staff. Included in this report is a selection of the diary entries for MAIB staff, which I hope will provide a flavour of the diverse nature of the work they have been involved with during the year.

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Major survey regime change and shake-up announced as AMSA takes control of domestic commercial vessels in Australia

All domestic commercial vessels are required to have a national law certificate of survey unless an exemption applies.
All domestic commercial vessels are required to have a national law certificate of survey unless an exemption applies.

AMSA, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and regulator, has announced that from 1 July 2018 all domestic commercial vessels that are required to have a certificate of survey will need to be surveyed in accordance with the frequency and requirements in the new marine order 503, and Part 2 of the Marine Surveyor Manual. This includes ‘grandfathered’ vessels, which to date have been surveyed in accordance with the National Standards for the Administration of Marine Safety (NSAMS) 4, the USL Code, or other survey processes.

So what does this mean in practice?
These changes implement the outcomes of the Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) under the National System for Domestic Continue reading “Major survey regime change and shake-up announced as AMSA takes control of domestic commercial vessels in Australia”

Green light to adopt Methanol given as a sustainable marine fuel

Topic areas of the project’s final reports include the technical feasibility of converting vessels to propulsion using Methanol
Topic areas of the project’s final reports include the technical feasibility of converting vessels to propulsion using Methanol

The Methanol Institute has welcomed the findings of the Sustainable Marine Methanol (SUMMETH) project, which has backed the increased use of Methanol as a marine fuel.

The research concluded that there are no obstacles to the efficient use of Methanol in a converted diesel engine and that smaller vessel conversion projects are feasible and cost-effective, with levels of safety that easily meet existing requirements.

Switching to Methanol would offer immediate environmental benefits, including close to zero SOx and particulate matter emissions and significantly lower NOx emissions compared to conventional marine fuels or biodiesel.

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Netherlands to impose degassing ban on inland navigation vessels

This ban aims to make the air quality around shipping routes better.
This ban aims to make the air quality around shipping routes better.

The Netherlands will impose a nationwide degasification ban for inland navigation vessels. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Van Nieuwenhuizen, wants the degasification ban to be introduced in the Netherlands by mid-2020.

This ban aims to make the air quality around shipping routes better. Inland shipping vessels often leave harmful emissions in the open air while sailing. The degassing ban must provide about 95% less emissions of harmful volatile substances by 2023.

A taskforce will be created in order to ensure along with the business community that the introduction of this national degassing ban runs Continue reading “Netherlands to impose degassing ban on inland navigation vessels”

Are ‘Smart Bolts’ the thing of the future?

Intelligent wireless bolts in wind turbines or satellites may be able to let the operator know when something is wrong
Intelligent wireless bolts in wind turbines or satellites may be able to let the operator know when something is wrong

In the future, intelligent wireless bolts in wind turbines or satellites may be able to let the operator know when something is wrong. This could reduce the risk of human injuries and save cost.

A research team at NTNU in Gjøvik is working to create bolts that send an alert when something is not as it should be or when maintenance is needed. Each bolt must be able to contact a control center, which will receive messages from all intelligent bolts of this type in all installations around the world.

The team working on these wireless bolts includes Professor Michael Cheffena, two fellows and the manufacturer Dokka Fasteners. The vision of the research team is to develop wireless sensors to be installed inside the bolts. If the sensors detect that something is Continue reading “Are ‘Smart Bolts’ the thing of the future?”

UK MCA and RNLI test drones for search and rescue

Image credit: RNLI / Nigel Millard
Image credit: RNLI / Nigel Millard

The UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have run a special week-long event to test the use of drones along a stretch of coastline at St Athan, Wales. The testing took place between 23 and 27 April. A selection of drones were used in four different search and rescue scenarios to explore how they could be used to help save lives in the future.

The scenarios were a shoreline search for a casualty, an offshore search for multiple casualties in the sea, a mud rescue and a communications blackspot where a drone is required to relay information between rescue teams and a casualty on a cliff.

Featuring RNLI lifeboats and an HM coastguard search and rescue helicopter, the scenarios explored Continue reading “UK MCA and RNLI test drones for search and rescue”

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