Custom Search
Top Stories
Go to Site Index See "Top Stories" main page
REPORTING · 8th February 2012
Merv Ritchie
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.
new emphasis on wave size?
Comment by djb on 15th February 2012
Yet another example of fear mongering to make a point. These waves have always been around. They are nothing new. I love the posting of the articles. I know this works both ways, but just because something is published does not make it the absolute truth. I would like to know which "expert" claimed a ship had a stress life of only 2 voyages through any seas. I find that a more than a bit unlikely.
Comment by ocender on 14th February 2012
It was 4 am ish' and was having a coffee while getting ready for WORK.Thanks for the critique BUD,'preciate it!!
Red waves come out of closet?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 13th February 2012
Crued oil and rouge waves ,very interesting.... Sorry Paul that's all I could find interesting about your post.It is pointless debating with some people so I thought I would critique your spelling.
Rouge Waves come out of the closet
Comment by Paul Dament, Alberta on 12th February 2012
Suddenly and out of nowhere you are now reporting on rogue waves.Especially when it suits your neeed.Interesting and funny that now we get regular reports on nasty weather on the north west waters.for years they've been travelled by tankers,hauling crued and fuel and seacans and supplies and illegall aliens and ...

Love the rehtoric though,pummelled,expect more rouge waves etc.It's like Suzuki himself pushed the waves along the oceans to create the fear desinged to be felt by the biased reporting.
What about LNG tankers?
Comment by Sean O'Driscoll on 9th February 2012
Its interesting to read about concerns around the vulnerability of oil tankers along our trecherous coasline, but no mention whatsoever of LNG tankers plying the same waters. Don't take this as a pro-Enbridge comment (as some may be tempted to do), but somehow the potential risks of LNG plants and tankers have definitely fallen off the radar. In fact, in 2007 PM Harper told president Bush to "beat it" when the americans wanted to sail LNG tankers through tricky eastern coastal waters. Here's a link:

Moreover, there has been much documented about LNG plant explosions - many of them - over the years, one of the most infamous being the Cleveland disaster in 1944. There have been quite a few in the past 10 years, resulting in death injury and destruction, and a simple Google search will reveal them.

Remember when Methanex used to give out nice fridge magnets telling us to stay in doors in case of an "incident"? I have a feeling we'll be getting a few more magnets in the near future.

The myth around LNG is if there's a "leak" it just evaporates - it somehow simply disappears without a trace - more b.s. promulgated by LNG proponents. But even if you believe that, ever think about what happens when it EXPLODES!!!