Joint Safety Alert: DPS Failure on Vessels

Posted by Greg Trauthwein
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

USCG, BSEE issue joint safety alert regarding Dynamic Positioning System Failures
 

Discussion: This Joint Safety Alert addresses a dynamic positioning (DP) incident on a vessel resulting in a loss of position while conducting a critical Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activity. An equipment failure, an operational error and multiple failure modes not identified in the vessel’s Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) combined to produce the loss of position. The OCS activity – well operations that introduced hydrocarbon flow from a well to the vessel – was critical because of the potential for loss of position to result in personal injury, environmental pollution, or catastrophic damage. These consequences were averted because of the successful actions taken by the crew, who performed an emergency disconnect from the well in accordance with established procedures. The Coast Guard and the BSEE are issuing this joint Safety Alert because they share jurisdiction over vessels that perform this type of OCS activity and wish to highlight the interaction between a vessel’s Safety Management System (SMS) and a leaseholder’s Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS). See our Memorandum of Agreement OCS-07 “Safety and Environmental Management Systems and Safety Management Systems”. The incident report highlighted the following:

Vessel SMS
-     The vessel has a valid International Safety Management (ISM) certificate issued by its Flag State. The Coast Guard reminds vessel owners and operators that compliance with the ISM Code, when required, is essential to safe operations, particularly when those operations are critical OCS activities.
 

o    1) At the time of position loss, the vessel was performing overdue maintenance on its main power distribution bus circuit breakers. The circuit breakers were two years overdue for their routine inspection and maintenance requirements. Opportunity existed for this work to be performed in a shipyard on an earlier occasion, but the vessel deferred and conducted maintenance during a critical OCS activity (See ISM Code Regulations 7, 10).
 

o    2) In support of the circuit breaker maintenance, the vessel was transitioning from a “closed bus” operation to an “open bus” configuration with 50% of the vessel’s thrusters operating on each bus. After opening the bus tie, the initiating event -- mal-operation of a generator protection circuit combined with a design flaw in a power transformer protection circuit to cause 50% of the vessel’s thrusters to stop. The vessel’s engineer attempted to restore power to these thrusters by closing the bus tie without synchronizing two live busses (crash sync). Design features and operational procedures to prevent such an action and consequences were not sufficiently in place (See ISM Code Regulations 6, 8).
 

o    3) The vessel had a design deficiency and an omission in the FMEA which failed to detect the deficiency. The FMEA should have listed crash sync as a possible failure mode and discussed the system’s ability to ride through it. The design deficiency allowed a power transient to cause a total loss of thrust (See ISM Code Regulation 10.3).

Leaseholder/operator SEMS: The BSEE strongly recommends leaseholders/operators consider Coast Guard recommendations for DP vessels when evaluating potential hazards and establishing and implementing contractor safe work practices in their SEMS program (see 30 CFR §§ 250.1911 and 250.1914). The BSEE reminds leaseholders/operators of their critical role in ensuring safety and environmental hazards associated with contracted vessels on their lease are properly managed. In particular, leaseholders/operators must ensure hazards associated with a loss of position by contracted DP vessels are analyzed and managed with appropriate contractor safe work practices.

-    Dynamic Positioning: The Coast Guard strongly recommends owners and operators of a vessel using DP to conduct this type of critical OCS activity on the U.S. OCS follow DP guidance provided in the ‘‘DP Operations Guidance Prepared through the Dynamic Positioning Committee of the Marine Technology Society to aid in the safe and effective management of DP Operations Part 2 Appendix 2 (DP Project/ Construction Vessels)” (MTS DP Guidance). See our notice published in the Federal Register (77 FR 62247) for more details.
 

o    1) The vessel did not have a Critical Activity Mode of Operation (CAMO) defined. Ensure a vessel has a CAMO defined and is in its CAMO during critical OCS activities. Refer to MTS “TECHOP_ODP_12_(O) (Defining Critical Activities Requiring Selection of Critical Activity Mode”, January 2014 when developing a CAMO and identifying the specific OCS activities that require the vessel to be in its CAMO. (see MTS DP Guidance Paragraph 4.9)
 

o    2) Ensure the DP operations manual and SMS both appropriately address DP equipment inspection, repair and maintenance requirements. A vessel should not perform maintenance that may cause a loss of position during a critical OCS activity. (MTS DP Guidance Paragraphs 4.8, 4.9, 4.11)
 

o    3) Refer to International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) M166 “Guidance on Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEAs)” and MTS Technical and Operational Guidance (TECHOP )“TECHOP_GEN_01_(Power Plant Common Cause Failures)”, September 2012 when developing a vessel’s FMEA. At a minimum a vessel’s FMEA and DP FMEA Proving Trials should address the common failure modes listed in paragraphs 4.2, 4.3 and Figure 1 of TECHOP_GEN_01. ( MTS DP Guidance Paragraphs 4.2 and 4.7)
 

o    4) Ensure a structured competence assurance program is applied to all key DP personnel. At a minimum DP personnel should be required to demonstrate proficiency in understanding the redundancy concept and emergency procedures in intervening for failed redundancy. Intervention proficiency in restoring power and thrust should be demonstrated during drills and annual trials. (See MTS DP Guidance Paragraph 4.14)
 

For additional information, contact Lieutenant Chris Martin at 985-850-6495 with the Coast Guard Outer Continental Shelf Center of Expertise or Staci King at 703-787-1736 with the BSEE Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs SEMS Branch.
 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Nations Convene for Arctic Maritime Discussion

Citing an increasing need to ensure safety, security and stewardship of Arctic waters, member countries of the Arctic Council gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Advanced Drillships a Burden for Owners as Business Slows

Not so long ago, advanced drillships costing more than half a billion dollars each and capable of operating in ever-deeper waters practically guaranteed big profits for oil-rig operators.

Russia May Allow More Firms to Offshore Oil

Russia may allow more oil companies to access its offshore projects, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.   "In general, the access can be extended," Novak told reporters in Moscow.

Workboats

Shipping Season Opens on the Mississippi

First tow marks unofficial opening to Mississippi River navigation season   M/V New Dawn arrived at Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minn. Wednesday morning, marking

Two ASD Tugs Delivered to URAG

URAG has taken delivery of two ASD 2411 Tugs to add to its existing fleet. Named Brake and Perfect, the new vessels have joined their sister ship Prompt in the

Plans in Place to Test Intermodal River Transport

The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority and Ingram Barge Company has announced plans to assess the viability of Intermodal River Transportation, utilizing

Marine Power

Schmiedag and Wildauer Schmiedewerke: 'We Forge Partnerships'

Olaf Wiertz, Sales Director at Schmiedag GmbH (SDG) and Wildauer Schmiedewerke GmbH & Co. KG (WSW) said: “We are more than just a supplier to our customers – we are their partner.

Rolls-Royce Propulsion for Polar Research Vessel

Rolls-Royce informs it has been awarded a contract by shipbuilder Fincantieri to supply a fully integrated propulsion system for Norway’s new Polar Research Vessel,

Indonesia Partners with China on Maritime

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged increased maritime cooperation during the formers visit to China.   The joint

Maritime Security

Mediterranean Rescue Operations Strain Shipping

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday describing how the increasing number of seaborne migrants making the journey from Africa to Europe has not only

Port of Aden Under Threat with Enemy at the Gates

As Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies stage air strikes against Shi'ite Muslim militiamen threatening to topple Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the southern

Maritime Training Academy Announces Diploma in Maritime Security

The Maritime Training Academy announced the launch of its new diploma in maritime security today.   The Surrey, UK-based distance learning center said the

Coast Guard

Mediterranean Rescue Operations Strain Shipping

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday describing how the increasing number of seaborne migrants making the journey from Africa to Europe has not only

Greek Ferry Still Stuck

The Greek ferry that ran aground just outside of port on the Aegean Island of Kassos Wednesday night is still stuck. The 227 passengers and 55 crew aboard the

USCG Conducting Ice Flushing Operations

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season

Maritime Safety

Mediterranean Rescue Operations Strain Shipping

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday describing how the increasing number of seaborne migrants making the journey from Africa to Europe has not only

Port of Aden Under Threat with Enemy at the Gates

As Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies stage air strikes against Shi'ite Muslim militiamen threatening to topple Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the southern

Greek Ferry Still Stuck

The Greek ferry that ran aground just outside of port on the Aegean Island of Kassos Wednesday night is still stuck. The 227 passengers and 55 crew aboard the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1492 sec (7 req/sec)