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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Setsuyo Maru KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 5
source LOCAL NEWS
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Damaged Setsuyo Star will stay in False Bay for repairs: The Greek-owned Setsuyo Star was en route from Brazil to China when the crew found that sea water was seeping into the number one hold. The ship was given refuge in False Bay after the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) surveyor had inspected the vessel, and established there was no pollution risk. Greek Tsavliris Salvage, the appointed salvors, report that there was "slight damage" to the structure that supported the shell plating in the number one hold, but that the structural integrity of the ship was not in danger. Repairs will be done from the inside of the ship, and the salvors say it should take about 20 days. Samsa authorities have accepted the repair plan and will allow the ship to say in place. A tug must be on standby at all times as a precaution, oil booms and pumps are on board, and the fuel oil is now located in two tanks aft. See "'Safe' plan approved to fix leaking carrier," Melanie Gosling, IOL, 6/20/06.


source GISIS
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The SETSUYO STAR, a Cape sized, dry bulk carrier, was on passage from Brazil to China in June 2006, fully laden with a cargo of iron ore. While on passage, following a period of adverse weather, the crew detected that there was a gradual increase in the hold bilge soundings within No.1 cargo hold; water ingress was also detected into the duct keel of the vessel. Further investigation revealed substantial structural damage to the single side shell structure of cargo hold No.1 initially detected on the Port side, but subsequently repairs were required on both the Port and Starboard sides. Seawater was entering the hold through a crack in the side shell plating, approximately 400mm in length and a number of side frames were detached. The vessel, which was approximately 100 nautical miles to the south west of the Cape of Good Hope when the damage was confirmed, immediately put engines to stand-by and diverted towards Cape Town to seek shelter and a port of refuge. The vessel was granted access to sheltered waters by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), surveyed and temporary repairs were made to the vessel at False Bay. The temporary repairs were approved by Class BV and enabled the vessel to complete the intended voyage to China, where the cargo was discharged and permanent repairs were then carried out in dry-dock.


source Bahamas Report
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2. Event and Consequences: This 1984-built Cape Size Dry Bulk Carrier was on passage loaded with iron ore from Brazil to China. On 7th June 2006, following a period of adverse weather between 2nd and 5th June (gale force 8/9 with a heavy easterly swell of up to 7 metres) no.1 cargo hold bilge showed an increase in water level. Further increase was noted on 8th June and there was water in the duct keel. On 9th June the weather had improved, permitting an internal inspection of no. 1 hold. Severe damage to both port and starboard shell frames was discovered. The vessel diverted to Cape Town arriving at the anchorage on 9th June where company and South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) personnel inspected no. 1 hold, no 1 port d.b. and no.1 port top side tanks. The vessel was then sent to False Bay with a tug escort for further assessment and temporary repairs. Port side shell frames 310,311,312,313 and 314 were found sheared from hopper tank end brackets and detached from shell plating and tripped. A section of the web of fr. 316 was also found detached from the side shell. There was a 350 – 400mm-long vertical crack in the shell plating in way of the weld seam of fr. 311; panting of the shell plating even in the calm sea at the time of the preliminary inspection was noticeable. The port side shell plating was set in approx 300 mm generally over the area of detached and tripped frames.

There was a crack in the flange section of fr. 322 stbd. in way of a tripping bracket, extending through the frame flange and along the fillet weld seam to the topside tank bracket. This was allowing a (small) ingress of water. The frame was also found partially detached. (Entry of water into the duct keel was found to be via an open bolt hole of a manhole cover). Following temporary repairs the vessel continued its loaded voyage to China where permanent repairs and completion of special survey were carried out.

Contributing Factors:

1. Although the weather was heavy it was considered by the investigators not to have been of a severity to cause failure of the side shell frames unless there was a pre-existing weakness.

1a. Very significant wastage was found to the damaged side shell frames. The areas of greatest diminution were in way of the frame connection with the side shell plating (grooving). The major cause of the failure of the side shell was therefore considered to be corrosion wastage to the frames.

2. At the vessel’s Intermediate survey in June 2004, to comply with IACS UR S31 the lower part (1500mm approx) of port side frames 315 to 327 together with the lower brackets were renewed. To comply with the UR the web plate thickness of the renewed frames was increased to 16 mm from an original 12mm and there was an increase in the scantlings of the face flats. Although thickness measurements of frs. 310 to 314 port were taken at the intermediate survey, the readings recorded of the web plates of these frames were in the region of 11.8mm and it was found unnecessary to strengthen and/or part renew these frames or coat them. The investigation report suggests that the recorded readings may not have been representative of the web plate thicknesses at the connection to the shell plate, where grooving might have been present.

2a.The port side shell and frame failure occurred in an area where new steel had been connected to old existing steel and it appeared that the older steel corroded at a faster rate than the newly installed steel. Moreover the adjacent new steel was 16mm thick – the original being 12mm when new; the resulting difference in rigidity may have contributed to the failure.

3. The vessel had carried two consecutive coal cargoes in the two-year period following the last intermediate survey. This may have contributed to the significant amount of corrosion found.

4. Subject to a satisfactory Occasional survey, the vessel’s 4th Special survey, due 12th May 2006, was postponed with the agreement of Class (BV) and flag (Bahamas) until 7th August 2006 due to a lack of drydock facilities. Although an Occasional survey with the scope of an Annual survey was carried out on 7th and 8th April 2006, both for a change of flag and to allow the postponement of Special Survey, the wastage of the frames which subsequently failed was not detected and rectified.

4. Issues Raised/Lessons Learned:

1. Current Class and Statutory survey regimes failed to detect the potentially catastrophic weakness due to excessive corrosion. The regime should be re-examined to determine what improvements can be made to prevent a recurrence.

2. Postponement of major surveys, especially special surveys, should be avoided, especially on bulk carriers and for any vessels approaching the end of their design life.

3. Unacceptable local stresses may be generated when additional strength has been added and adjacent structure remains significantly weaker; additionally the connection of new to old steel could be the cause of accelerated corrosion rates in the old steel.

4. The requirements and standards for cargo hold protective coatings should be re-examined.

5. Permanent arrangements for access to all remote and high-risk areas within the cargo holds should be considered for existing vessels, currently only a requirement for bulk carriers constructed on or after 1 January 2006.

6. Had a port of refuge not been made available to this vessel the consequences may well have been catastrophic. The need for “Port of Refuge” – with regard to IMO Resolution A.949(23) should be re-emphasised.

7. Additional visual inspection may be required to be carried out by crew and/or surveyors with regard to the ships structure following carriage of corrosive cargoes, such as coal.

8. During periods of prolonged adverse weather Masters should consider all possible options to reduce the stress on any seaworthy vessel by altering course and/or a reduction in speed. [Note there is no suggestion in the report that the vessel’s course and speed caused this casualty].

9. Owners should consider the use of independent weather routing. [Note there is no suggestion in the report that the vessel’s route and prevailing weather directly caused this casualty].

10. It was determined during the investigation that the mandatory water alarms fitted in the cargo holds had been turned off prior to the incident due to them being permanently in alarm. This was attributed to the high moisture content of the cargo – declared at approximately 9% at the time of loading in Brazil. The bilges were however being sounded manually and water ingress in No 1 hold was thus detected. Nevertheless the acceptance [dismissal] of water ingress alarms (e.g. making an assumption that false alarms are due to the high water content in the cargo) without further immediate investigation on bulk carriers should be avoided.

5. Observations on the Human Element: No significant Human Element issues contributing to the casualty were raised. However the matter of turning off water ingress alarms is noted.


source Nautilus UK Telegraph, Sep 2008
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Investigations found that five side shell frames had become detached from the shell plating and tripped, and five were cracked at their upper ends. The Bahamas Maritime Authority report says this 'severe wastage' had not been detected by the ship's classification society, or by any other statutory inpection carried out during the previous two years. 'This calls into question the adequacy of the present inspection and survey scheme', the report warns.


source CTX
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Extremely rare, honest, useful flag state report. This crew is very lucky to be alive. But if the survey scheme is inadequate, why did the Bahamas not do something about it. The answer of course is, if they did, they would lose customers.

It is interesting that the Master's report of 'slight damage' is repeated several times by Smit, and apparently acccepted by the local authorities. Or maybe that was the only political correct way of granting refuge. Captain Saleem Modak of the South African Maritime Safety Authority is quoted as saying, "By putting the ship in False Bay, we've placed the environment at risk, yes; but, if the ship was made to go to sea, then she wouldn't be floating right now." CTX has little doubt that Captain Modak is correct.