In other news The San Jose Mercury News tells us;
The International Maritime Organization saw the Cosco Busan oil spill coming: Last year, it banned new ships from being built with their fuel tanks along the hull beginning in 2010.
In effect, the U.N. agency determined that increasingly large, fast ships that carry as much fuel as a small oil tanker should not carry that fuel along the side of the vessel, directly behind a single-layer hull.
One UC-Berkeley engineering professor compared the design to the Ford Pinto, the 1970s car that gained a reputation for gasoline tanks that could explode in rear-end accidents.
“I think the Pinto is the perfect example,” said Bob Bea, who is also a former oil tanker captain. “We need to recall them and retrofit. Put them (fuel tanks) inside.”
Built in 2001, the Cosco Busan is among the growing number of bigger, faster container ships that have “winged tanks” – fuel tanks arrayed along the sides of the ship.
The IMO convention, adopted in March 2006, requires that by 2010 all new ships with an oil fuel capacity of 600 cubic meters or more must have their fuel tanks deeper inside the ship and behind two walls. That rule affects most large commercial ships, and would have affected the Cosco Busan.
Bea said few are aware of the action taken by the London-based IMO, even within the shipping industry, because the licensing bodies that put those regulations into effect have yet to write and distribute information about it.
The IMO convention applies only to new ships, or those that undergo major modifications. It does not phase out winged tanks, meaning it is likely that container ships with winged tanks will be around for decades.
“We have a fleet full of those damn things out there, and they are exposed and so are we,” Bea said.
The Cosco Busan is capable of carrying 5,500 20-foot containers, about half the capacity of the world’s largest container ships, which carry the equivalent of trains 70 miles long across oceans at 25 knots, or about 30 miles per hour. Continue Reading…
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To view a photo slideshow of the incident CLICK HERE.