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1. accident general
The safety investigation report into collision between
MV FU PING YUAN and MV CS.CRANE
Maritime Safety Administration, P.R.China
At 2356 local time on June 15th 2010, China-flagged cargo ship FUPINGYUAN of Qingdao
Fupingyuan Shipping Co., LTD, en route from Tianjin, China to Incheon, South Korea with 3343
tons of steel onboard, collided with cargoless Panama-flagged chemical tanker CS.CRANE in
Incheon NO.1 inner anchorage (approximate position: 37°19′.41N/126°25′.16E) when she
was en route from Ulsan to Incheon, Korea. After collision, FUPINGYUAN sank, certain sea area
was polluted, but no fatalities and injuries were caused.
2. The investigation
2.1 Investigating activities
As the competent authority of the FUPINGYUAN’s flag state, China Maritime Safety
Administration (MSA) soon dispatched safety investigators to Korea on June 19th to carry out the
safety investigation. The China MSA’s investigators started their investigation work following
their arrival at Incheon, interviewed the involved captains, chief engineers, chief officers, third
officers and others, their accounts of the accident were obtained; surveyed the scene of collision
and sinking of FUPINGYUAN, obtained the ships’ AIS records, copies of both ships’ log book,
certificates, wreckage survey record and other relevant documents.
2.1 Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms
CMSRC: China Maritime Search and Rescue Center
DGPS: Differential Global Positioning System
3. Ship’s particulars
3.1 Ships’ technical parameters
Qingdao Fupingyuan shipping CENTRAL STREAM MARINE
Qingdao Futong International DORIKO LIMITED
3.2Ships’ surveys and PSC inspection
All the certificates of FUPINGYUAN were within validity. The last PSC inspection was carried
out inon June 7th 2010; four deficiencies were identified and rectified.
All the certificates of MV.CS.CRANE were within validity. The laswas carried out
on March 23th 2010. The last PSC inspection was carried out in Dumai,on May 27th
PICC (People's insurance company of China) was the all-cover insurer of FUPINGYUAN. The
insurance period was from January 1st 2010 to December 31st 2010.
3.4Remaining oil storage
57.5 tons fuel oil and 18.4 tons diesel oil remained on board FUPINGYUAN when she sank.
4. Ship’s manning and crews’ certification
There were 17 crews on board the ship during her voyage of collision, including one cadet; this
meets the requirements of ship’s Minimum Safety Manning Certificate. At the time of collision,
there were 3 crew members on the bridge, the captain, third officer and an AB. The captain held
the competent certificate issued by Shanghai MSA in August 2007. Third officer held competence
certificate issued by Shandong MSA in May 2010. The AB on duty held competence certificate
issued by Guangdong MSA. All crews’ certificates were valid.
There were 18 crews on board the ship, which meets the requirements of ship’s Minimum Safety
Manning Certificate. At the time of the accident, it was the captain and third officer who were
commanding the ship at the bridge. The Korean captain held competence certificate issued by
Panamanian authority in September 2009; the Myanmar third officer held competence certificate
issued by Myanmar authority in March 2008. Their certificates both were valid.
5. Company management
Qindao Fupingyuan Shipping Co.LTD is both the owner and operator of FUPINGYUAN, it is
based in China. Qindao Futong International Shipping Management Co.LTD is responsible for the
ship’s safety management; the company is a limited liability company privately funded, the
validity date of its International Ship Management Qualification Registration is June 30th, 2010.
5.1.2 Scope of business and staffing of Management Company
The ship management company is involved in business that includes ship trading, leasing and
other ship asset management，marine engineering, marine navigation and maintenance, crews’
management, training and provisions. At present, the company manages 3 general cargo ships
including FUPINGYUAN; its main safety management staffs includes general manager,
designated person, marine navigation manager, marine engineering manager, crew manager and
director of ISM, for a total of 6 crew members.
The company obtained its DOC on January 9 2007, the DOC is valid until January 8 2012 ; the
latest annual audit was carried out on February 8 2010. No major non-conformity was noticed
during the investigation of company’s SMS documents and its operational records.
At 2340 Beijing time on JUN 15th , after receiving the accident report from its Korean agent, the
company’s general manager immediately informed his marine navigation manager to set up an
At 0030 on JUN 16th, the company reported the accident to Shandong MSA.
At 0034, the company has got in touch with the captain, learned about the accident, instructed
captain to fully cooperate with the search and rescue operation and properly handle the
post-accident matters. Meanwhile, according to its contingency plans, the company’s responsible
employees got ready relevant documents, designated certain contact persons and established
At 0040, company reported the accident to the CMSRC.
At 0050, company’s emergency response team members assembled in the company office, to
keep monitoring the development of matters after the accident.
CS. CRANE was owned by a single-ship company registered in panama; her management
company was DORIKO LIMITED, which was founded in December 2000, and is a limited
liability company privately funded with headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. DORIKO LIMITED
has a registered capital of one hundred million Korean won, has representative offices in Busan,
5.2.2 Scope of business and staffing of Management Company
The ship management company is involved in business that includes ship trading, leasing and
safety management, freight agency, marine architecture and marine consultation etc. At present,
the company manages 15 ships including CS.CRANE, mainly are Ro-ro ships, bulk carriers and
chemical tankers. The company’s shore-based department has 33 employees, including 16 marine
navigation managers and marine engineering managers.
6. Weather, sea and environmental conditions
At the day of the accident, there was fog in the Inchon No.1inner anchorage, visibility oscillated
between good and bad; at the time of accident, the visibility was less than 0.5 nm, cloudy, south
wind blowing force 3-4, south-west current about 3 knots.
The accident happened in Inchon No.1 inner anchorage. It is a triangle-shaped anchorage for the
use of vessels that are in-bound to or out-bound from Inchon and Pyongtaek ports when they were
waiting for berthing. The anchorage is about 4.5 square nm, charted depth 29 meters, 9 vessels
were anchoring in it when the accident occurred; the anchorage was narrow and vessel density
7. Sequence of events
The following sequence of events is based on the accounts of captains, officers, and AIS record
At 1530 local time on June 13th, after loading 3343 tons of steels and general cargos at No.3 berth
of No.1 harbor district Tianjin Port, China, she sailed for Incheon Port of Korea, her forward draft
of departure was 4.7 meter and aft was 5.45 meters.
At 2230 on June 15th(local time, the following times are local time unless otherwise specified),
passed JANG AN SEO island, heading 027°, speed at 6.7 knots; reported Inchon VTS and was
informed that a pilot would board at 0230 next day, the captain decided to proceed to and anchor
in No.1 inner anchorage waiting for the pilot.
At 2255, ship’was 37°13′.5N/126°25′.0E, and altered her course to 000°.
At 2314, the ship was abreast No.17 buoy on her port side, informing engine-room to stand-by
main engine and convert fuel oil. Altered compass course to 020°, the resulting course made
good at about 010°. The ranges of both radars on bridge were set at 3 nm, head-up off-center
display; both VHF were set at channel 14, the AIS was working in good condition.
At 2340, informed the chief officer to go to bow and stand by the anchor.
At 2345, chief officer reported that starboard anchor was ready for dropping.
At 2350, arrived at the edge of No.1 inner anchorage, the captain and the third officer observed
almost at the same time that the CS.CRANE was behind at distance about 0.7 nm; the
captain ordered to turn port to approach their anchorage position.
At 2352, main engine stopped, preparing to drop anchor; meanwhile，the captain assessed that
there was collision risk according to the radar trail display of the coming vessel，instructed the
third officer to verify the name of coming vessel via AIS，and call her on VHF channel 14 with a
wish that she would reduce her speed and take collision-evasive action.
At 2354, no response was received from the approaching vessel. The distance between the two
vessels was reduced further to 0.2 nm. The third officer can visually see the contour and
navigation lights of the approaching vessel, and informed the captain that there was a large vessel
approaching; at this time, FUPINGYUAN retained speed of about 2.5 knots, CS.CRANE was still
approaching at a speed of about 9knots, the captain realized the existence of critical situation, and
Inchon VTS called in Chinese warning FUPINGYUAN the collision risk with CS.CRANE, the
captain sounded one long blast and ordered slow ahead, hard to starboard.
At 2356, the starboard aft hull of FUPINGYUAN near to her engine room storage collided with
the bulbous bow of CS.CRANE, at an angle about 50; the engine room started flooding with sea
At 0000 on the 16th, the captain ordered to drop anchor and stop the engine.
At 0010, the chief engineer arrived at the bridge and reported the mass flooding in engine room,
the captain sounded general alarm, instructed the crews to spare no effort to stop the leak.
At 0020, the chief engineer reported the engine room had taken in large amount of water, crews
cannot access into the engine room; the captain released the abandon ship alarm, meanwhile called
At 0030, the crews all evacuated the ship via three liferafts.
At 1620 on June 14th, CS.CRANE left Ulsan with no cargo, bound for Inchon.
At 2130 on June 15th, ship's position was 6 nm away from JANG AN SEO Island; the captain
arrived at bridge to take over command of ship’s port-entering operation, range of radar was 6 nm
and on north-up center display, VHF, AIS, auto-steerage, DGPS, echo sounder were all in good
At 2323, passed No.11 buoy, ship’s position was 37°13′.0N、126°24′.7E，altered course to 000°,
speed of 12.0 knots; The captain observed on radar that FUPINGYUAN was at his starboard bow
At 2340, passed No.17 buoy, ship’s position was 37°16′. 5N/126°25′.0E，altered course to 030°,
speed of 12.8 knots, and was 1.7 nm away from FUPINGYUAN. Second officer arrived at bridge
preparing to relieve third officer. Inchon VTS informed that two vessels were approaching the
anchorage, and then the captain monitored FUPINGYUAN on his ARPA.
At 2350, ship’s position was 37°17′.7N/126°25′.6E，altered course to 352°, speed of 12.5 knots.
The captain observed his ship was 0.7 nm away from FUPINGYUAN, adjusted the range of radar
to 3 nm; meanwhile, estimating FUPINGYUAN was going to keep course and pass through
another two anchored vessels in the anchorage, the captain decided to follow closely and anchor
behind FUPINGYUAN, reduced engine to slow ahead, but the speed did not decrease apparently.
At 2354, ship’s position was 37°19′.2N/126°25′.4E，started to alter course to port, to course 338°,
speed of 8.5 knots, 0.23 nm away from FUPINGYUAN. According to VDR audio records,
FUPINGYUAN had called CS.CRANE through VHF channel 14 at this moment, but CS.CRANE
At 2355, ship’s position was 37°19′.3N/126°25′.2E, altered course to 310°, speed decreased to 7
knots; the chief officer who was standing by anchor at bow warned the bridge that a vessel right
ahead is very close, meanwhile the second officer observed starboard light of FUPINGYUAN
appearing 30-40 meters ahead and informed the captain, the captain urgently ordered hard to port,
stop engine, then full astern, then put the helm from hard to port to hard to starboard, meanwhile
At 2356, ship’s position 37°19′.4N/126°25′.2E, the bulbous bow of the vessel collided with the
right aft hull of FUPINGYUAN near to her engine room storage, at an angle about 50°, the
collision speed was about 6 knots. After the collision, the captain immediately reported to Inchon
VTS, VTS ordered the vessel stay close to FUPINGYUAN. Then the vessel dropped anchor at the
At 0020 on the 16th, observing FUPINGYUAN was preparing to abandon ship, the captain
ordered to release lifeboat, and rescued three Chinese crews successfully.
8. Accident losses
As a result of the accident, FUPINGYUAN sank due to the massive flooding in her engine room，
certain fuel spilled and caused sea pollution; the bulbous bow of CS.CRANE sustained damage;
9. Post accident response and SAR
After the collision, two vessels did not communicate and exchange their information. Both ships
dropped anchors near the scene at about 0000hrs, while FU PING YUAN was reporting the
accident to VTS. Onboard FU PING YUAN, the crew members tried to control the speed of water
in-taking by fixing the door of the engine room storage, however, they failed to fix it. Due to part
of the holed area was below water line, the water came in the engine room more aggressively as
the ship’s aft draft increased as a result of the flooding. The captain declared abandon ship at
0020hrs on June 16th. Since the ship’s lifeboat was exactly above the holed hull, it was unable to
be launched. The crews released 4 liferafts and secured them to the stern of the ship; 17 crew
members left the ship and boarded 3 liferafts at about 0030hrs. At 0040hrs, the Korean Coast
Guard from Incheon arrived at the scene and rescued 14 crew members in 2 liferafts, and later the
other 3 crew members in another liferaft were rescued by the lifeboat launched from CS.CRANE.
At 0140hrs of 16th, about 1 hour after the crews were rescued, FU PING YUAN half submerged.
To prevent the vessel from floating to and sinking in the channel, to reduce pollution caused by the
spilled oil to the nearby water, the Korea Coast Guard dispatched tugs to tow the half-submerged
FUPINGYUAN to the shoal that was 0.5 miles west to the anchorage to sit on seabed there; the
approx position was 37°19′.2N/126°22′.9E with the depth of 11 meters. Only the aft mast can be
seen above water during high tide, and the cargo hold hatch coaming can be seen above the water
10.1 Unsafe acts
10.1.1 The CS. CRANE was negligent at look-out, failing to have systematic observation of FU
PING YUAN that was right ahead of her. It also failed to assess the situation and risk of collision
comprehensively. The ship failed to adopt safe speed when she was navigating in restricted
visibility and approaching the anchorage, which resulted in inadequate space and time to take
effective avoiding action after the critical situation came into being. The ship failed to take proper
collision-avoiding measures under the critical situation, she first turned to portside substantially
and soon after turned substantially to starboard, this was clearly not the most conducive act to
10.1.2 FU PING YUAN was also negligent at look-out, failing to maintain adequate vigilance
towards the vessel that was approaching from behind at high speed, with a failure of adopting
good seamanship under emergency and taking proper collision-avoiding measures when another
ship was closing quickly and forming critical danger. She turned substantially to starboard to
expose the engine room at ship’s stern to the collision impact.
10.1.3 Both ships failed to follow the Rule 35 “Sound Signals in restricted Visibility” of COREG
10.2 Unsafe factors
10.2.1 The range of radar and its display mode.
The small-range, off-center display radar has the benefits of being able to clearly show the targets
ahead as well as has good forward scanning distance; thus it is widely used by many officers in
crowded waters, port entering or exiting channels etc. But this off-center display mode has its
shortcomings such as short detecting distance for ships approaching from behind and unable to
detect them in ample time, it is especially easy to form critic situation with the overtaking vessel
when her speed is significantly higher than the overtaken vessel; this is usually ignored by officers.
Prior to collision, FU YUAN PING was exactly using this display mode.
10.2.2 Crews’ over-reliance on VHF in collision-avoiding actions.
When facing the already developed critical situation, instead of actively taking timely and
substantial collision-avoiding action, some crews are used to ask the other ship to take avoiding
action by VHF, thus the best time to take action to avoid the approaching vessel is delayed or
10.2.3 The crews’ inadequacy of English communication skill
Most of Chinese and Korean crews have problems in English pronunciation, some English words
are pronounced distinctively different resulting from the different pronouncing system of both
countries’ tongue, worsen by their limited English listening comprehension ability. The ineffective
English communication often makes misunderstand during marine navigation.
11. Other issues discovered during investigation
11.1 Crews’ emergency response ability
Facing of danger, the senior crew members of CS.CRANE lost of psychological composure,
showed poor emergency response ability. When facing the imminent danger, the captain failed to
take actions such as reducing speed, putting engine astern, and altering course reasonably etc to
After collision, FU PING YUAN dropped anchor at the spot, and hastily declared to abandon ship
shortly after being informed about the failed attempt to leaking stoppage of the engine-room,
rather than assess the risk of immediate sinking on time, discharge flooding water, and sail to
nearby shoal and other measures to mitigate losses.
11.2 Problem of crews’ emergency exercise and drill
Crew members should pay great attention to emergency training and exercise. Although log book
onboard showed that FU PING YUAN conducted life saving and fire drills every month in
accordance with the regulation, the fact is that the abandon-ship organizing was terrible. The
captain took along huge amount of personal possessions to evacuate rather than stand on his
command position to organize the abandon-ship.
12. Safety Recommendations
12.1 The safety issues revealed in this investigation are currently common among many Chinese
The company of FU PING YUAN is recommended to strengthen its management regarding
crews-recruiting, training of new crews, the evacuation technology of senior crew members etc; to
strengthen supervision and inspection regarding crews’ on-job training, emergency drills, develop
specific preventive measures. Meanwhile, the company should strengthen all-aspects training of
crew members, when facing the dilemma among ship’s, company’s and personal interests.
12.2 During the investigation, it was also found that the mates of CS.CRANE failed to follow the
regulations of COREG, failed to adopt good seamanship to avoid collision when entering
The management company of CS.CRANE is recommended to strengthen the updated training of
sailors, including the understanding of COREG and ship’s maneuverability.
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