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Tauranga Shipping Channel Screw-Up


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1 hour ago, ex Elly said:

So does this mean that Professional Skipper magazine is full of gossip, unfounded allegations, and fake news?

 

I wouldn't have thought so, they are generally pretty close to their sources. I'm sure the wind strength and wave height would be available from the harbour records. Havn't they got a wave buoy out there?

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Personally I would like to see it towed out of the environment...

That fair led has some rough edges on it. No wonder the rope broke, its going to get chaffed through in moments on that... And just look at all that valuable raw material getting shipped off shor

Maritime NZ report

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2 hours ago, Steve Pope said:

I wouldn't have thought so, they are generally pretty close to their sources. I'm sure the wind strength and wave height would be available from the harbour records. Havn't they got a wave buoy out there?

There you go. They hit problems at 12.30am on the 6th of July. Wave bouy backs up the wave height story. Max wave height was nearly 8m...2082367443_Screenshot_20200914-194524_Chrome2.thumb.jpg.d3deaaa09428c06e99943e1c1043c1e2.jpg

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It was gusting just shy of 80km/hr at home from the NNW in the early hours on the 6th of July. I'm about 60km south of the Tga entrance. 

I have no idea who is responsible for the screw up but I have no doubt the sea conditions were pretty nasty at the time.

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Maritime NZ report

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Master and Chief Engineer plead guilty in MV Funing case


15 SEPTEMBER 2020

The Master and Chief Engineer of the log-carrier MV Funing, have today been sentenced and fined after admitting charges relating to the grounding of the ship at the Port of Tauranga in July. 

Master Liang Guang Hong and Chief Engineer Chameekara Prasad Nanayakkara both entered guilty pleas in the Tauranga District Court on 10 September to charges brought by Maritime NZ under the Maritime Transport Act (MTA) 1994. This followed an investigation by Maritime NZ after the Singapore-registered ship lost power and passed over a channel marker with the propeller becoming caught in the markerchain, before making contact with a sand bar in the Tauranga Harbour channel. 

The Master was fined $3250.00 fine and ordered to pay $130.00 court costs, after pleading guilty to one charge under Section 65(1)(a) of the MTA, of operating the vessel “in a manner which caused unnecessary danger or risk to other persons or property, including the passengers and crew of the MV Funing.

The Chief Engineer also admitted one charge under section 65(2)(a) of the MTA, for causing or permitting the ship to be “operated, maintained, or serviced, in a manner that caused unnecessary danger or risk to any other persons or property, including the passengers and crew of the MV Funing”. He was also fined $3250 and ordered to pay $130 court costs.

The maximum penalty for both charges was 12 months’ imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.

Michael-Paul Abbott, Maritime NZ’s Central Region Compliance Manager said, “following a series of checks on the engine of the Funing prior to its departure from the Port of Tauranga, a problem was found with the fuel quantity pistons. At this time, the wind was gusting 15 to 30 knots (28-56 kph) with the wave height approaching 4 metres and rain had reduced visibility”. 

“The problem started when one of the engine’s fuel quantity pistons indicated an error, which means that if this isn’t addressed, the engine’s power will be reduced – which is power it needs when exiting the narrow harbour entrance.”

In the hours leading up to the engine failure, the Chief Engineer tested the affected parts a number of times, each time triggering an alarm suggesting the problem had not been rectified. The decision was then made to override the mechanism that automatically slows down the vessel in the event of a problem with the engine, as an attempted precautionary measure. 

“The Pilot subsequently came aboard around midnight and the master handed him the Pilot Card which indicated that there were no issues affecting a safe departure. But as the ship tried to increase speed on leaving Port, the Chief Engineer realised there was still a problem with one of the fuel quantity pistons and that the engine was not responding with the shift to ‘full ahead’ (full power). The Pilot asked the Master several times why the ship was going slowly, but did not receive a clear explanation,” Mr Abbott said.

“As a result, the No. 2 engine cylinder lost all power, and during this time the wind and swell had increased. At 0043 hours the Pilot called the tug boats to come and assist and the Master ordered the anchor to be dropped. At 0047 hours the main engine stopped after the propeller became entangled with the channel marker while the stern swung around and came into contact with the sand bank.

“The tugs then turned the vessel into the deeper channel water and held it there until it could be towed into safer anchorage. There it remained until 14 July when it was towed into port.”

Mr Abbott said the Maritime investigation and subsequent prosecution proved that the Master knew there was an issue with the main engine prior to departure and failed to notify the Pilot that there was a problem. 

The Chief Engineer was also proven to have failed to retest the main engine to ensure it was operating on all 5 cylinders after attending to the fuel quantity piston error.

The Funing is currently being towed back to Singapore which is expected to take around 40 days.

Maritime New Zealand Media Line: +64 4 499 7318 View the latest media releases
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I wonder if the Master and Chief Engineer were allowed to leave the country if they pleaded not guilty and it went to trial? Not saying they didn't screw up, but asking if there was undue pressure (being detained in a foreign country) to encourage an early guilty plea?

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