The Ship with the
X-bow PART 2
The pictures below are
reproduced from the April News and Views. But we know more now, so I am
passing on the new information.
potential owners of this revolutionary ship have been a bit distressed by
the amount of space given to the bow, when actually they think that a great
deal of work has gone into the other end. And you may remember that I said
the following back in April "Call me picky but
surely a steep ramp from the point at which the crew will be working to the
water would make it easier for people to slide into the sea, and in fact
impossible to recover them." Well, now all is explained. The ramp is a
movable structure. When required to pick up a pennant from a rig the ship
backs up, the ramp is placed in the vertical position and a sort of T bar
extends from the aft surface. The crane-driver slots the pennant into the T
bar and it is then retracted. The ramp returns to the horizontal so that now
the pennant is on top, held by the T bar, and you can do what-ever you like
If it is
required that you pick up a buoy the ship backs up and the two cranes are
extended over the stern holding the lasso. When the lasso is over the top of
the buoy it is released by the cranes and drops over the buoy. The buoy can
then be recovered.
recovering an anchor the workwire is wound in with the ramp vertical until
the end of the shank and the chasing collar are level with the top, the ramp
is then turned to horizontal so that the anchor is now on the deck.
average AB would scoff at the thought of a shipmaster actually being able to
position a loop of wire directly over a buoy without additional assistance
from those at the stern, but here we should remember that dynamic
positioning has become virtually a requirement for deep water
anchor-handling, so no problem there.
have gone ahead and ordered this ship without a contract, which shows
commitment, and we really hope it works, and that the day rates remain
sufficiently high for them to be paid for it.
I have decided to include
a few words here which have absolutely nothing to do with the marine
environment, but will hopefully help people to avoid being taken in. I typed
Waldermann Publishing into Google and only got one response - so now there
We received a document
the other day from Waldermann Publishing which appeared to be an invoice for
the inclusion of information in a business directory. It gave an address and
a proposed entry detail and showed a cost of £423 with the words against the
total "PLEASE REMIT THIS AMOUNT" . Since we only ever pay for inclusion in
one directory we had a closer look at the document to find the words in
small writing on the bottom. "This is not a bill. This is a solicitation"
and on the back "This is a solicitation and not a assertion of a right to
payment" and the words "In the event of an error being made there will be no
Hence it is obvious that
the senders hope that such a small amount will be passed by accounts
departments of the companies who receive it, and once the payment has been
made, even if it is made in error, there is no chance of you getting your
THE OCEAN CARRIER
The former Inverclyde
now, Ocean Carrier is rumoured to have run into a bridge link in the
Norwegian sector, apparently disabling the bridge link and necessitating
some repairs to the vessel. Those who now how to find out these things tell
me that the Ocean Carrier is down on some-one's list as being out of service
for maintenance until the end of the month. This would seem to be an
indication that the story is true. Yet another statisitic on the collision
figures, if corrent. When will we start to get this right?
THE MARINE SAFETY
On 9th of this month we
were invited to send a representative to the "All Members Meeting" of the
Marine Safety Forum. This is a group of people who have interests in the
offshore marine environment - that is environment in its broadest sense. The
group carry out investigations develop guidance and exchange information,
particularly, as the name infers, about safety.
The forum has
representatives from the North, South and West of the UK and from the near
continent, and it is heartening to see that some quite important people give
up their time to attend.
If the group has a fault
it is the fact that almost everyone there is inevitably a manager of one
sort or another, so when a presentation is made about a new means of
avoiding the use of tag lines, there is no-one from the deck of the supply
ship to give a view about what is right, or wrong with the system. When the
MCA makes a presentation about something called the "HEAT" initiative, where
HEAT stands for "The Human Element Assessment Tool" the representatives in
the room nod sagely in general agreement with the process. There is no-one
from the sharp end screaming "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ALL ABOUT!!" .
We are also living in a
world where accident investigators, possibly without the appropriate
training or experience are only too ready to recommend what they see as
being a risk reducing measure, and then present the facts to make them fit.
Such recommendations, if then transmuted into guidance, tend to give
shipmasters very difficult things to do. This is in contrast to the
situation many years ago where, for example, a Zapata platform ship rolled
over and sank while tied up to a semi-submersible. The DTI at the time was
so uncertain about the possible cause that they sent a questionnaire round
all the British shipmasters they could find at the time to get a view. The
problem turned out to be free surface and overloading due to water in the
pipes on deck.
Hence, if you guys out
there have a view all is not lost. It is possible to register with the
website, and to tell them what you think, and to that end we have included a
link. In our own small way, we try to make a difference to safety offshore,
both on the ships and on the offshore installations, and possibly our
greatest contribution is communication. So if you have a view, or want to
know what is in the minds of your managers, click on the link and register
with the MSF.