Friday, February 29, 2008

Cowboys of the Deep Seas

Cougar Ace - Listing BadlyHigh Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace Mother nature (or was it human error) causes an interesting disaster. Well almost, because of these cowboys, it wasn't a disaster.

Very interesting story about trying to save ship that nearly sank taking its cargo with it (and probably creating an ecological nightmare in the process).

A problem developed while they were changing the water in their ballast tanks. New US regs require this to prevent introducing "invasive species."
To maintain stability and equilibrium, the ballast tanks need to be drained of foreign water and simultaneously refilled with local water. The bridge gives the go-ahead to commence the operation, and a ship engineer uses a hydraulic-powered system to open the starboard tank valves. Water gushes out one side of the ship and pours into the ocean. It's July 23, 2006.

In the crew's quarters below the bridge, Saw "Lucky" Kyin, the ship's 41-year-old Burmese steward, rinses off in the common shower. The ship rolls underneath his feet. He's been at sea for long stretches of the past six years. In his experience, when a ship rolls to one side, it generally rolls right back the other way.

This time it doesn't. Instead, the tilt increases. For some reason, the starboard ballast tanks have failed to refill properly, and the ship has abruptly lost its balance. At the worst possible moment, a large swell hits the Cougar Ace and rolls the ship even farther to port. Objects begin to slide across the deck. They pick up momentum and crash against the port-side walls as the ship dips farther. Wedged naked in the shower stall, Kyin is confronted by an undeniable fact: The Cougar Ace is capsizing.
An interesting read about what happened after that. (Almost sounds like a movie.)

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