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Ship Drifting Towards Gas Rig In North Sea

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
BBC News

A 4,500-tonne cargo ship is adrift without power in the North Sea and heading towards a gas platform.
Two RAF helicopters have been scrambled from Wattisham and Leconfield to airlift 20 people from the Murdoch rid 80 miles went of Flamborough Head.

Helicopters are ready to evacuate the rest of the crew from the ship if its engines can not be repaired in time.

Not really the weather for helo ops. Fingers crossed.
 
Seadog said:
BBC News

A 4,500-tonne cargo ship is adrift without power in the North Sea and heading towards a gas platform.
Two RAF helicopters have been scrambled from Wattisham and Leconfield to airlift 20 people from the Murdoch rid 80 miles went of Flamborough Head.

Helicopters are ready to evacuate the rest of the crew from the ship if its engines can not be repaired in time.

Not really the weather for helo ops. Fingers crossed.

Are we saying that in an active gas/oil field there is not a single support vessel/tug nearby to tow said ship and claim salvage. Let us at least be grateful that no RN Ship is nearby cos they would not have anybody aboard who would know how to set out and use towing gear now that Seamanship is dead.

Nutty
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Are we saying that in an active gas/oil field there is not a single support vessel/tug nearby to tow said ship and claim salvage

Salvage isn't that simple Nutty. Ship masters ask 'to be salvaged'. It isn't up to passing ships to send a boarding party (if only to get a signature) and take over. Towing, especially by a standby (picket/rescue) vessel may not count as salvage. It may be able to keep the vessel on station until an MCA tug can tow the stricken vessel in. Or the crew may get the engines going again.

Let's hope no one is killed or injured in whatever solution is used.
 

noemis

Lantern Swinger
Just said on the news that it's carrying fertilizer!! Handy cargo to be carrying as you drift towards a gas platform!!! 8O
 

Gruff

Midshipman
MY BEST WISHES GO TO THE OIL RIG CREWS,THE SHIP CREWS AND THE AIR CREW FLYING TO RESCUE THEM.

I HOPE THE CRABS CAN SEE IN THE DARK?

GRUFF
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Looks like yet another ship's captain or owner waiting too long before asking for a tow

What evidence is there for that mophead? Looks like the world descended on his position so he must have communicated his difficulty to the outside world early on. The priority for the rig standby vessel when helos are operating on the rig is 'crash boat' not tug. Proper tugs need time to get to its position and it is reasonable to give the engineers time to get the engine(s) going. And the weather isn't the best for passing a line.

According to telly news this morning the vessel missed the rig by four cables.
 
These days most of the rig standby vessels are ex fishing boats, probably nt the best to tow a 4500 ton ship unlike the anchor handling barges that used to do the job in the past which would have been capable.

BBC reports a tug was supposed to R/V at 0900. Also that they have retarted the engines at least once
 

andym

War Hero
Interesting,i wonder if its the same Skipper there now that was there last year?Apparently according to the BBC news Website he hit a ship last year in the Channel.
 
A

angrydoc

Guest
In the days when we had a fleet, I'm sure we could have sent some help. Progress is great.
 

trehorn2

Lantern Swinger
noemis said:
Just said on the news that it's carrying fertilizer!! Handy cargo to be carrying as you drift towards a gas platform!!! 8O

Must be going to Leeds! Looked a little big to be going up the river aire though!
 

safewalrus

War Hero
sorry Seadog Salvage is that easy! Under the 'Lloyd's open form' known as the 'no cure no pay' all the salvor has to do is ask the master (skippers are on fishing boats or sardine tins) if he agrees to the Lloyds open form being used, (then he has to get a line onboard) - then it's his IF he can salvage the bloody thing! there are clauses that say ships crew's cannot salvage their OWN ship [unless they've left it on instructions from the master, and returned without his instructions] Now a towage contract is another kettle of fish! the towage contract is the usual one to go for! It's cheaper if successful (not so if it ain't). The other problem is rigging the towing line - in weather like that it ain't easy, and if the master of the tug bashes his own vessel up in the process he's in deep poo! Pusser used to rain to that standard (probably still do, but they don't tell many about it - do you still do a 'board and tow' of the FOST tanker during workup?)
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
Did I not cover the points you made safewalrus? Needs agreement, a signature, needs to board to get a signature etc. Needs a capable ship in the area.

I take your point on a towage contract.
 

mophead

Lantern Swinger
You don't have to get asignature on open form salvge,a verbal agreement over the radio is all that is required.Getting a line on is the tricky bit,but then that'swhere a touch of seamanship comes in handy.
 

safewalrus

War Hero
Under Lloyds Open form a verbal agreement is all that is required - don't matter how it's done, radio, talking shout over the storm if need be! As in
"you look like your in bother?"
"could do with a tow"
"OK, Lloyds Open form agreeable?"
"Yes please" problem solved now to the seamanship bit! And that was all shouted through cupped hands across the oggin! any numpty can do it! the tricky bit is getting the victim to port! Off course IF you get a signature, or a witness etc etc it makes it a little easier afterwards in the Admiralty Court when the lawers start aurguing about if he really meant salvage or a tow, after all under international law all that you are required to do is save life - property is up to the salvor, but the master may change his mind afterwards if his owner is a bit of a sh** and he thinks he can get away with it( the financial rewards are after all quite different - why do you think tugs cruise in certain areas just listening for the Mayday, as if)
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
You don't have to get asignature on open form salvge,a verbal agreement over the radio is all that is required.Getting a line on is the tricky bit,but then that'swhere a touch of seamanship comes in handy.


Maybe so. There still needs to be a ship in the vicinity, able (see Maxi's comment) and prepared to offer a tow. It sounds to me like there is too much crticism of the old man without anything concrete. The skipper is unlikely to be responsible for an engine failure or the subsequent restoration of power.

Andym wrote
Interesting,i wonder if its the same Skipper there now that was there last year?Apparently according to the BBC news Website he hit a ship last year in the Channel.

The MAIB didn't do a full investigation into the previous incident (assuming it was in UK waters-Vindo isn't UK flagged) so it sounds like the previous bump wasn't a big deal (whoever was in command).
 

safewalrus

War Hero
Unfortunately no matter what happens it's just like the andrew - it's the 'old man's' fault, even if he's ashore! the line goes should have chosen a better engineer etc. So the Master, Captain, Skipper (God how I hate that word!) is he one to carry the can - used to be 'Master under God' he had the power of life or death and all that on the long sea voyages of yesteryear, OK so comms have improved but the basics is the same!
 

polariod

Lantern Swinger
I was thinking back to my time on North Sea Supply and Standby Vessels, all of the supply vessels I served on were capable and often did work in atrocious weather conditions and all were rigged for and capable of towing if the need arose.

The last Standby boats I served on were indeed ex fishing vessels but were converted Humber "A" frame stern draggers and were similar in size to the Coastguard Rescue tugs based in my home port of Stornoway. These vessels were also rigged for and capable of towing.

As for Helo operations the Shetland and Stornoway Coastguard often operate in similar or more severe conditions than those occuring during this incident.

If the vessel had drifted very close to or entered the rigs exclusion zone the niceties of salvage law would have disappeared out of the wheelhouse window, the standby boats and any nearby supply vessel would have been tasked to get a grip of the offender and save the rig (R) save the rig.

Pol
 
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