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Container ship fire in Indian Ocean
4

Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

If only you saw the tools they expect us to put the fires out with. It's a 3 foot long spike with holes in the side and a fire hose connection. You have to stand on top of the burning container to drive it in. Yeah, I think that tool was decorative to lower insurance rates.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Interesting stuff on container ships...

https://gwynnedyer.com/2021/shipping-worse-than-av...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

The ship has now sunk.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

There has to be international regulation to prevent this type of environmental damage.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

I told my wife that I was amazed that ship haddn't sunk then opened that last news update and at the bottom it stated, "ship as sunk".

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka recovers black box from sinking ship
Link

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Interesting, but as the article alludes the root cause is probably revealed more by the contents of the manifest than those of the black box.

In terms of RCA, one may wonder was there any mechanism to prevent the ship putting to sea from Qatar or Gujarat if it was known the nitric acid was leaking there.

Regrettable the popular press seems intent on sensationalizing the spillage of what appear to be garden variety plastic beads or pastilles by inaccurately labeling them as 'tons of microplastics'.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

They will become tons of microplastics if not recovered.

However, I do agree that the general population doesn't know exactly what a microplastics is and portraying small beads as microplastics trivializes the problem associated with recovering actual microplastics.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

...and will not likely break down like the chemical items.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Quote (drwebb)

Regrettable the popular press seems intent on sensationalizing the spillage of what appear to be garden variety plastic beads or pastilles by inaccurately labeling them as 'tons of microplastics'.

Quote (TugboatEng)

However, I do agree that the general population doesn't know exactly what a microplastics is and portraying small beads as microplastics trivializes the problem associated with recovering actual microplastics.

These <5mm nurdles are by definition actual microplastics.

What definition of microplastic are you using? What has been sensationalized here?

Tons of microplastics (as defined above) are a serious problem. And there is nothing trivial about their impact to the environment or their recovery.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Sorry, I guess there is a nanoplastics category now. I don't see microplastics as defined above as being particularly harmful. It's when they break down that they become a problem.

Here is a recent study mentioning the new issues:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-019-0629-6

"Plastic nanoparticles originating from weathering plastic waste are emerging contaminants in aquatic environments, with unknown modes of action in aquatic organisms."

When talking bioaccumulation of plastics in fishes and such, that is referring to nanoplastics.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

And where do nanoplastics come from? From your article:

Quote (Nature)

Assessing risk of plastic debris to the environment becomes progressively more complicated since plastic debris is broken down to micro- and ultimately nano-size scales through physical or digestive fragmentation.

That’s the reason the ever increasing accumulation of microplastic debris is a serious problem.

Recovering nanoplastics is hard. Which is all the more reason to do all that we can to mitigate their creation in the first place.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Yes, I know they break down, that's what I was alluding to in my first comment.

"They will become tons of microplastics if not recovered."

I know, I should have said nanoplastics.

Microplastics in the environment behave essentially as synthetic pebbles and sand. Nanoplastics, on the other hand, can cross into the bloodstream of animals, accumulate in their bodies, and even mimic hormones. One is a much greater problem than the other. And yes, microplastics can be filtered out of water where the issue does become exponentially difficult for nanoplastics so it does make sense to recover the microplastics.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Saying that, “Microplastics in the environment behave essentially as synthetic pebbles and sand.” is what actually constitutes the trivialization of microplastics.

How many cups of phthalate laden sponges that have been floating around the environment soaking up hydrophobic toxins like PCBs would you want to had to your bowl of Grape Nuts every morning?

The idea that this is just “garden variety” plastics is disgusting.

Quote (Wiki)

Microplastics can become embedded in animals' tissue through ingestion or respiration. Various annelid species, such as deposit-feeding lugworms (Arenicola marina), have been shown to have microplastics embedded in their gastrointestinal tracts. Many crustaceans, like the shore crab Carcinus maenas, have been seen to integrate microplastics into both their respiratory and digestive tracts.[62][86][87] Plastic particles are often mistaken by fish for food which can block their digestive tracts sending incorrect feeding signals to the brains of the animals.[10]

It can take up to 14 days for microplastics to pass through an animal (as compared to a normal digestion period of 2 days), but enmeshment of the particles in animals' gills can prevent elimination entirely.[86] When microplastic-laden animals are consumed by predators, the microplastics are then incorporated into the bodies of higher trophic-level feeders. For example, scientists have reported plastic accumulation in the stomachs of lantern fish which are small filter feeders and are the main prey for commercial fish like tuna and swordfish.[88] Microplastics also absorb chemical pollutants that can be transferred into the organism's tissues.[89] Small animals are at risk of reduced food intake due to false satiation and resulting starvation or other physical harm from the microplastics.

A study done at the Argentinean coastline of the Rio de la Plata estuary, found the presence of microplastics in the guts of 11 species of coastal freshwater fish. These 11 species of fish represented four different feeding habits: detritivore, planktivore, omnivore and ichthyophagous.[90] This study is one of the few so far to show the ingestion of microplastics by freshwater organisms.

Bottom feeders, such as benthic sea cucumbers, who are non-selective scavengers that feed on debris on the ocean floor, ingest large amounts of sediment. It has been shown that four species of sea cucumber (Thyonella gemmate, Holothuria floridana, H. grisea and Cucumaria frondosa) ingested between 2- and 20-fold more PVC fragments and between 2- and 138-fold more nylon line fragments (as much as 517 fibers per organism) based on plastic-to-sand grain ratios from each sediment treatment. These results suggest that individuals may be selectively ingesting plastic particles. This contradicts the accepted indiscriminate feeding strategy of sea cucumbers, and may occur in all presumed non-selective feeders when presented with microplastics.[91]

Bivalves, important aquatic filter feeders, have also been shown to ingest microplastics and nanoplastics.[92] Upon exposure to microplastics, bivalve filtration ability decreases.[93] Multiple cascading effects occur as a result, such as immunotoxicity and neurotoxicity.[94][95][96] Decreased immune function occurs due to reduced phagocytosis and NF-κB gene activity.[94][96] Impaired neurological function is a result of the inhibition of ChE and suppression of neurotransmitter regulatory enzymes.[96] When exposed to microplastics, bivalves also experience oxidative stress, indicating an impaired ability to detoxify compounds within the body, which can ultimately damage DNA.[95] Bivalve gametes and larvae are also impaired when exposed to microplastics. Rates of developmental arrest, and developmental malformities increase, while rates of fertilization decrease.[92][97] When bivalves have been exposed to microplastics as well as other pollutants such as POPs, mercury or hydrocarbons in lab settings, toxic effects were shown to be aggravated.[93][94][95]

Not only fish and free-living organisms can ingest microplastics. Scleractinian corals, which are primary reef-builders, have been shown to ingest microplastics under laboratory conditions.[98] While the effects of ingestion on these corals has not been studied, corals can easily become stressed and bleach. Microplastics have been shown to stick to the exterior of the corals after exposure in the laboratory.[98] The adherence to the outside of corals can potentially be harmful, because corals cannot handle sediment or any particulate matter on their exterior and slough it off by secreting mucus, expending energy in the process, increasing the likelihood of mortality.[99]

Marine biologists in 2017 discovered that three-quarters of the underwater seagrass in the Turneffe Atoll off the coast of Belize had microplastic fibers, shards, and beads stuck to it. The plastic pieces had been overgrown by epibionts (organisms that naturally stick themselves to seagrass). Seagrass is part of the barrier reef ecosystem and is fed on by parrotfish, which in turn are eaten by humans. These findings, published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, may be "the first discovery of microplastics on aquatic vascular plants... [and] only the second discovery of microplastics on marine plant life anywhere in the world."[100]

It is not just aquatic animals which may be harmed. Microplastics can stunt the growth of terrestrial plants and earthworms.[101]

In 2019, the first European records of microplastic items in amphibians’ stomach content was reported in specimens of the common European newt (Triturus carnifex). This also represented the first evidence for Caudata worldwide, highlighting that the emerging issue of plastics is a threat even in remote high-altitude environments.[102]

Zooplankton ingest microplastics beads (1.7–30.6 μm) and excrete fecal matter contaminated with microplastics. Along with ingestion, the microplastics stick to the appendages and exoskeleton of the zooplankton.[103] Zooplankton, among other marine organisms, consume microplastics because they emit similar infochemicals, notably dimethyl sulfide, just as phytoplankton do.[104][verification needed][105] Plastics such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and polypropylene (PP) produce dimethyl sulfide odors.[104] These types of plastics are commonly found in plastic bags, food storage containers, and bottle caps.[106] Green and red filaments of plastics are found in the planktonic organisms and in seaweeds.[107]

Not only do animals and plants ingest microplastics, some microbes also live on the surface of microplastics. This community of microbes form a slimy biofilm which, according to a 2019 study,[108] has a unique structure and possesses a special risk, because microplastic biofilms have been proven to provide a novel habitat for colonization that increases overlap between different species, thus spreading pathogens and antibiotic resistant genes through horizontal gene transfer. Then, due to rapid movement through waterways, these pathogens can be moved very quickly from their origin to another location where a specific pathogen may not be naturally present, spreading the potential disease.[108]

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Wikipedia is a most reliable source.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Sarcasm?... it is, however, a source, and often good.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

OK, thanks for the correction on the difference between microplastics and nanoplastics. Now I can understand why increasing advocacy is directed toward microplastics, since any regulation thereof will affect suppliers of plastic resins as raw material and not only the responsible disposal of finished products. It appears from the illustration in the linked story that a lot of the microplastic cargo is washing ashore (being less dense than salt water or sand) and is being collected in yellow bags. I doubt recovery of the 25 tons of nitric acid or marine fuel will be as convenient.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

A vessel full of combustibles/flammables that was leaking a strong oxidizer would seem to be unseaworthy on it's face. Does maritime law or custom ascribe any responsibility for ports ensuring commercial vessels disembarking are seaworthy? Some ports apparently assume this. Not clear what other options the captain had if he couldn't get any help in Qatar or Gujarat, but of course he's as senior a party as the Sri Lankan's could collar.

Not to rush to judgment, but from the information available so far it's looking more to me like a failure of execution and/or compliance than an Engineering Failure. Perhaps time will show otherwise.

RE: Container ship fire in Indian Ocean

Here in the US, to get inspectors on a ship usually requires an incident such as a loss of propulsion.

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