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Old 21-10-2007, 04:59   #1
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Things That Go Bump in the Night

If you've ever worried about colliding with a floating container at night during an offshore passage, this is not the least bit reassuring! I have a friend who told me that a friend of his who's job is to track containers said that you'd be amazed at how many are lost at sea!
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Old 21-10-2007, 07:57   #2
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I worked for a company that put gps tracking units on containers so companies could keep watch on them independent of the shipping companies. I didn't keep track of how many got lost (didn't care at the time), but someone told me that they have vent holes at the top that cause them to sink. There are a few that are airtight, but not that many, and those need to be plugged into power the whole time, not stacked crazy like that.

I'd like to hear a better version of that from a longshoreman or someone around that capacity.
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Old 21-10-2007, 08:06   #3
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Sinking containers depend not just on vents but on density of contents. Some of the electronics I buy has so much Styrofoam packing, I think they would be very buoyant.

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Old 21-10-2007, 08:13   #4
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I found some reading on this:
Containerization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lost Sea Cargo: Beach Bounty or Junk?

So the numbers are 2,000 to 10,000 lost per year (out of millions moved), but the majority of them are sinking by far. How in the heck are the contents breaking free if the steel container itself isn't sinking?
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Old 21-10-2007, 08:18   #5
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Another good one, and it provides the 2,000 to 10,000 lost numbers. Guy says over 100 million are shipped each year. THE BOATING REPORT; Avoiding Submerged Containers a Test for Sailors - New York Times
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Old 21-10-2007, 12:11   #6
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Informative articles, rebel heart. I thought a quote in one was interesting:

''Containers usually float with just their corner exposed,'' said the oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who tracks flotsam on the world's oceans. ''They're like little steel icebergs.''

The photo in my initial post is of a ship that experienced 7-10 m. waves in a monsoon in the Indian Ocean last July. It lost only three containers.

Here's an article by a single-handing sailor who's boat rammed a container on night while he was asleep below: 06. Collision!
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Old 22-10-2007, 04:16   #7
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It’s interesting, and not a little baffling, to note our near universal concern with the hazzards associated with Floating Containers, Boat Boys, and Piracy, et al - and the equanimity with which many deny (even the existence of) Global Warming, and/or it’s likely effects.

Prudent Cruisers would be well advised to undertake something akin to a “Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis” (HRVA) in order to help make risk-based choices to address vulnerabilities, mitigate hazards and prepare for response to, and recovery from, hazardous situations or events.

A hazard is any source of potential damage, existing where a situation, object, or substance, has an inherent (built-in) ability to cause an adverse effect.

A Risk is the chance or probability that a person or property will be harmed or experience an adverse effect if exposed to a hazard.

For HARM to occur, there must be BOTH the hazard AND the exposure to that hazard; without both simultaneously, there is no risk.

In risk assessment & management (mitigation), we determine whether, how, and in what circumstances, harm might be caused. In order to assess risk, both exposure & outcome must be considered.
RISK = PROBABILITY (1) x IMPACT (2)

1. Probability: how likely the uncertainty is to occur (exposure)
2. Impact: what the effect or outcome would be, if it happened (harm)
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Old 22-10-2007, 05:32   #8
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Voice of Reason.....
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Old 22-10-2007, 09:33   #9
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Gord, I don't think I fall into the "universal concern". Of all the things I talk about on this board, head plumbing and rigging are probably on the top of the list. I know that floating containers is right up there with anchors and guns as far as opinions go, but we're not putting our tinfoil hats on freaking out about it (in this thread, anyway).
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