The Baltimore Incident – we are all susceptible!

Table of contents

While this incident involved a container ship it could and has happened  to varying degrees to the type of vessels that we all operate!

Very sadly, the entire marine industry globally has been shocked at the incident in one of America’s busiest ports, Baltimore, this past week.

It has been reported, the crew of MV Dali, a fully loaded container ship had just 251 seconds to avert a disaster before the massive vessel slammed into the main Baltimore city bridge.  Just 251 seconds!

The ship had just finished loading at the city’s container terminal and had been guided into the shipping channel by two tugs. Two harbour pilots, both experienced specialists, were aboard. Everything appeared normal.  ‘Appeared Normal’.

A US Coast Guard report quotes pilots aboard the Dali saying that the bridge team observed “power issues, multiple alarms on the bridge, and the loss of propulsion prior to the incident”.

Baltimore Police say they received a Mayday call (declaration of emergency) from the MV Dali just 90 seconds before the disaster.

Whatever the cause, it is time to raise the alarm and act.

Alarm: “raising the alarm, what’s your procedure”?

Cause: “identifying the cause of the emergency”?

Action: “is your crew able to deal with onboard emergencies”?

Preparedness: “is all of your crew trained and competent to deal with onboard emergencies”?

Inductions: “have you ensured ALL of your crew have been properly inducted”?

Training: “have ALL of your crew been trained and tested in dealing with onboard emergencies”?

Reporting: “has the incident been reported”?

Follow-up: “can your business conduct an internal investigation after an emergency”?

Compliancy in relation to the above is what causes damage to or loss of vessels and injury and/or loss of life in emergency situations.

We do not want to see any marine incidents like this again but sometimes there are accidents.

However, you need to be 100% confident that you, your crew, your business and everyone that you are responsible for are in the safest hands at all times. 

And if an incident does occur, everything and we mean everything is conducted correctly and safely.

Can you honestly answer this question….”Could you or your crew avert disaster in 251 seconds?’.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Our best recommendation is to ensure your crew are properly inducted on to each individual vessel you operate, are trained in emergency procedures to ensure they can handle emergency situations.

Secondly training is not just talking about a situation all crew need to partake in what we call challenge testing to ensure they can operate as an individual and as part of a team in all emergency situations.


 Review Review Review!

Review your vessel/s to ensure that all mechanical, servicing and maintenance is all 100% up to date at all times..

Review and ensure your crew and designated persons are all trained to deal with an emergency. Not just at sea, but also across the industry.

Review your Safety Management System and in particular emergency procedures.

Review all contact numbers to ensure they are up to date at all times.

If you are unsure about anything in this newsletter or if the incident in Baltimore has affected you or someone you know, please reach out to us here at Shorlink. We are here for our clients, and the industry to ensure all is safe, healthy and have a bright future in the marine industry.

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