The Steps to a Career in Marine Accident Investigation

[Posted on August 1st, 2013 by Bill Stewart]

Accidents happen on land and sea due to neglect, intoxication or bad timing. Investigators on land have skid marks, debris and eye witnesses to give clues as to who was at fault. Accidents on the ocean have few of the elements of an automobile accident. Each year hundreds of incidents at sea are reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); the United States governing office responsible for  Marine accident investigation .

Training classes cover the human error factor involved before the accident occurred. Students are trained to interview witnesses and casualties in ways to gather leads as to the cause of the incident. Prospective investigators learn to gather and analyze data from technology and deck operations. They study techniques of mooring and mooring analysis.  Understanding water survival and marine specific injuries are learned, as well.

Applicants from all over the World may attend and investigators from other NTSB units. College students can join in order to conduct course research. Classes study maritime accidents and investigate real incidents to further student’s understanding of the cause and measures to take after their conclusions are drawn.

Upon completing the course, students are able to analyze all the data collected, draw to a conclusion the reason the incident happened and prepare a report for official and media sources. The report also presents steps to take for avoiding the same problems in the future.

The accidents turn tragic when lives are lost and the Marine accident investigation then becomes a cautionary tale. When children lose their lives, every aspect of the incident goes under the microscope to insure the same accident will not happen again.

Most recently, investigators found crew members on the Costa Concordia guilty of manslaughter. The ship carried 4000 passengers and crew when it was run onto a reef causing the ship to tip and sink. As a result, 32 people died before rescuers arrived. The investigator’s report gives the sequence of events that caused the ship to run aground. The ship was off course due to inattention by the captain. Once the captain realized the problem, he told the helmsman to adjust the ship’s course. The helmsman, instead, turned the ship in the wrong direction and hit the reef.

The helmsman and four other crew members received sentences of less than three years. The luxury liner’s crisis coordinator was sentenced to two years for not revealing the severity of the accident to media centers which slowed rescue operations. The captain of the ship is being tried separately and is accused of abandoning the ship and all the passengers.

The marine accident investigation into disaster’s such as this bring to light the danger passengers face when a crew becomes complacent. Finding the cause, whether it be human error or catastrophic equipment failure, helps engineers and designers build safer vessels.

Mooring Analysis for Your Business

[Posted on August 1st, 2013 by Bill Stewart]

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Mooring analysis can help a drilling company understand the area where they’re working. For marine and offshore structures, Stewart Technology Associates has all of the vital technology needed to work correctly and to ensure safety. The company can help drillers perform structural design analysis, hydrodynamic analysis, mooring analysis, and more.

The company has extensive offshore experience and has state-of-the-art software that helps drilling companies and marine workers understand exactly what they’re doing, so it can be done right the first time. Pricing is available on the site for things like anchor analysis and mooring analysis, so there is never any question of cost.

For mooring analysis, companies can use the Ballast Control Simulator software provided by STA. Pricing starts at $8,000 and includes BMS, ballast control, and mooring simulation software.

Another product available is STA 2-Point, which offers the static analysis of two-point mooring systems in shallow water. This analysis costs $1,500. Single-point moored tanker and capacity information may be investigated with STA SPM, which costs $4,000 for analysis.

For companies looking to lay out a mooring system across the water, try STA Laymoor. This program provides all the tools needed to lay out the mooring system. It is a low-cost program at $450. For advanced management of mooring and risers, STA Rigman is available as well, and this can be used as an advisor for floating drilling rigs, like those found in deep-sea areas. The management software is available for $30,000 through the company and includes BP.

Not all programs will be perfect for every task, which is why STA offers customization at an extra cost. Some pricing is available on request, so it’s easy to determine the amount needed to better specialize software for a project.

Making sure your mooring is in place and secure is vital to making your operation safe. The mooring, which holds your entire vessel or platform in a secure location, provides the security needed to keep your workers and vessels safe during business operations.

From permanent anchor mooring to swing moorings, fore and aft moorings, or pile moorings, the analysis available through STA can help you be sure that your vessels and workers are secure. You’ll be able to determine holding power and the potential for damage to the surrounding environment (so you can prevent it). No matter which type of mooring is being used, the software from STA can determine if there are changes you can make to the platform to help prevent damage to the area around you or to your vessels and which things you can do to improve productivity and safety levels.

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