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Engineering Glomar Java Sea

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Causes of Casualty


The incident in Glomar Java Sea was caused due to wrong interpretation of weather and human errors. The vessel faced failures due to environmental conditions. The leader of the ship did not make any correct decisions when the failure was identified. The ship involved a series of frequent failures. The real cause was not established clearly. The major causes were identified as negligence in shifting vessels’ cargo and loss of watertight packing. This is where the water entered the ship and caused an effect of instability. Severe weather conditions and strong winds added to recapping. Storm names Lex also add to the sinking of Ship. The apparent failure of vessel personnel for rapid actions also adds to the cause of failures (US Department of Transportation, 1983).


One of the findings was the starboard list which had been used in the wrong inclination. This had a negative effect on the stability of the ship and the center of gravity and support were affected. This made an instability on the starboard and the ship faced a major incident. As the center of gravity changes, there was a decrease in energy. Vessel owners should have used securing methods for drilling equipment. The weather deck did access the anchor. The breach in water integrity can be related to the improper use of fittings of damage which can regulate the flooding on the starboard. Flooding introduced unbalanced loads and there was a loss of free surface on the ship (Ismail, et al., 2014).

The stability was affected by the starboard list. This was the first cause of failure for the ship. There was no instruction present for the coast guard for operation in the sea. This demanded further investigation. When the starboard list was not understood. Rig managers were also unaware of the cause of the list. The conditions of wind at the rig site were not good. There was a severe weather forecast. A storm was approaching at the site of the operation. The wind condition was changing during the forecast. The speed raise to 75kts. Analyzing the wind condition the master of the ship should make a decision for the changing weather (Gillespie, 2016).

Main investigation

This condition should be judged before the operations of the ship. The inability to anticipate the severe weather condition made the change in the ship incident. Another finding was remaining static at the well site undergoing that storm is approaching. If the ship was moved the storm effects can be reduced to a minimum level. There were three paths on the island near the rig operations. First was the Hainan Island which is surrounding Vietnam. These areas can become perfect survival sources. This was not done during the storm. If the vessel has been moved the casualties can be avoided. The facts which were gathered from the ship were the design and sea conditions. The magnitude of the storm and the inability to read the prediction of the full-scale typhoon. Master failure to move the vessel was also the cause of Ship recapping (Vinnem, 2014).

Crew Misstatement

The idea of anchor chains was not categorized as capsizing. Because their function was to hold the ship ground during the drilling operation. This can be explained as the main purpose of anchors was to balance the weight of chains and cables. The effect of failure has no link with the changing loads. The main change can be related to the effect on the stability of the vessel. This amount of casualty proposed by this finding remains unknown (Khalique, 2015.).

The fracture which started at the welds provided evidence for the damage. They started to move like crack branches. The initial start was made in the brittle form and it towards ductile nature. When the ship was floating in the sea, it faced a lot of stress which made the structure weak. The number of emergency lifeboats was not present on the ship. The radio also miscommunicated during emergency conditions. A distress signal was transmitted without any link from the vessel. This proved a hindrance in establishing correct communication with the ship. If the rescue teams were employed earlier, the Glomar Java Sea can be saved from human losses (De Sanctis, et al., 2016).

Vessel Description and Comparison

The vessel description tells that the design was in the form of hull shaped structure. The company which designed the vessel was Global Marine. The inspection for the failure was done by the Coast Guard and there was a certificate given for completion. The communication system was similar to the US flag merchant vessel. There were Arco and global instruments installed in business communications. The system which powered the communication drove its energy from the ship (Theophilus, et al., 2017).

Ten anchors were placed in the ship five were situated at the bow and the other at the stern. They have an average weight of Thirty thousand pounds. The fitting arrangement was related to the cable. The number of lifeboats present in the ship accounted for its style from New Jersey. Only two lifeboats were available in the Glomar Have ship. It can carry 64 persons in emergency conditions (Lukas, 2015).

Comparison and Interpretation of the Incident

Inspection history suggests that the initial inspection was done during the construction of the ship. The America Bureau of Shipping gives a certificate for inspecting the ship. The inspection included the hull and machinery as well as the load lines. Repairs were made when cutting and welding the corroded parts. Plating was done to overcome the problem of corrosion (Lindeburg, 2014).

The incident started with the storm. The weather forecast suggested that a storm named ex-was approaching with heavy wind conditions. The Vessel was aware of the typhoon and there were plans made for the drilling operations. In the light of failures, non-essential personas were not evacuated from the drill site. The drillship was lying in an inverted position. There was a buckling initiated in the hull from the die shell and it opened the starboard sides. A dramatic fracture occurred in the hull. The plating was damaged and the whole structure begin to move apart (US department of commerce, 1983).


National Transportation Safety Board Report on capsizing and sinking of United States drillship

Introduction of Second Report

The report was based on the factual information of Glomar Java Ship. It will outline the findings and causes of the accident.


Glomar Java Sea was sunk in a typhoon named LEX. This incident happened in the South China Sea which is about 65 miles from the Chinese island. The cause of the sinking was linked with the typhoon in these. The worn g decision made by the master of the ship led to the two damage. As anchors were not raised at the well site. The full force of the storm caused the capsizing of the ship.


The accident happened on October 22.1983. The weather forecast was severed. There were winds crossing 70 kts in the wind. The tropical storm made the hull damaged and there were no sources of rescue for the ship.

Damages to vessel

The ship sank down in the 315 feet water. The condition was very tragic. There was a major structural failure under the water. The causes of the fracture started from the main deck. The crack initiated from the plating and side shell covering was removed. The drill tower was missing from the spot and the deckhouse had shown severe damage.

Vessel Information

Vessel specification was the same as described in the previous report, the global marine company designed the vessel and the certification was made on the basis of specific designs. The structure was developed with the conational method. There was the main deck with steward stores and an electric shop built on the main deck of the ship. There were a superstructure deck and navigation deck related to Arco supervision and crews. A helicopter platform was also present in the pilothouse.

Ballast Procedures

The system devised for the sea pumps and control vales were used to give ballast for the ship. The ballast driver was related to the fuel systems. This helps to provide propulsion. The methods were used to maintain the vessel pressure and ad change the speed of the ship.

Analysis of the damage and casualties

Capsizing and sinking

The incident realty no survivors from the ship. The problems associated with the rig manager proved a fatal step for the whole starboard list. The assistant managed to provide information to engineers for checking the condition of the flood and reduce the starboard list to avoid any kind of emergency. The cause stated that people were prepared for the emergency conditions. The causes were related to anchoring the vessel during the storming process. It gave a disadvantage to the ship and the weight shift that occurred on the starboard helped to give an asymmetrical pattern for the flooding. Flood eventually covered the whole ship and sank it to the depot of the ocean.

Strom Effects

Glomar Java was moving on the North West side for the gathering supply boards. The storm approached the drillship at 2100 hrs. And the speed of winds increased to 55Kn. The waves started to beat the thunder and there were changes in the pattern for the Hainan Island.

Weight shift

The weight shift was not managed properly. On side of the drill, water tanks were empty and port tanks were full. There was a change in angle of 15 degrees and the cargo was damaged by the storm conditions.

The evidence recovered from this report is in similarity to the previous one as the fracture types were both longitudinal and the starboard was damaged with the fracture. The fracture which separates the hull 5 feet high changed the stability of the hull and increased the chances of rapid flooding on the deck.

Structural failure

When metallurgical analysis of the ship was done there was evidence related to the fracture. No defects or fractures were found in the hull. There was no original fracture present in the plating. The major cause of the fracture started to form the tensile stress in the material. The shell plating had a double-fold strength as compared to the stress levels which the Glomar Java Sea will expect in the sea. The damage was reported from the port side of the supply vessel. This was the comment of the inspector who checked the drag patterns.

The evidence forms the debris state that starboard mooring was damaged and opened before the sinking took place. This was the side shell fracture and it was caused to increase in stress for the bulkhead.

Stability and Loading

The vessel was not overloaded. It was found from the weight study that the amount of draft required was comparable with the sip load structure. Master of the ship was not considered for the ship’s safety and reliability. The engineer transferred liquid from the drill state without taking the consent of the master.

Survival Factors

The factor that aided in survival was related to the decision of Arco and Global Marine to excavate the non-essential personnel and the second is the Java Sea anchored on the well assembled. The lack of a contingency plan and radio procedures in China.


The findings which are gathered from the incident were related to a fracture of hull plating were not related to an explosion. This was also not linked to corrosion and fatigue. The damage which had made the vessel also don t link with the Ship incident. There were no chances of overload. There was a lack of contingency plan adopted by the ship personnel. There should be a standing vessel equipped for drilling units where there are chances of isolation. There was no equipment present to send the distress signal?

Personal Interpretations and Conclusion

Personal interpretation of the two reports suggests that the first report identified the cause of failure in a clear fashion. There was all evidence present according to the Glomar Java Sea incident. The second report view differs. Here the chances of failure are not linked with the ship crew of failures of the structure. The storm and having no plan was the main event that hopes to sink the ship. The second report agrees that there were some flaws in the crew member and decisions for the ship’s escape plan.

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