Some of the Biggest Cargo Ship Accidents in the World, Expert Teams are Trying to Design Ships So That These Events Don’t Happen

Some of the Biggest Cargo Ship Accidents in the World, Expert Teams are Trying to Design Ships So That These Events Don’t Happen. More than 50,000 large cargo ships traverse oceans around the world. Time and time again, as a result of accidents and fires that occur in the oceans, oil spills and other dangerous substances wash up on beaches around the world. Let’s look at three examples of incidents that have occurred throughout history. The first event occurred in the North Sea, off the coast of the Netherlands. On January 1 2019, in the midst of a strong storm from the northwest with waves as high as 10 to 20 meters, more than 300 containers fell into the ocean. The load was scattered and contaminated the surrounding beaches. The coast guard as well as national authorities assigned a research team from the Netherlands Maritime Research Institute to carry out the investigation.

The goal is to find out what causes container falls and how to prevent them in the future. With a length of 400 meters and a width of 60 meters, they engineered the MSC Zoe ship to be 1 in 63. With this wave machine, they can simulate waves with various strength scales. When a cargo ship is hit by certain waves in the center of the ship it will swing along its longitudinal axis and then swing back to its original position. On large cargo ships, this process takes 10 to 15 seconds. When the MSC Zoe swung back after 15 seconds, the ship hit another giant wave. This causes the ship to rock more. Moreover, the ship may hit the seabed slightly, and this makes the shocks in the ship’s hull even stronger.

Then waves with a height of 20 meters hit the wall of the container on the deck. The strong impact of the waves on the ship caused the container cargo to roll over. This shaking and impact caused the ropes holding the container to break. Lashing, a strap made from metal rods, functions to tether cargo crates to ships. If extreme fluctuations occur, this binding metal can break. Second incident: The MV Golden Ray. This incident shows the enormous economic and ecological damage caused by shipwrecks.

The 200 meter long car carrier, Golden Ray, is loaded with 4,200 new cars. Everything seemed to be going well until the ship capsized off the coast of the US state of Georgia in 2019. Worldwide, shipwrecks have actually fallen by around 65 percent. Even so, incidents like Golden Ray can still happen. When programming the loading software, the crew entered incorrect information about the weight of the ship’s cargo. Plus, the hatch was left open. This causes the ship to be unbalanced. Several crew members had to be rescued using cutting equipment. The flames started to appear. And some of the ship’s approximately 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel leaked. For rescue, the ship was towed to the nearest port using a specially built floating lifting crane.

The ship was cut into pieces using a large chain coated with diamond dust. The total value of the cargo and the Golden Ray ship itself reached 164 million US dollars. However, the rescue costs were recorded as the highest in United States history: 800 million US dollars. Third incident: Modern Express. This incident shows that efforts to save the ship are becoming increasingly difficult. With a length of 164 meters, the Modern Express was designed as a car carrier, but this ship was mistakenly loaded with logs. That was the reason the ship became stranded off the coast of France in 2019. The Navy also dispatched a team of experts from a salvage company and installed a tow rope to tow the ship.

On February 3, 2019, a helicopter carried a four-person rescue team back to the ship. They were able to prevent the ship from exploding and the tank leaking, and the MV Modern Express was successfully towed to the Port of Bilbao. So, what concrete steps can be taken to improve the safety of commercial shipping? At the Maritime Research Institute in the Netherlands, researchers provided some instructions for captains based on their experiments. During transit, very heavy cargo is often loaded at the top, even though it should also be placed at the bottom and middle. Otherwise, the ship is at high risk of capsizing. Other instructions: During bad weather, coastguards must close areas deemed dangerous to ships well in advance. If this could be done then many of the major accidents that occurred in the past could be prevented, and many more could be avoided in the future.