Casualty briefs

Briefs Stclair

Containership damages gantry crane while docking in Vancouver
A loaded cargo ship easing into a berth at the Port of Vancouver struck a ship-to-shore crane, part of which fell onto the ship’s container stacks.

The incident happened at about 0400 on Jan. 28 as the 984-foot Ever Summit docked starboard to the pier at the GCT Vanterm facility near downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Observed damage to containers on the vessel included those destined for Vancouver and other ports of call,” said Louanne Wong, director of marketing and communications for GCT Global Container Terminals. “None of the containers in question (contained) hazardous cargo.”

Clinton Rebeiro, an investigator with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), confirmed an aft section of the ship hit the crane. The cause is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Two tugboats were working alongside Ever Summit and a British Columbia Coast Pilot was aboard the Panama-flagged ship. Additional details about the docking evolution were not available. Weather conditions were generally favorable at the time.

The morning after the incident, a 900-ton floating crane known as The Beast began working with the 600-ton floating crane Arctic Tuk to remove the crane beam from Ever Summit’s containers, Wong said. Recovery work continued into Feb. 5, at which time the ship moved to another berth for offloading. Normal terminal operations resumed at 1630 that day.

Twelve barges break away in Pittsburgh bridge strike
Twelve loaded coal barges broke free after their tow struck a bridge at mile marker 1 on the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The barges were part of an upbound tow pushed by Brenda L. Murray II that hit the Liberty Bridge on Jan. 21 at about 0430. One drifting barge directly hit the Panhandle Bridge located just downriver, according to the Port Authority of Allegheny County, and two barges became stuck against the Smithfield Street Bridge.

State officials temporarily closed a half-dozen bridges immediately after the incident to determine which spans were hit or damaged.

In a prepared statement, Brenda L. Murray II operator Murray American Transportation said the tow “was affected by strong river currents,” but it did not directly confirm the bridge strike. Not all of the barges in the tow broke free, but details about the tow configuration and total barge count were not available.

Nearby towboats helped round up the loose barges. One barge overturned and became partially submerged, Coast Guard Lt. Shawn Simeral said. At least two ended up beached on the riverbank.

Simeral said the river was running high and fast at the time of the incident following a recent rainstorm. The cause of the breakaway is under investigation.

Two ship engineers injured when lifeboat falls into sea
Two crewmembers from the 750-foot tanker Chemtrans Nova required medical treatment after falling overboard with an enclosed lifeboat about 70 miles off the coast of Virginia.

The incident happened on Feb. 6 while the Cyprus-flagged ship was east of Chincoteague, Va. The two engineers were working on the lifeboat when it released unexpectedly, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard did not specify the type of lifeboat on which the men were working. Photos of the ship show lifeboats port and starboard suspended by davits. It is not clear if the ship also has a free-fall lifeboat.

Reliance, a 210-foot Coast Guard cutter, diverted 20 miles to the tanker’s position and dispatched its small boat crew to rescue the two engineers. One was in the water while the other was on the lifeboat, according to the Coast Guard. Their injuries included a broken leg and lacerated stomach.

The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Elizabeth City, N.C., to medevac the two men. They received treatment at a Norfolk, Va., hospital.

Chemtrans Nova, formerly Sharon Sea, is a 12-year-old ship under management by Penfield Marine, which has offices in London and Southport, Conn. The company did not respond to an email seeking additional details on the incident.

Smoke rises from the superstructure of the bulk carrier St. Clair on Feb. 17 at the Port of Toledo. The ship was in winter layup when a fire broke out and burned for nearly two days.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

Bulker catches fire in Ohio during seasonal repairs
A Great Lakes bulk carrier caught fire while in winter layup at a terminal along the Maumee River in Oregon, Ohio.

Firefighters responded to the bulker St. Clair at 2045 on Feb. 16 and found flames on the aft deck. Later they opened the superstructure door and saw flames below deck as well, according to Oregon Fire Chief Dennis Hartman. The ship’s cargo conveyor belts also caught fire.

The 762-foot St. Clair was undergoing winter maintenance and repairs at the CSX Torco facility at the Port of Toledo. Hartman said workers finished for the day about three hours before the fire was reported.

Firefighters from eight communities responded. They primarily used hoses and foam to extinguish the fire, which burned for 46 hours. Water cooling was used to keep the fire from spreading to nearby ships. Hartman said about 15 ships are tied up at the port for the winter.

No one was on the ship at the time of the fire and it contained no cargo. The Coast Guard used vessels and aircraft to search for pollution but found none in the air or water. Vessel owner American Steamship Co. of Williamsville, N.Y., did not respond to an email seeking comment.

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