9 Maritime Disasters Emphasizing Why Hydrodynamic Analysis Is Important.

[Posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Bill Stewart]

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Watching your older sister go on a boat ride out on the lake with her boyfriend in a canoe just seems like a great opportunity to reenact the maritime disaster with the Titanic. The moment they are at the love scene with some romantic smooching, you slip into the water and imitate an iceberg to tip over the canoe. While the prank caused some great laughs as the boyfriend clutched to the side of the wood canoe shivering from the cold and your sister gave chase to beat the living crap out of you, real maritime disasters are no laughing matter. Also, not every disaster was caused with the help of large chunks of floating ice.

Throughout history, some of the worse maritime disasters have occurred on the ocean waters. Often, we perform hydrodynamic analysis of the ocean waves to determine if ships can withstand the wave load without becoming damaged. Yet other disasters are less predictable than the ocean waves. We have gathered together the 9 top maritime disasters (not including the Titanic) that have happened in history. Take note of these shipwrecks and give some careful consideration the next time you want to play pranks against a couple trying to enjoy a bit of romantic time to themselves on the water.

1: Cospatrick

Fire is a devastating event to happen on board a ship even with all the water around. The Cospatrick was a sailing boat in 1874 as it made its way south of the Cape of Good Hope heading from England to New Zealand. A fire broke out on board as the 472 people rushed to the 4 lifeboats that were available. While 61 people survived the fire, only 5 people were rescued on the lifeboats after being adrift for 10 days. The people survived by resorting to cannibalism.

2: The Wilheim Gustloff

Not all ocean liners were used for recreational purposes, especially during wars. Back in 1945, The Wilheim Gustloff was built to be a cruise ship. Yet with World War II in full swing, it was converted into a hospital and later a U-boat training school for the Germans. Just like the Germans lost the war, they also lost the ship along with 9,000 people who perished on board as it was scuttled by 3 torpedoes from a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea. Out of the 10,000 people on board the ship, only 1,000 survived.

3: Le Joola

There’s a reason why there is a maximum weight capacity on things like chairs, elevators and ships. The Le Joola only had a capacity of 536 people when 1,863 boarded the ship in 2002. The Senegalese ferry capsized when hitting rough waters as only 64 people survived. The sinking of this ship was considered the second-worst maritime disaster in history that involved a non-military vessel.

4: The Arctic

Boat collisions seemed to happen more frequently in the past. The Arctic was no exception. This ship was making a transatlantic voyage from Liverpool to New York in 1854 as it carried 400 passengers. It collided with a French steamship, took on water and sank. Out of the 400 people on board, only 87 people survived. None of the survivors were women or children who were on board even though the captain ordered that they should be evacuated to the lifeboats first.

5: Eastland

Even cable dynamics and other marine analysis might not have saved the SS Eastland from disaster. This boat tipped over while docked because it was too top heavy. Shortly after the Titanic disaster, a new law was passed for all sailing ships to be equipped with the appropriate number of lifeboats. Major design flaws had already determined that the boat listed when too many passengers were on one side of the boat. With the added addition of the lifeboats, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

In 1915, the boat rolled over when the passengers gathered on one side to watch sail boat races along the Chicago river. Out of the 2,752 passengers, about 844 people died.

6: Dona Paz

Colliding with oil tankers carrying 8,000 barrels of petroleum is simply going to ruin your day. This accident happened with the Dona Paz in 1987. The Philippine passenger ferry was overloaded with people when it hit the oil tanker. The oil tanker’s petroleum products caught fire as the fire moved to the ferry. Both ships sank as 4,000 people on board the Dona Paz were killed. The Dona Paz is considered the worst maritime disaster in history that involved a non-military vessel.

7: Toya Maru

Nobody can predict the weather, or the sheer power of the ocean waves. The Toya Maru was a Japanese train ferry transporting passengers through the Tsugaru Strait in 1954. The waves and wind picked up, becoming a full typhoon as the ship tried to ride out the storm by setting down anchor. Yet it wasn’t enough. The anchor couldn’t hold as the captain decided to beach the ship. The waves and the storm tore the ship apart as it capsized and sank, killing 1,159 people out of the 1,309 people on board.

8: Mont Blanc

Explosives, fire and water are a deadly combination. This ship met its demise during World War I, but wasn’t attacked by any submarine or war boat. In 1917, this French ship collided with another called the Imo. When a fire broke out, the Mont Blanc ran aground on the Halifax waterfront. You probably see where this is going as the fire ignited the explosives.

The resulting blast was so fierce it toppled buildings and destroyed city blocks with the resulting fire. The massive explosion even triggered a tsunami. The blast was the largest man-made explosion in history before the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

9: General Slocum

Passenger steamboats were a common mode of transportation back in 1891, as some boats were used to transport people to events such as church picnics. The General Slocum was one such steamboat, as it made the journey along the East River in New York City when it suddenly caught fire. There were only 321 survivors out of the 1,021 people on board. Rotted life preservers, rotted fire hoses and inaccessible life boats were several reasons why the fire became unmanageable and people lost their lives while trying to escape.

10 Things to Expect from Today’s Marine and Offshore Specialists You Hadn’t Thought About Before

Cable Dynamics

[Posted on June 8th, 2015 by Bill Stewart]

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Rules change. Requirements also change. In marine and offshore industries, managing water structures and conditions can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many upgrades taking place throughout this industry including some that can make your job of maintaining these structures significantly different and even better. If you need to turn to marine and offshore specialists for specific needs, expect a lot from them. These professionals can now provide you with much more than you may realize.

#1: Analysis services

Perhaps one of the best reasons to turn to today’s cutting edge companies is because they can provide you with incredible hydrodynamic analysis. This is information you need to know about the condition of structures and the options available to you. The bottom line here is that you can easily know what’s happening under the water faster and more effectively through these services. It can be an incredible way of repairing, upgrading, removing, or even preventing damage and problems down the road.

#2: Unique solutions

No situation is simple and in many situations, you need a customized solution that meets your long term and short term goals. Whether you need cable dynamics fitted to the very specific goals you have or another hard to find solution, today’s companies have the tools and resources to make it happen. That’s pretty exciting too. There is no longer a need for overwhelming problems that seem impossible to resolve since new solutions exist that fit even the most difficult of situation.

#3: Costs are lower

How can costs be lower when services continue to improve? Today’s marine and offshore specialists are readily available to help you with all types of challenges. The intense amount of work that used to be present on this type of jobsite tended to make it one of the more dangerous careers. Today, there are more types of technology readily available to reduce many of these risks. That also helps to reduce the costs associated with this type of service.

#4: Software technologies

Another way that marine specialists can provide a higher quality of service today than they have in the past is by providing more advanced and customized software programs. Simulation, ballast control, and stability software programs provide more information while also answering many questions. It makes for improved function of every type of marine need while reducing costs and improving risks. Ultimately, software technologies can do more work including preventative work to ensure marine structural stability and function.

#5: More prevention, less repair

No matter if you have a large waterfront or a small dock, it is always better to prevent maintenance and repairs than to have to invest a great deal into those repairs. Now, there is a better understanding of the requirements of these tough climates. With improved prevention methods and more attention to potential problems, specialists can help to minimize the risks that property owners and marine users have and, in doing so, reduce the amount of money spent.

#6: Training simulators

One of the most important components of getting any marine or offshore project complete is working with well trained and experienced professionals. These pros can now do much more, including using training simulators for all types of applications. This includes jack-up simulators, ballast control simulators, and various other technologies. These technologies provide answers to the question “what if” which is often asked in these very tough circumstances. Often times, accuracy in these situations is critical and mistakes are not possible. With simulators, there is much less risk because the likely outcome is better understood.

#7: Better understanding of environmental impacts

In today’s society, it is not just good enough to get the job done. It is also important, if not essential, to ensure a green method is taken whenever possible. Today’s marine specialists better understand the impact changes to the marine environment can have on the local eco system. Over the last few years, this has led to more improved methods of making changes that do not negatively impact natural resources, wildlife, or marine life. That’s important for any industry.

#8: Expertise is higher than ever

Did you know that you can bring on board those professionals who have ample experience to provide you with in-depth information and understanding of your options? For example, if you operate a shipyard that is rather busy, you may be under pressure to minimize liability in accidents. That will help save you money. By bringing in a true professional, even an expertise witness professional, you can gain insight that you simply did not have before. This can help you to avoid accidents, improve outcomes, and reduce liability.

#9: Finance information and resources

Did you know that you can also use these trained professionals to help you to gain financing for your next project? If you need to demonstrate a need to a lender about your specific project goals so that you can secure those funds, call in these marine specialists. The goal here is to demonstrate the need for the service or structural changes, determine the value of this type of project (or the cost it will have), and then present this information in such a way as it proves lending is necessary.

#10: Hypochlorinators are available today

New technology allows for improved conditions, too. Trust true marine specialists to help you with hypochlorinators. This is a tool that allows you to achieve a variety of benefits. They may include ballast water treatment in ships. It may also include the cooling and general saltwater treatment on production platforms. It may even include the treatment of cooling water in various industrial facilities. This system continues to become a must for onshore and offshore needs.

The fact is, today’s marine business or structure owner has options. When you need help, guidance, or preventative solutions, turn to these professionals for the answers you need. Consulting specialists for marine applications and offshore technologies is out there. You will have ample support from trained professionals who not only know the industry but also know the latest advances in it. This can help you to accomplish more while also helping you to reduce risk, liability, and of course the expense of operating your business or your dock.

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