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SHIP NAME: Mineral Dampier KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 7
source SSY
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Sank in east China Sea after collision with Hanjin Madras, while carrying iron ore from Brazil to S Korea.


source Japan FSA
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dead 27
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Sank after collision with m bulk carrier Hanjin Madras (8821618) approximately 160 miles s. of Cheju Island in lat 30.32N, long 126.15E on 22/6/95 in fog. 2 crew dead and 25 missing.


source LINK
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dead 27
link http://www.ipsofactoj.com/international/2002/Part04/int2002(4)-003.htm

Copy of the Appeals court ruling.


source CAHILL-C
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On 22nd June 1995, two Cape size bulk carriers Hanjin Madras and Mineral Dampier came into collision in the East China Sea south of Korea. As a result of the collision Mineral Dampier sank so quickly that all 27 of her crew were lost.

The bulk carrier Hanjin Madras of 77,650 grt was on a voyage from Pohang to Singapore in ballast. The vessel was on a course of 203 true at a speed on 11.5 knots. The wind was SW Force 5 and there was moderate visibility.

At 0257, the second officer altered to port to about 150 to pass clear of a fleet of fishing vessels. At this time visibility was about 3 to 4 miles. Immediately before the alteration of course, an echo of a vessel which proved to be the Mineral Dampier was detected at a distance of about 10 miles bearing about 3 degrees on the port bow. The 2nd officer acquired the target on the ARPA and found that the vessel was on a course of about 065 at a speed of about 13.5 knots.

At about 0306 Hanjin Madras made a further alteration to 140 to clear the fishing vessels. When the two ships were six to seven miles apart, at about 0310, Mineral Dampier contacted Hanjin Madras by VHF, and suggested that the two vessels should pass port to port. This was agreed by Hanjin Madras. The second officer of Hanjin Madras said that he would alter course to starboard and that Mineral Dampier should keep her course and speed.

When the vessels were three miles apart, they came into visual sight of each other. At about this time there was a second VHF communication. Hanjin Madras told Mineral Dampier to keep her course and speed. The response from Mineral Dampier was understand your message.

At about 0325 when the vessels were just over a mile apart, the second officer of Hanjin Madras claims that his vessel came clear of the fishing vessels. He ordered starboard helm but only 15 deg of helm was applied. At 0327.5 full starboard helm was applied. Collision occurred at a broad angle at about 0330.

The bulk carrier Mineral Dampier of 87,709 grt was on a voyage to Pohang from Brazil with a cargo of 166,581 tonnes of iron ore. As there was no survivors from the ship, there is no evidence as to her navigation before collision. It is probable that she was originally on a course of about 029 towards Pohang. On the basis of the radar observations taken by the Madras, it appears she turned to starboard to a course of about 065 to avoid the fishing vessels shortly before Madras turned to port for the same reason. Her full sea speed in load condition was about 12 knots. Mineral Dampier apparently maintained course and speed until about 3 minutes before collision when she turned rapidly to port.


source Unknown Israeli Report
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University of Haifa Focus, SHIP-SINKING MYSTERY DISCUSSED AT SYMPOSIUM

It was, though, a somber talk by Dr. Dan Livneh, chief marine engineer for the Ministry of Transport's Shipping and Ports Administration, that attracted perhaps the most attention. Livneh was reporting on the reasons for the rapid sinking on July 22, 1995, of the Israeli-owned bulk carrier Mineral Dampier, with the loss of all 27 crew members aboard, 9 of whom were Israelis, including the captain.

At 3:30 in the morning that day, the 10-year-old Dampier, carrying 160,000 tons of iron ore, was hit by a 5-year-old Korean vessel in the South China Sea. The Korean ship did not report the accident for four hours, the reason for the delay still a mystery, according to Livneh. Japanese coast guard officials who arrived a half hour after hearing of the incident found very little: two hatch covers and two bodies.

Why had the vessel sunk so quickly? Israeli officials wanted to know. They did not even know where exactly the bulk carrier had been hit until September 1996. Divers, who saw that the ship had been folded almost in half, assumed that the Dampier had been struck near mid-ship, where the damage was. Livneh showed the audience an underwater film of the broken ship taken by the divers. In actuality, the Korean vessel had apparently hit the stern of the Dampier.

The problem that perplexed investigators, the marine engineer pointed out, was that the ship would not have sunk, or certainly not so quickly, if water had entered only the engine room or the engine room and hold No. 9, in the rear of the bulk carrier.

A crack in a bulkhead held the secret of why the ship split as it did and why it went down so rapidly, Livneh said. Investigators eventually concluded after much study that the collision had caused the bulkhead between holds 8 and 9 to collapse, producing a very large space into which the seawater poured. In addition, the engine room flooded. It was a fatal combination, rapidly pulling the stern of the ship down but also forcing the Dampier to buckle in the middle as it sank. The crew, most of whom had likely been asleep in their quarters in the superstructure toward the rear at the time of the accident, was trapped.

Why did the bulkhead give way? According to Akiva Pagi, a former chief engineer with Zim and now a research associate at the Wydra Institute, fast loading of a ship puts stress on the hull as do the high seas, a weakening combination of events. Bulkheads like those in the Mineral Dampier are built of high-tensile steel, a modern development that is stronger than regular steel and therefore allowed thinner walls, reducing shipbuilding costs and vessel weights.

What was not known at the time, he continued, was that this new steel withstood the corrosive effects of water no better than the old steel. Stresses produce cracks, which make walls give way more readily in a collision. This was the case with the Dampier. Rear bulkheads are now strengthened on a bulk carrier, Pagi said, to prevent their collapsing and consequently opening up a large space for incoming water in the event of a collision.

Livneh, nevertheless, was not so sanguine. He expects that the deadly situation of 13-14 losses a year of bulk carriers --and a third of all cargoes are carried in such ships--around the world will continue. To the shipping audience on hand, he also complained that in the past four months since the report on the sinking had been made available to senior officers, only one ship captain had come to the ministry to see the published report.


source ANON
type D
volume
material C
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CTX has pledged to keep this source anonymous.

  1. The Captain of the Mineral Dampier was indeed the harbour master of Eilat and a great pilot and personality.
  2. The collision occurred at about 3 o'clock in the morning, The officer on the bridge was a Filipino.
  3. The Hanjin Madras was a bulk carrier of about 150000 tons on ballast heading roughly south. The Mineral Dampier was heading north towards Korea. Its cargo was iron ore. The Mineral Dampier was chartered to an Israeli company, carried a Liberian flag and mixed crew, of which about 9 were Israelis including Master C/E and R/O. The accident report was composed by the Israeli Ministry of Transport which has paid also to my best knowledge the entire sum for the diving operations which has cost about 2 million dollars.
  4. About the 10 degrees rudder limit. The ship was found on the sea bed with the rudder on 10 degrees, But I don't know what was the position of the steering wheel. As much as I know, the bridge and its instruments were found badly smashed. The C/E demanded a 10 degrees rudder limit on the autopilot only. The reason behind it was to avoid any damage to "his" engine when he was not present on the bridge which hardly happened. When on hand steering whether with a pilot or not, with reduced RPM of course, bigger amounts of rudder were taken when necessary under the watchful eye of the C/E. even then he was still arguing and threatening to reduce RPM if he thought that the amount of rudder is putting too much load on his engine or when he just didnt like the manoeuvre since he thought that he was an expert pilot as well.

This situation I inherited as a tradition on that ship as part of the force given to the Chief Engineer by many companies. Fortunately I stayed with that company only one voyage. Of course I refused all the C/E demands including the 10 degrees rudder limit for the following reasons:

  1. I knew that officers usually alter courses with the autopilot only, especially on the lazy 0-4 watch.
  2. I knew that the Mineral Dampier hardly moved with 10 degrees rudder and this amount will be insufficient in an emergency.
  3. The most important reason of all was my knowledge that many officers are panicking when in a collision danger and might forget that the rudder is limited and will alter the course too slow.
Usually I don't mind some rudder limitations especially on fast powerful container ships. But on that ship the situation was different. Here the C/E used to rush to the bridge at every course alteration whether day or night, demanding explanations and harassing and terrifying the officer on duty. Therefore, since I knew that the intimidated officer might forget or hesitate in an emergency to increase the rudder limitations or to disengage the autopilot altogether, I decided to cancel the rudder limitation.

I have no doubt that the officer on the bridge at time of the collision, hesitated for a long time before he acted, because he knew that the C/E will appear immediately on the bridge shouting and criticizing. This hesitation could have been another factor that caused the collison. As I said before, I rejected all his demands but I am not sure about other captains. The C/E used to boast frequently about all his refusals and problems he had caused to other captains and pilots which I have confirmed as true. Naturally our relations were very sour.

I would have not brought this case to an international forum if this was an isolated one. Unfortunately this is the standard behaviour of most Chief Engineers that I know and was confirmed by masters of many merchant navies with whom I have discussed the problem. This behaviour is not a result of their courage, but a consequence of the encouragement they receive from the shipping companies


source CTX
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The OOW of the Madras was 25 and had just received his 2/O papers. He thought the Dampier was making 13.5 knots, but the court found it was more like 12 knots. He thought he was going to pass behind the Dampier with a CPA of 0.8 miles, altho he was unable to say how he had come up with this number. The court apportioned the blame 80/20, Madras/Dampier. This seems more than a bit unfair to the Dampier. Despite this the Madras has the chutzpah to appeal. The appeal upheld the original verdict.

This is the collision that is always brought up when some one wants to argue against vessel to vessel communication. The argument is that the Dampier should not have and would not have agreed to maintain course and speed if they had not talked. The Admiralty Court was the first to take this position.

This is nonsense on several grounds. Firstly, the Dampier was clearly the stand on vessel. The Rules require her to maintain course and speed, until by some sort of ESP she figures out that the give-way vessel is not going to do what it is supposed to do. At that point, she would have had to made a blind guess at what the Madras was going to do, and hope. Much more basically, both ships were in the tricky process of skirting around the fishing fleet. The Rules say Madras should go to starboard early; but this option simply wasn't available to Madras. They had to talk to figure out how they were going to adjust to this situation. Of course, after agreement is reached, it is still possible to screw it up as this casualty proves; but the odds are vastly improved if both ships are on the same page. Finally, if the Dampier had maintained course as agreed, there is a good chance the collision would not have occurred.

The Dampier was struck on her starboard side in way of the engine room at a fairly fine angle. The Admiralty Court says 50 degrees trending aft. The Dampier's stern swing would have exacerbated the damage. The engine room was almost certainly breached. But it is not clear from the accounts we have whether the initial damage extended forward into No 9; or the forward engine room bulkhead gave way, and then the 8/9 bulkhead. We need to see the Israeli report. Sounds like ship was alternate hold loaded with No 8 empty. As Pierre Woinin points out, this generates high longitudinal Moment of Inertia making for a sluggish ship, both vertically and transversely.

The testimony relating to the rudder limitation is interesting not so much for what it says about this collision; but for what it says about the technical standards of the industry. The C/E was one of the victims, so he is unable to defend himself. But even if the description is true, his behaviour while unnecessarily overbearing was not irrational. This issue is a widespread source of tension between the bridge and the engine room throughout the industry. The Chiefs know that modern engines are so over-rated, so lacking in margins, so fragile, that if the engine is already at its normal rated pwoer, the increase in torque associated with substantial helm will result in an increase in cylinder pressure which is quite likely to break something or generate a trip. Either way the ship will be immobilized. The root problem here is not human relationships, but an unsafe engine design philosophy.