In less than two weeks a second ship has arrived at a BC Port with damaged and lost cargo after encountering notorious “rogue” waves. The North Pacific is known as the most dangerous and violent waters on the planet and has been determined, by the worlds foremost expert on tankers, to rate tankers as have a stress life of only two voyages through storms in the region. This detail has been mostly ignored by the proponents of the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal with the subsequent required tanker traffic.
Today Time Columnist reporter Sandra McCulloch has published in the Vancouver Sun a story regarding a log barge cargo carrier arriving at Odgen Point in Victoria suffering major damage and losses after encountering a wave estimated to be as much as 50 feet in height. Read About It Here
Less than two weeks earlier the Cosco Yokohama arrived in Prince Rupert missing dozens of containers after sailing through hurricane force winds. Read About It Here
An excerpt from Ms. McCulloch’s article illustrates the seriousness of these ocean waters.The wave that slammed into the port side was 10-to-15 metres high, said Capt. Jostein Hoddevik, principal surveyor with IMS Marine Surveyors of Burnaby.
"It would have a lot of water behind it, a lot of force," Hoddevik said at Ogden Point on Monday.
He was aboard the vessel to assess the damage and review the incident on behalf of the ship's insurers.
A qualified captain with experience crossing the Atlantic, Hoddevik said there is little the crew could have done to avoid the wave. The incident occurred in an area of the north Pacific that's notorious for monstrous waves and punishing seas, he said.
The currents and wave patterns combine to make this a highly dangerous area.
"Several of the accidents I've been investigating have come from the same general location – a small area."
The vessel was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said. "The timing of the wave would be crucial."
Cargo vessels are damaged by waves like this off the West Coast once or twice a year, he said.
On December 11, 2010, the Terrace Daily published an article identifying the hazards and the poor quality of the most modern methods of Tanker construction called STATE OF THE ART - THE VERY BEST TANKERS IN THE WORLD TODAY. Read The Article Here
An excerpt from this article details the seriousness of not considering current tanker construction methods. Dr. Jack Devanney, the author of the following excerpt, was President and CEO of Majestic Shipping Corp, the largest independent American owner of very large tankers and is the founder of a new organization, the Center for Tankship Excellence.Fatigue Life
The rule standard fatigue life is 20 years. Most tankers operate for 25 years or more. It has always puzzled us as to why Class would set an average time to failure less than the expected ship life. When Hellespont specified a 40 year fatigue life, some class software had to be recoded to accept the larger number. But an equally pressing problem is that fatigue life depends critically upon the trading pattern that was implicitly included in the specification. According to both LR and ABS, a ship trading in the North Atlantic has a very different fatigue life than one trading in Indian Ocean. In this case, the class software is almost certainly correct, at least in a qualitative sense. The most graphic example of this is the American flag tankers trading on the Alaska-West Coast route. In this very severe environment, some of these ships turned out to have fatigue lives of one or two trips.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal envisages over 200 tankers plying these waters every year. They have detailed how they expect the largest and newest tankers, even using the words ‘State of the Art’ to describe them, to sail through these, the most violent ocean conditions on the planet.
The Joint Review Panel tasked by the Federal Government, the NEB (National Energy board) and the CEAA (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency) does not have as its mandate considering tanker construction quality or the assessment of the violent waters of the North Pacific.