Friday, November 23, 2012

Coastal safety

Second B.C. shipping incident in two days, Vancouver Sun, Nov. 23/12
"Dan Bate, spokesman for the Canadian Coast Guard, said Friday that the deep-sea cargo ship, Tern Arrow, lost engine power in heavy seas and 40-knot winds near Laredo Sound south of Kitimat on Thursday at 2:17 p.m."
Freighter runs aground off Prince Rupert, Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 21/12

"The grounding of a 278-metre container ship near Prince Rupert has raised questions about the risk of oil spills on British Columbia’s rugged coastline.

"...The 65,000-gross-tonnage freighter was inbound from Shanghai when, according to a port official, it manoeuvred to avoid a small fishing boat and hit bottom..."
An example of the inevitable from Wikipedia:
"The Prestige oil spill was an oil spill off the coast of Galicia caused by the sinking of an oil tanker in 2002. The spill polluted thousands of kilometers of coastline and more than one thousand beaches on the Spanish, French and Portuguese coast, as well as causing great harm to the local fishing industry. The spill is the largest environmental disaster of both Spain's history and Portugal's history.

"...The ownership of the Prestige is unclear, making it difficult to determine exactly who is responsible for the oil spill. Evidence is now pointing to a secretive Greek family who allegedly registered the ship to a front company in Liberia. Thus the sinking of the "Prestige" has exposed the difficulties in regulations posed by flags of convenience..."
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4 comments:

  1. Now I got to ask this question; why would a 278 meter container ship try to avoid a fish boat? Why wouldn't they just ask the fish boat to avoid them? Isn't it easier to maneuver a fish boat rather than a huge container ship? Sounds fishy to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the rules of navigation taught me long ago requires that smaller vessels must give way to a larger vessel that could potentially run aground or get into a collision. The involvement of men and machines means that something will always go wrong. Risk can be reduced but not eliminated. Machines will fail, people will make mistakes.

      Prince Rupert is a relatively safe harbour and the weather was not a major issue here. Supertankers carrying bitumen in unsheltered waters through hurricane level storms are far more likely to flounder.

      The explanation of the Prince Rupert event by the Coast Guard is designed to make it seem innocuous. Of course, we know that almost every information release from the federal government and its agencies are vetted to ensure the correct spin is provided.

      Delete
  2. Enbridge just had another spill around Chicago.

    However, pipeline bursts and freighters running aground, doesn't seem to teach the Harper, Premier Redford and Enbridge one damned thing. I guess pipe bursts and tanker spills, don't stop the money from flowing to their coffers? There is no damage done to them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enbridge's Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan's Trans Canada pipelines might be big job creators, as they claim. Except most of the industrial jobs will be in China.

    However, BC should get the clean-up jobs after inevitable spills of diluted bitumen.

    ReplyDelete

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