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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

"Walvis Wollover"

On The Scene At Walvis Bay, Namibiaa

Feature Date: June 22 2009

Event Date: July 16 2008

Countryman & McDaniel

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"Overlooking Runway 25 - Right, at Los Angeles International Airport"

On The Scene --At Walvis Bay, Namibia

 A 2009 Countryman & McDaniel

Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

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Correction & Update -- March 2010


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"Walvis Wollover"

On The Scene

Walvis Bay, Namibia

July 16 2008

F/V Holmatindur - In Better Days

Holmatindur IMO: 7384417



Here is an older one which deserves our consideration. We are continuing to work on this feature at press time -- to meet a deadline for The Cargo Letter [454] for June 2009. So please look for important updates. This is NOT a finished feature. on this feature.

The inspiration for this feature came from our dear friend Captain John Konrad  -- Co-Founder | CEO Unofficial Networks LLC  - the founder of your favorite internet site -- gCaptain.

Capt. John of gCaptain reminded us of the need to aquatint you with yet another risk to your international cargo. The risk is "fluids" -- and we don't mean getting wet. We refer to a danger that can get your cargo sunk!

Vessels find need to transfer fluids from one on-board tank to another for a variety of quite common daily reasons. These resons include the need to trim the vessel as water or fuel are used on one side of the vessel -- and there is a need to transfer remaining fluids back to the empty tanks -- to trim the vessel by a fluid transfer to equalize -- or trim the balance so that the weight is properly balanced.

This feature addresses the all too common situation where the need for transfer of fluids is either ignored -- or mishandled.

We spent over three months following such a high seas situation for you in the photo feature"Laying Down On The Job" - the amazing story of M/V COUGAR ACE.

But unlike the situation for M/V Cougart Ace, this feature for F/V Seaflower involves the presumed -- simple -- task of bringing the vessel to dry dock for her annual refit.


Expert Contribution For The Loss of F/V Holmatindur:

"A risk management truism is that a procedure taken to ameliorate one risk may succeed as to that risk but at the same time create or exacerbate a different and unrelated risk.

Illustrating this irony may be the onboard transfer of sizable fluid quantities, such as liquid ballast. An example is what happened on board the automobile carrier M/V COUGAR ACE, which on July 23, 2006, while at sea, was complying with ballast water exchange regulations intended to minimize introduction of foreign invasive marine organisms. While engaged in the ballast water exchange, M/V COUGAR ACE destabilized and took an approximate 80 degree list to port.

Subsequent investigation revealed a combination of onboard and shoreside contributing factors. However, with prevailing wind and sea conditions considered and familiarity with the vessel's ballast system and stability characteristics, ballast water exchange or discharge should not present undue risk, provided the controlling regulations are appropriate to the circumstances."

Geoff Gill, Esq. -- Countryman & McDaniel -- U.S. Merchant Marine Academy graduate & former U.S. flagged ship's officer

Editor Note - March 2010

Thanks to Capt. Hilmar Snorrason of Reykjavik, Iceland for correcting our understanding for the vessel name which we obtained from Triton Naval Architects material.

A Cargo Nightmare Prize Contender

The Date: July 16 2008

The Time: 1655 hrs.

The Place: Walvis Bay, Namibia

In 1990 The Only Namibian Sovereign Harbor Was Lüderitz.

Walvis Bay Was Only Re-incorporated Into Namibia In 1994.

Our Story Takes PLace At The Port of Walvis Bay, South West Africa

F/V Holmatindur Was Preparing To Enter Drydock at Walvis Bay, Namibia. It Was Time For The Yearly Inspection.

F/V Holmatindur Was Deballasting -- But Made The Mistake of Adding Weight Onto The Foredeck In Order To Reduce The Trim.

The Movement of Fluids -- From Vessel Tank To Vessel Tank - Is A Serious Business. Trim Control Was Lost.

The Plan Was For F/V Holmatindur To Be Docked With An Appropriate Trim -- And Then Tranfered Into Drydock

However, Maritime Plans Often Defy That Plan. The 30 Degree List Is Not "Appropriate Trim,"

M/V F/V Holmatindur Took On A Dramatic List (angle of LOL) Due To Loss of Stability (GM)

In Response The Crew Allegedly Transferred Some Fuel To The Other Side --

-- Which Resulted In F/V Holmatindur Rolling Through Her LOL Angle To The Other Side -- But Continuing To Capsize.

Editor Note: The Mast of F/V Holmatindur Is Upright In This Photo, As God Intended. Stay Tuned!
F/V Holmatindur Is Now At 85 Degrees Capsize -- But In These Pictures -- Seconds Are Ticking

Editor Note: The Mast of F/V Holmatindur r Is Now At 45 Degrees To Port -- Ready To Receive Fish Signals.

F/V Holmatindur Is Now At Full 90 Degree Capsize, But The Mast Has Kept Pace -- To A Full 90 Degrees.

Editor Note: View the three, proceeding pictures carefully & note the time stamps. You have just witnessed a major event -- as F/V Holmatindur capsized with tremendous force, noise & equipment destruction. Run the pictures back. Each has an important story to tell.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Capt. Hilmar Snorrason has provided a great Photo Feature which captures the minute-by-minute capsize of F/V Holmatindur

F/V Holmatindur Is Now At Full Capsize - Dead At Dock

The Cargo Letter - 16 July 2008

F/V Holmatindur capsized alongside dock at Walvis Bay

F/V Holmatindur while preparing to enter drydock, was deballasting, and (somewhat ignorantly) adding weights onto the foredeck in order to reduce the trim, so as to be docked with an appropriate trim.

She took on a dramatic list (angle of LOL) due to loss of stability (GM) upon which the crew allegedly transferred some fuel to the other side, which results in the vessel rolling through her LOL angle to the otherside but continuing to capsize.

Comments On The Scene:  
"Salvage of vessel F/V Holmatindur (F/V Seaflower) at Walvis Bay, Namibia -- the vessel capsized and sank three hours before she was for docking. Poor stability was the cause of the incident and a very costly one. It took some time to lift the vessel, removing all nets,oil.cables and make it safer to work on. Finding all the leaks and making the vessel watertight before lifting her was a major job.we had to brake a lot inside paneling away to seal cable entries off."
Jan Brand - eye witness

F/V Holmatindur -- One Lucky Vessel

The Expected Result Here Would Normally Be For F/V Holmatindur To Sink -- After a 90 Degree List.

F/V Holmatindur I A Good Luck Ship

The 20' ContainerBelonging To Walvis Bay Diving - Picture Above --

-- Happened To Be At Dock When F/V Holmatindur (F/V Seaflower) Capsized

Walvis Bay Diving Has Nothing To Do With This Story - But We Thought You'd Want To See Them

Triton Naval Architects of Capetown Performs Salvage Simulation Calculations. F/V Holmatindur (F/V Seaflower) Will Rise Again.

F/V Holmatindur (M/V Seaflower) -- Looking A bit Shabby As She Is Craned Off The Ocean Floor -- After Months "At Sea'

The Cargo Letter - Sept. 9 2008

The salvage of F/V Holmatindur is ongoing through the company Elgin Brown Hamer, at Walvis, who contracted Triton Naval Architects to perform some of the Salvage Simulation Calculations, using GHS Ship Stability and Salvage software.

There is more to this story.


"Walvis Wollover"

Correction & Update

Correction From Our Reader -- Jan. 18 2010
I found on your excellent site the story of Walvis Wollover which I vould like to comment on and ask you to correct information. I was the photographer of Homatindur that day and the cover photo which I also took and is signatured as F/V Sunflower Ex- F/V Holmatindur in better days. This is completely incorrect as this photo was taken at 07:55 on the morning of 16th July 2008 the same day that Holmatindur heeled over and sank in the harbor of Walvis Bay. The owner of Holmatindur was Sunflower and that is the reason for that name on her side. I took another photo of her at 08:21 where clearly can been seen that her forward draft has incresed due to dockworkers putting concret blocks on her bow. My friend was her Captain and I went with him onboard this morning and when she was to me moved from the pier to the slipway at 15:00 she lost her stability.
Capt. Hilmar Snorrason -- Reykjavik, Iceland

Editor Note:

Thanks to Capt. Snorrason for correcting our understanding for the vessel name which we obtained from Triton Naval Architects material.

Dockworkers Place Concrete Blocks On Her Bow

The Purpose Of Placing The Concrete Blocks Was To Changes Her Trim So She Would Not Have Such A Big Difference Between Forward & Aft Draft.

From Our Reader
I'm always eager to have informations as correct as possible then I was not happy to see the vessel name not correct. I was that day in Walvis Bay and that morning I drove my friend, the skipper of Holmadrangur, to his ship and I took two photo's at that time. The first one was taken 07:55 GMT and the second was taken half an hour later. It can clearly be seen that the concret blocks that where hoisted at her focs'le by the dockworkers of the slipway that should hoist her up later that day. The purpose was to changes her trim so she would not have such a big difference between fw and aft draft. In photo taken 08:22 her draft fw has incresed from the first one.

Around two in the afternoon the dock(master) decided to add more concret blocks to her and when the harbor pilot and skipper arrived to take her to the slipway then she started suddenly to heel towards the dock with the tragetic result some hour and half later.  

Capt. Hilmar Snorrason -- Reykjavik, Iceland

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To Repeat -- No Matter How Careful You Are -- Or Who You Hire ....... "Ship Happens! ©"

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The Dedication of This Feature Is Simple: To The Crew of F/V Seaflower - They Did All They Could

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by air & sae continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker

It's very dangerous out there.


Important Links To Our Feature:
Port of Walvis Bay

Triton Naval Architects - Capetown, South Africa

Walvis Bay Diving

Our Daily Vessel Casualties - stay informed

Photo Features From The Cargo Letter- these are just examples

The Cargo Letter Photo Gallery of Transport Loss - For All The Air & Ocean Features - a few examples below
"Too Little Runway - Too Much Plane" - TACA Flt 390 - June 2008

"Recurring Dream" - M/V Norwegian Dream - May 2008

"Explorer Ship Down" - M/V Explorer - Nov. 2007

"Kwanyang Crane Kaboom" - Nov. 2007

"Den Den Done" - M/V Denden - Sept. 2007

"For The "L" of It" - M/V Action Alpha - August 2007

"Pepito Flores Did Not Need To Die " - OUR INVESTIGATION RESULTS

"Stack Attack!" - M/V Ital Florida - July 2007

"Singles Only" - visit our individual moments of transport crisis for more.

The Greatest Container Losses Of All Time - these are the grand fathers -

M/V OOCL America

M/V APL China

M/V APL Panama - The EPIC

"Great Misfortune"- M/V Hyundai Fortune - March 2006

SPECIAL NOTE: The historic dangers of carriage by sea continue to be quite real. Shippers must be encouraged to purchase high quality marine cargo insurance from their freight forwarder or customs broker. 

It's very dangerous out there.

Thanks To Our Contributors For The "Walvis Wollover" Feature

Our Contributor for this feature are greatly appreciated:
Jan Brand

Capt. Hilmar Snorrason

Captain John Konrad  -- Co-Founder | CEO Unofficial Networks LLC  - your favorite website -- gCaptain

NOTE: Please Provide Us With Your Additional Information For This Loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE FOR SURVEYORS, ATTORNEYS & MARINE ADJUSTERS: The Internet edition effort of The Cargo Letter now celebrates it's 8th Year of Service -- making us quite senior in this segment of the industry. We once estimated container underway losses at about 1,500 per year. Lloyd's put that figure at about 10,000 earlier this year. Quite obviously, the reporting mechanism for these massive losses is not supported by the lines. News of these events is not posted to the maritime community. Our new project is to call upon you -- those handling the claims -- to let us know of each container loss at sea-- in confidentiality. Many of you survey on behalf of cargo interests with no need for confidentiality. Others work for the lines & need to be protected. As a respected Int'l publication, The Cargo Letter enjoys full press privileges & cannot be forced to disclose our sources of information. No successful attempt has ever been made. If a personal notation for your report is desired -- each contributor will be given a "hot link" to your company Website in each & every report. Please take moment & report your "overside" containers to us. If you do not wish attribution, your entry will be "anonymous." This will will benefit our industry -- for obvious reasons! McD

* NOTE: The Cargo Letter wants you to know that by keeping the identity of our contributors 100% Confidential, you are able to view our continuing series of "Cargo Disasters." Our friends send us materials which benefit the industry. The materials are provided to our news publication with complete and enforceable confidentiality for the sender. In turn, we provide these materials to you.  

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