Proceedings Of The Marine

SPR 2016

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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48 Proceedings Spring 2016 vessel struck the low-hanging bridge span, and the bridge span fell onto the bow of the ship and into the waters of the Tennessee River. MODU Kulluk — The Incident In December 2012, the motor vessel Aiviq was towing the MODU Kulluk across the Gulf of Alaska. As the voyage pro- gressed, the ship encountered a series of severe weather systems that tested her towing plans. On December 27, the towing gear failed, setting the MODU Kulluk adrift with her 18-man crew. 4 The Aiviq ultimately lost all main propulsion engines that day. Luckily, the vessel had a series of electric thrusters, including one rotating thruster, which allowed her some limited maneuverability and towing power. Over the next four days, the Aiviq response vessel crews, helicopter crew, shoreside support personnel, and unifed command mem- bers mitigated the worst of the effects of the incident, but on December 31, the Kulluk grounded on the shore of Alaska. Searching for Links Here we have two unique, purpose-built ships; two differ- ent accidents; and great peril for the people, environment, and property involved. Where are the safety management system links? In both cases, the ships were carefully and thoughtfully designed for their unique missions. The Delta Mariner had masts that could be lowered, and featured a low-profile vessel design for transiting bridges and other overhead obstructions on her transit segments through America's inland water- ways. Her propulsion system incorporated a rotating twin screw propulsion system, with additional thrusters and controlla- ble-pitch propellers. The Aiviq featured an icebreaking hull along with multiple thrusters, controllable-pitch propellers, and a state-of-the-art towing winch with a ten- sion monitoring system to check the strain on towing equipment. As the investigations unfolded, the inves- tigators looked at the accident scenes, ves- sels, shoreside management personnel, and all the related facets. Then, as a mat- ter of routine, the investigators reviewed the procedures, policies, job aids, plans, checklists, and vessel safety management systems. Investigators went on to look at each vessel's specifc operational history to determine if vessel operators had identifed lessons learned from past operations as well as the specifc risks the vessels could have encountered over a signifcant operating period. In the case of the bridge allision, the vessel involved had transited that particular bridge on numerous occasions, while in the case of the towing operation, this was the ves- sel's frst winter transit through the Gulf of Alaska — a voy- age of more than 1,700 nautical miles. Delta Mariner — The Investigation In the case of the Delta Mariner, the ship had a safety man- agement system in place to address the challenges it was expected to encounter along the route, including the numer- ous bridges and high-tension power lines the ship would transit beneath. The ship also employed a marine contract pilot to provide the ship's offcers with advice along the route. In the case of the marine contract pilot, the SMS needed to address the role of the pilot as well as the master/pilot informa- tion exchange, so that prior to handling the vessel, the pilot would understand the unique characteristics of the vessel as well as any problems they might have to deal with using critical ship equipment. The vessel's SMS did discuss the pilot/master exchange and the pilot's role and duties, but investigators had to deter- mine if that SMS procedure was followed as specifed. This photo looking forward toward the after superstructure of the M/ V Aiviq shows some of the complex systems aboard the vessel, such as towing, frefghting, and lifting equipment. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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