Inexperience, Hectic Response Grounded John I off Canada

first_imgzoom Lack of experience operating in ice-covered waters and uncoordinated emergency response led to flooding and grounding of bulk carrier John I off Newfoundland and Labrador on March 14 last year, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said in its investigation report.The John I entered ice-covered waters off the southwest coast of Newfoundland on its way to Montreal, Quebec, from Las Palmas, Spain.After the engine cooling water temperature began to rise, the crew opened the sea water strainer and found it was plugged. As the crew began removing ice and slush from the strainer, water began to overflow from the open strainer box. When the crew attempted to close the leaking sea chest valve to stop the flow of water, its operating mechanism failed. Sea water began to enter the vessel in an uncontrolled manner, overflowing into the engine room. The master then ordered the vessel to be blacked out, causing it to drift. As the vessel drifted towards the shore, commercial towing assistance was requested, but delayed due to the weather.Upon its arrival on scene, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessel Earl Grey offered to tow the John I away from the shore. Further delays were encountered while the John I’s master conferred with the vessel’s managing company, the CCG and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC).When the master finally accepted the tow, the first attempt to establish a tow line failed, and the vessel’s proximity to the shoals did not allow for completion of a second attempt. The John I then ran aground on the shoals. The 23 crew members were evacuated by helicopter. The vessel’s hull sustained minor damage.The investigation found that warmed sea water from the engine cooling system was being partially discharged overboard and partially returned to the main sea water pump suction, rather than being recirculated to the low sea chest to prevent ice buildup. The strainer became plugged with ice and slush. The sea chest valve was prevented from fully closing, likely due to ice buildup, and the valve operating mechanism failed due to overstress when the crew forcibly attempted to close it, which led to the flooding.The JRCC did not have the authority to direct the master of the John I to accept the tow.Neither the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Environmental Response nor Transport Canada, both of which had the authority to direct the vessel to accept the tow, were actively involved at an earlier stage when it was clear that the time to take action was running out and the environmental risks posed by the vessel going aground were increasing.The delay in starting the towing operation was caused both by the master’s reluctance to accept the tow and by the way that authorities managed the situation, according to the report.last_img read more

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Report Natural Disasters in Morocco Increased 22Fold Since 2000

Rabat – Morocco has faced 96 big natural disasters between the years 1960 to 2014 in more than 300 cities, according to a new report by the High Council of Accounts published on Monday.The number of disasters increased four-fold between the years 1980 and 2000 and spiked 22-fold during the period between 2000 and 2014, the report, titled “Evaluation of Natural Disaster Management in Morocco,” said, according to Medias24.Water or water scarcity-related disasters caused the most damage to Moroccans, their property and their livelihoods, as the kingdom has suffered from several floods and droughts, as well as heat waves and cold waves over the examined time period. In recent decades, Al Hoceima, Agadir and the cities’ surrounding regions have been especially prone to earthquakes. During February 2004, the ground under Al Hoceima shook at a force of 6.3 on the Richter scale and in September 2014, Agadir faced a quake at an intensity of 5.7 on the seismic scale.Al Hoceima’s 2004 catastrophe led to the deaths of 564 people, the Interior Ministry’s death toll says. The scale of the loss of life during the quake and the aftermath of the floods in Southern Morocco in 2014 shows the government’s weak disaster relief efforts – based primarily on “reactive” solutions, instead of “proactive” planning, the authors of the report said.“[The two disasters] demonstrate the shortages in basic infrastructure and the shortcomings in the management of natural disasters on the institutional, technical and organizational level,” it said.The report points out that state construction budgets have previously not allocated funds for risk prevention from earthquakes, floods and other disasters.The council also said government forces have “failed’ to take advantage of the MnhPRA program (Morocco Natural Hazards Probabilistic Risk Assessment), which analyzes communities and properties that could be at risk from an upcoming disaster and estimates the financial implications of a future hit.“Despite the fact that this system has been spread widely between the actors involved [in disaster management] through the organization of training sessions, it seems that most of the departments that the High Council of Accounts visited have not exploited it,” the report said. read more

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