Heavy weather at sea is a deadly serious and always relevant safety issue, as inappropriate manipulations in such conditions may lead to damage of a vessel, threatening the cargo, the environment or, even worse, human life.
hazardous weather at sea
Taking lives of over 1,000 people, the sinking of the RoRo ferry Al-Salam Boccaccio 98 remains a good example of study as poor emergency procedures resulted to deaths of over 1,000 people and spurred widespread criticism of the crew, as well as the owner company.
It is almost 12 years since the bulk carrier ‘Pasha Bulker’ came out at the Nobbys Beach of New South Wales offering an unusual spectacle for local people. The incident is an interesting case study of inadequate communication, inefficient SMS, poor judgement due to fatigue and the objective cause of extreme weather conditions.
The 13rd of November marks 16 years after the Greek-owned and Bahamas-operated tanker ‘Prestige’ encountered heavy weather during a routine voyage and eventually sank off the coast of Spain, causing the worst environmental disaster in the country and one of the greatest oil spills in Europe.
Helicopter operations are considered to be complicated high risk operations, as they involve personnel / equipment and crafts other than vessel’s and they demand accuracy, training and clearly established procedures. The crews associated should show high level of situational awareness and seamanship.
During a vessel’s voyage at sea, there are many dangers which may affect hers and personnel’s safety. One of these hazards, which may rapidly lead -at the worst case scenario- for vessel and human life loss, is ship flooding.
It is essential that a vessel remains stable both in still water and in turbulent seas. Some of the stability incidents are predictable so they can be prevented. But, what if an excessive list situation happens?
The ship’s master should always be aware of the weather forecast when moves in dangerous areas and be ready to appropriately handle the vessel under circumstances of bad weather in case that violent wind, torrential rain or surging waves appear.
Both heavy weather and tropical storms demand of crew’s preparation and immediate response, in order to ensure vessel’s safe passage with no or less harms on vessel’s cargo or even vessel’s personnel.
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