Like Robert above, I wondered if there would …

Comment posted Yeoman Bontrup: the fire and the recovery by Murdoch MacKenzie.

Like Robert above, I wondered if there would be a change of location for the elevator belt and the boom to the forward end. It’s something that wasn’t mentioned on Thursday, and I didn’t ask either, but I am sure that it would have been considered. It would probably have meant major modifications to the three conveyors that run below the holds to get them operating in the opposite direction. It would also have probably required major structural additions to the forward hull of the ship, to cope with the added torsional forces.
The cause of the fire was hot work that was being done above the elevator. As there will always be this same danger in the future, they will likely have had safety consultants review their hot work procedures to mitigate against a recurrence. I am sure that the insurance companies and the marine authorities would have insisted on this.

Recent comments by Murdoch MacKenzie

  • Heavy sea fog affecting early inshore Hebridean ferries
    That’s a very good point you make there Willie. The planes are observed and controlled by Air Traffic Controllers who know where each one is, it’s heading, it’s altitude and it’s speed so they should not have any other planes in their path.
    Ships nowadays are getting quite like aircraft although they are not under controllers. As well as the radar, the use of GPS and AIS let’s them see each others signals on a chart and note any dangers or restrictions to manoeuvrability that they post. They can call each other by radio if things are not understandable. The biggest difference is probably that most ships are on the same surface so they only have two dimensions of avoidance. And of course there could be small non commercial vessels out there not transmitting AIS signals.

    A new problem that ferries have to deal with is that harbours may not be open to them if the conditions don’t meet Health and Safety criteria. Tying up big ships in bad weather can lead to an unsafe workplace for the dock workers, so ferry captains have to judge each situation across a range of potential showstoppers.

  • Information Commissioner rules against Police Scotland on withholding information
    The Scottish Justice system is rotten to the core. The way they allowed alien agencies to trample all over the Lockerbie investigation, fit up an innocent man as guilty of such a heinous crime and still refuse a review of the case to proceed makes me ashamed of my country of birth.

    Now we have Police Scotland running out of control with a leader who tells his senior colleagues, “If you’re not on my bus you’ll be under it”.
    When I first travelled abroad, I used to tell local people that where I was brought up, if a policeman stood in the street and blew a whistle at anyone, one of the war veterans would have punched it down his throat. Our policemen had to respect the public if they expected the same in return.
    Today we are no different from any other dictatorship, except that we have not yet woken up and realised what we have become since we allowed the disarming of the people while the police are now as tooled up as any special forces operator.

    You say that Police Scotland is a law unto itself but I’m not so sure that they are not a law unto powers outwith Scotland. If Jackie Baillie, as an elected member of the Scottish Parliament, cannot get support across all parties on this issue then we really are deeply in the mire.

  • Dead in the water: Oban transit marina
    I see comparisons being made with Rothesay harbour. I used to be a regular visitor there but an unwelcome incident 20 years ago has had it stroked off my list of destinations and stops. I could see Oban with this visitor marina losing regular clientele in the same fashion.
    I went into Rothesay one day to find all the pontoons filled with a fleet of yachts belonging to an English charter company that were on a round Britain cruise. They had made Rothesay one of their stops and were welcomed with open arms even if it was only for one day.
    I had someone with me who was not very ambulant and went alongside the yacht at the outer pontoon so that my friend could get ashore. Next thing the harbour Master came along and said I would need to go to anchor outside as there were people sleeping on the yachts. I explained to him about my friend but he wasn’t interested. I then told him that I had probably paid him much more in harbour dues that all these new clients of his would pay him that day and that he would never see me again. We tied up to the fish quay and struggled to get my friend ashore so that our day was not totally wasted, and I have never been back since.
  • CalMac, Islay, Colonsay, the Uig Triangle and the refit ‘lobster quadrille’
    Well, the Isle of Arran and the Clipper Ranger put in a sterling performance keeping the Stornoway service going right through the bad weather and the Isle of Lewis’s latest elongated visit to Birkenhead at the beginning of this year.
    For some reason the new Loch Seaforth never attempted to go alongside Number 1 pier’s linkspan which seems to work fine for the equally large Clipper Ranger. Every press report said that she could not begin work until the modifications to the Ferry Terminal were complete, no explanation why she could not, just that she couldn’t.
    As a matter of interest what is the water depth available at Kennacraig at the lowest tide? I think the Isle of Lewis could use Port Ellen at a push, but if she can’t go anywhere else from there unless the tides are favourable then there are not many runs she can do unrestricted. I don’t understand how they have not made an announcement about her future.
  • CalMac, Islay, Colonsay, the Uig Triangle and the refit ‘lobster quadrille’
    I’ve only seen the commercial RET fares from the time of the Pilot scheme, if they are still similar it would be difficult for a cargo vessel to compete.
    This whole subsidised ferry service has always stifled competition and progressive development in the West of Scotland. I have long ago come to the conclusion that that is it’s raison d’ĂȘtre.

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9 Responses to Like Robert above, I wondered if there would …

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  2. There was comment at the time of the fire that the Yeoman ships have the conveyor boom operating from the stern end, immediately in front of (and attached to) the bridge/accommodation block with the engine room below, whereas there are other ships of this type with the conveyor boom operating from the bow, with less risk to the ship in the event of a conveyor belt fire. Easy to be wise after the event, but food for thought.

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    • As you can see from the photographs, the boom belt assembly is mounted at the accommodation tower – and the lift belt from the bottom belt the cargo holds discharge onto runs up the front face of the accommodation unit.

      Lay logic – but I guess this is the only position that lets them get the height for the lift belt to rise enough to discharge adequately on to the conveyor boom on the necessary volume/speed axis in unloading.

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  4. Like Robert above, I wondered if there would be a change of location for the elevator belt and the boom to the forward end. It’s something that wasn’t mentioned on Thursday, and I didn’t ask either, but I am sure that it would have been considered. It would probably have meant major modifications to the three conveyors that run below the holds to get them operating in the opposite direction. It would also have probably required major structural additions to the forward hull of the ship, to cope with the added torsional forces.
    The cause of the fire was hot work that was being done above the elevator. As there will always be this same danger in the future, they will likely have had safety consultants review their hot work procedures to mitigate against a recurrence. I am sure that the insurance companies and the marine authorities would have insisted on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. The 3 newest Yeoman vessels, all have the elevator belt & tower situated next to the main superstructure. Yeoman Brook, the oldest of the fleet, & the CSL vessels that also visit Glensanda have them near the bow.
    It may be that having the tower near the accommodation block gives an improved view ahead, or it may be that it means that there’s better weight distribution & easier routing of services when everything is near the engines. I guess only the designers will be able to give the definitive answer!

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