Marine Breakaway Couplings (MBC’S) are safety devices used in establishments where liquids are exchanged between vessels, usually under a lot of pressure. This includes organisations in which liquids like crude oil are transported via ocean-bound tankers. The MBC’s are used to avoid spillage. Lack of this safety device, which breaks liquid exchange framework, can cause harm to workers, and destroy equipment and facilities in case of spillage. This is particularly important since these fluids are flammable and pollutants like crude oil are hard to clean if there is an accident.
Benefits of Marine Breakaway Couplings
Marine Breakaway Couplings are used for loading tankers with oil at sea or discharging cargo in ports. They are also used when loading vessels with byproducts of oil such as liquid petroleum gas. More establishments are increasingly using MBCs since more installations have moved to other countries meaning they have to transport the product across countries. The MBCs provide safety during transit in harsh environments in sea that pose more risk. The device prevents accidents or mitigates the effects of two types of accidents. One of these is to prevent hose rapture or failing of connections brought about by physical strains- for instance, mooring failure causing a tanker moving from its location. If this happens, the flow of fluid is instantly stopped before causing further damage. Secondly, it provides protection against an unexpected increase in pressure in the hose which could cause failure in joints and fittings, causing spillage of oil.
How to Operate MBC’s
To ensure the devices operate properly, there are several factors to be considered during installation and use. For example, you should train your employees on how to use MBCs so that the devices are not unnecessarily activated due to inadequate understanding of the workers or poor installation. It is also important to inform manufacturers of hoses and other equipment that you will be using MBC’s. They will factor this when deigning and configuring their products to make sure the products work together properly. It is equally important to avoid handling hoses with attached MBCs by vessels which exceed the device’s load tolerance. If you use the device correctly, the system should last you for 15 years.
What to Consider When Choosing Couplings for Installation
Since the device is expected to work optimally for over a decade, it’s important that the right type of MBC be chosen. The manufacturer should consider expected hose load before recommending the suitable specification to meet the client’s need. There are two main types that they could recommend for you. This includes Petal Valve MBCs which have full sized bores. These are the best choice for liquids like crude oil. The second one is the Flip-Flap MBCS that offer low level head loss, making them suitable for lower viscosity fluids such as liquid petroleum gas. Other facts that you should consider include:
- The device should be reusable.
- The MBC’s movable cut off speed should match its working conditions. You should also be able to adjust it without harming the device
- It should be located in a place where it won’t come in contact with liquid being exchanged to increase its life span.
- It should be as light as possible to allow you to easily work with.
All companies that transport crude oils and other liquids across shores need MBCs. Therefore, purchasing and installing the device is important. You should also ensure that it’s properly maintained by a representative from the manufacturer’s company to avoid any incident. Additionally, workers operating the equipment should be able to recover MBCs and hoses after activation to keep the device working optimally for a long time.
For more information, visit: Marine Breakaway Couplings.
Marine Breakaway Couplings – avoid making the headlines for all the wrong reasons
Environmental concerns and health and safety issues are hot topics in today’s world of engineering. Damaging spillages or a poor workforce safety record can make it even harder to compete for business in a straitened market.
In a world where no one wants accidents, Marine breakaway couplings (or MBCs) provide an innovative solution to transporting hazardous and non-hazardous liquids and gases safely.
Expertly engineered to withstand the challenge of extreme environments both on and offshore, the unique selling point of an MBC is that it is designed to decouple when subjected to an atypical tensile stress. When your marine hose transfer system encounters unexpected pressure surges or axial loads, which exceed a pre-set maximum, the MBC activates, automatically shutting and closing off the valves on one or both sides of a pre-determined parting point, allowing your hose system to decouple safely. The flow of gas or liquid is stopped, preventing spillage, leakage and loss.
Not convinced of the benefits over a traditional coupling system?
Industry insiders know that safe decoupling protects the environment, your workforce and your assets. Furthermore, it may enhance the reputation of your business by projecting a responsible company image – and reputation matters, as Shell found out to their cost in the Gulf of Mexico.
Of course, the benefits of avoiding a major offshore oil spill or chemical fire are obvious; environmental clean-ups are expensive and attract the wrong sort of media attention. Spills of hazardous materials also endanger your workforce, affecting your health and safety record, your standing as an employer and your insurance premiums. In an industry where safety is of the utmost importance, it pays to have the best safeguards.
Uncontrolled flow not only damages the environment. Pressure surges and spillages can cause costly system damage and, if your state of the art equipment is adversely affected, then your productivity (and profit) is too. No business can afford unplanned downtime and repair and clean-up costs in a market that is already so fiercely competitive.
Still unconvinced of the benefits? Not enough that using a Marine Breakaway coupling reduces risk and demonstrates that your company is committed to using proven engineering solutions to enhance terminal safety and prevent pollution?
Then listen to the experts.
In November 2008 the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) produced an information paper on the subject of MBCs stating that:
“the value of a device that serves as a part of the risk mitigation strategy and provides protection in such events to critical assets, and also reduces pollution to relatively minor amounts in the event of an incident, is recognised by industry and Marine Breakaway Couplings (MBCs) are now routinely specified for new offshore installations.”
MBCs, designed and engineered to the specific requirements of your company, are the future.
For maximum safety floor surfaces need to be non-slip and anti-skid to prevent accidents and injury while durable enough to resist wear-and-tear from traffic that pass over it as well as damage inflicted by prolonged exposure to the elements. High-risk flooring surfaces such as that of bridges and marine vessels require state-of-the-art bridge and marine deck surface systems to minimise the threats inherent to those types of flooring.
Features of bridge and marine deck surfaces that are suitable for their intended purpose include ease of application, durability, resistance to corrosion as well as minimum time taken for the flooring material to set and cure. The benefits associated with these types of surface systems are a reduced chance of accidents caused by treacherous flooring such as those found on bridge surfaces during inclement weather or marine decks during rough seas and storms.
Features of the type of flooring chosen for bridges and marine decks.
Surface membranes of bridge flooring and marine decks tend to consist of a combination of epoxy primer, polyurethane and aluminium oxide aggregate which together facilitate waterproof and corrosion-resistant properties while preventing traffic from slipping and sliding when the surface is covered in water, oil or other substances. Single or multi-layered flooring is available while surface coatings come in a variety of grade options for different volumes of traffic.
The substances used can be applied to a range of construction materials used in the building of bridges and marine structures including concrete, steel and timber which bestows the surfaces in question with a waterproof, non-slip, non-skid and long-lasting membrane which requires little maintenance work. Marine deck and bridge surface systems can be applied to new or existing flooring in low temperatures and may be either painted or sprayed onto surfaces.
Benefits of the type of flooring chosen for bridges and marine decks.
Surface membranes applied to bridge flooring and marine decks must be hard-wearing to prevent the flooring from becoming abraded by foot or vehicular traffic, impact-resistant due to the risk of heavy objects falling onto surfaces as well as corrosion-resistant because of the caustic properties of acid rain, automotive fuel, chloride, seawater and oil. For minimum disruption to traffic floor coatings should dry and cure in the shortest amount of time possible.
Modern flooring systems used on the surfaces of bridges and marine decks are designed to be applied in a quick and easy manner, to set in as little time as possible so that the surface can soon be reopened to traffic to prevent delays as well as durable to stop it from becoming worn-down by friction or damaged by impacts. Contemporary surface membranes are also designed to resist corrosion and fouling caused by repeated contact with harmful substances.
The odourless properties of modern surface coatings provide an added benefit to construction workers and to traffic. Contemporary flooring systems are designed for minimum environmental impact and surfacing materials are available for use on bridges and marine decks that contain no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
If you are passionate about deep-sea angling, owning your own sea-going fishing boat has to be the ultimate dream. Once you have found your perfect boat, marine insurance is an important factor to consider. Unless you are operating a business, there is no legal requirement to have boat insurance, but if you keep your vessel at a marina or boatyard, you will probably find that you are required to have fully comprehensive boat insurance as a condition of your contract. However, even if your boat is on a trailer on your driveway most of the time, accidents do happen and it is wise to have insurance cover.
The first thing to decide is whether to opt for third party or fully comprehensive insurance. The answer to this question depends on the value of your boat. If your vessel is old and only used infrequently then you may not feel it is worth paying expensive premiums; in this case, third party insurance might be adequate. Should you be at fault in causing an accident, a third party policy covers you for compensation and personal damages to anyone injured. You can add options for fire and theft cover but these will increase the cost of the policy. It is worth bearing in mind that, should your boat sink, you will be liable to pay salvage costs and third party insurance will not cover these.
If you have a stylish new boat, you should opt for fully comprehensive marine insurance. This should cover you for theft, fire, accidental damage to your vessel, liability, loss of outboard motors, underwater damage cover and personal accident cover as standard. Benefits such as a protected no-claims bonus may also be included, so check the policy carefully to be sure you are getting the level of cover that meets your requirements. Personal belongings and items such as fishing rods and other equipment are often excluded from boat insurance unless your vessel is broken into, so if you take valuables on your fishing trips make sure they are insured separately.
Deep-sea fishing boats, whether small day boats or expensive motor cruisers, are as individual as their skippers, so do your research, compare several quotes and read the small print to ensure that you get the correct boat insurance for you. Stay safe and happy fishing!
There is nothing like the adventure and sheer drama of deep sea fishing; the isolation and peace of the open sea. But that distance does mean that everything you need will have to be brought with you, so what will you need to be fully equipped for your deep sea adventure?
To some extent, this depends on the fish you expect to catch. The bait will vary from one fish to another, as will the size of hook, and perhaps the weight of the rod. Aside from rod, hooks, and bait you will need sinkers for deep sea fishing as the bait and hook won’t have the necessary weight alone. Extra fishing line is also a must, and make your line as durable as you can, as deep sea fishing is hard on fishing lines. Needle nose pliers are crucial to remove the hook from the fish, or from your hand if you’re unlucky! Line cutters and a knife complete the essential fishing kit, though a tape measure is always good, to show just how big your catch was. If you plan to bring your catch home, take a cool box to keep it fresh, and take a camera to document the moment.
You will need to be prepared for a variety of conditions- cold, wind, rain, and sunshine- possibly all at once. A sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are essential even when the weather seems less than perfect because it’s easier than you think to catch a nasty sun burn on even a cooler day. Warm clothes are also essential. Even on a mild day the combination of breeze and water can chill you through, and if you get soaked you will need to change into something warm. Towels and comfortable soft shoes are equally important for your excursion, and spare pairs of dry socks can make all the difference when you are cold. A pair of gloves or even rags to hold the fish with are crucial as fish are pretty slippery. Take hand sanitizers for after handling fish, and before your lunch… which brings us to food: take more than you think you’ll need, and certainly more liquids. Don’t forget sea sickness medication, even if you think you’re sure you won’t need it. A small first aid kit can be a literal life saver, as not all boats are provided with their own.
Oil spills happen for a number of reasons, with some of the primary causes being:
• When oil tankers break down due to faulty equipment
• When attempts are made after they have run aground and holes are caused from abrasions against rocks and sand
• Motor boats leaking fuel
• Through drilling works that are being carried out at sea
Oil spills from boats are considered to be a form of pollution, and have an incredibly adverse effect on the environment, especially where animals are concerned.
What are the effects of oil spills on animals?
Animals, especially sea birds, that are affected by oil spills, suffer hypothermia, poisoning, and blindness, all of which can lead to their eventual death. Oil spills are a death threat to sea otters too. They have air bubbles in their fur that help them to float and survive the cold water. When these air bubbles are covered with oil, the otters also suffer from hypothermia, and lose the ability to swim properly too, and eventually die.
Killer whales are a third group of sea animals for which an oil spill is a death sentence. The oil blocks up the whale’s blow hole, making it unable to breathe underwater. They also die from poisoning when they eat sea birds or fish that have already been contaminated by the oil spill.
Small organisms such as plankton and larval fish, as well as other sea life like seaweed, mussels, and oysters, die from the effects of an oil spill, which has an enormous damaging effect on the food chain. Fish that normally prey on these small animals will die from lack of food, and their predators in turn, will also be effected.
Oil forms a thick layer on the surface of the water, thus blocking out the sunlight that marine plant life needs to thrive. They are then unable to photosynthesise, which leads to the gradual reduction of oxygen under the sea. Not only do the plants themselves die, but their inability to photosynthesise will have disastrous effects on the natural food chain, thus affecting all marine life in the area.
In some cases, entire species of marine mammals, birds, and fish have been killed off through oil spills. These spills also damage the reproductive systems of many marine animals, making it harder for their population to recover.
Gall Thomson have designed marine breakaway couplings which enable the safe transfer of hazardous and non-hazardous liquids and gases, and dramatically reduce the risk of spillage.
When choosing materials for boat decking there are a lot of factors to consider such as durability, cost and appearance.
Good old fashioned wood has been the mainstay of boat decks for centuries. Wood is durable, water resistant and requires minimal maintenance. It also gives you more variety colour-wise. Oak is probably your best bet as it has optimal strength and flexibility and will last a lifetime. However, wood can be an expensive option and often needs refinishing every 2-3 years as the colour fades over time. Also bear in mind that wood can rot and warp and give you nasty splinters.
For a cheaper option than wood, fibreglass makes a great alternative as it can be used for any type of floor design. However, fibreglass does have a tendency to crack and require thorough cleaning so needs a lot of maintenance. In its raw form, fibreglass is incredibly smooth so will often need a non-skid texture moulded onto its surface. Of course it’s also possible to combine both wood and fibreglass into your decking.
A boat decking option that’s increasing in popularity is aluminium. Although the initial outlay can be quite high, aluminium is low maintenance and is very easy to install – it is also lighter than wood.
Composite options include a mix of plastic and wood and have the advantage of never showing signs of warping. However, composites are prone to mildew stains if you don’t sweep and wash them regularly and can end up peeling over time.
Vinyl planks are non-porous and one of the lowest maintenance options for boat decking – but some people don’t like the plastic feel underfoot.
The next generation of decking is synthetic – lighter, cooler and even lower maintenance. The latest composite vinyl blend option looks like wood rather than plastic and comes with a 25 year warranty against staining and fading. However, this is a more expensive option. Other options include 100% recyclable non-slip materials.
Another cost-effective option is to apply Traffideck – a liquid spray membrane that forms an anti-slip waterproof layer on your boat deck. It is easy to apply, odourless and its high tensile strength enables it to resist cracking.
Thortech provide excellent quality boat decking with anti-slip qualities.
Deep sea angling generally takes place in waters which are deeper than 30 metres or so. As such, a sea going vessel is required in order to conduct this type of fishing safely. In most places around the coast, a depth of water which exceeds 30 metres means travelling out from land a considerable distance; many miles in some places. Therefore, specialist seafaring techniques are often required and sufficient knowledge from the skipper with shipping lanes, tidal movements and weather patterns are essential – even if the anglers on board don’t need these sorts of skills. When hiring a boat to take you out to sea where you may be at the mercy of the elements, it is essential to hire a vehicle that is suited to the job. Generally, this means a larger boat that is kitted out properly for the sport. Sport fishing boats are among the most popular as they are usually fast and able to keep up with many power boats. They often posses a high foredeck which connects a rear-set cabin. Sometimes, more luxurious deep sea angling boats of this type will also have a flybridge set above the cabin.
The offshore boats that are suited to deep sea angling are commonly a good deal more sizeable than lake boats. Sports fishing boats tend to be moored in a marina or at a quayside alongside other working vessels, such as trawler boats, but are equally at home next to yachts. A boat that is designed for deep sea line fishing should be sturdily built so that it can brave inclement weather and the sort of large waves that are sometimes encountered at open sea. Some of the boats in use by deep sea angling differ in design and a few have been converted to this purpose from another use. However, all should be big enough to be capable of carrying the rods necessary for angling as well as providing an area – usually at the back of the boat – to land a large fish. Some will have seats that are held in place at the back so that anglers can strap themselves in whilst reeling in a strong swimming fish.
Generally costly to build and maintain, hire prices for sports angling boats vary greatly. That is why a good deal of offshore recreational anglers charter boats in small groups rather than owning them outright. Because the practice of deep sea angling can be expensive, a good many charter skippers have luxury boats that don’t just cater for fishing but other sea going recreation, too.
Spearfishing is an old method of fishing that’s been used for thousands of years. Ancient civilisations used sharpened sticks to catch fish from rivers and streams. The modern spearfishing now uses slings or powdered spearguns to strike the fish. In fact, many special methods and tools have been developed for targeting different types of fish.
Spearfishing attracts large numbers of people who want to catch their next meal or to fish competitively at local and national levels. British rivers provide some of the best spearfishing opportunities in the world, as long as you master basic techniques and learn how to overcome strong tides. However, there are many coastlines in the UK that provide excellent visibility for beginner fishers. Some of these areas include the southwest of England and Scotland, although there are many other locations that equally provide good fishing opportunities.
How to get into spearfishing
By far the safest way to get into spearfishing is to join a club and learn the ins and outs of this sport from experienced fishermen. You can find these clubs by browsing the Internet. It is also advisable to learn how to snorkel without the use of underwater breathing equipment. Once you can hold your breath underwater for at least 20 seconds, you will be able to move on to the next level.
Are you fit enough to spearfish?
As the sea is a potentially harsh environment, you must be prepared for any eventualities in advance. With this in mind, you should be in good physical health and be able to swim 200m. If you have a history of heart problems, it is best to seek medical advice before spearfishing. If you are in a fit condition, this sport can help maintain your cardiovascular health without putting pressure on your joints or muscles.
Is spearfishing legal?
You don’t need a license for certain types of spearguns, however, spears are potentially dangerous tools and according to the law, they are offensive weapons that cannot be carried in public places. If you wish to spearfish in the sea around Britain’s coast, you won’t need a license or permit, but spearfishing is illegal in the non-tidal areas of rivers. There is also national legislation on the minimum size of fish that can be legally taken.
You can find all your spearfishing equipment needs at Apnea Spearfishing who export all over the world, from spearguns to wetsuits to snorkels.
Deep sea fishing can be for commercial purposes or as a hobby. When it comes to fishing licences in the UK, things can get a bit complicated so it is vital to learn more than just the basics. The UK and EU have fishing regulations to ensure that there is control over fishing activities. With cases of overfishing and threats to certain fish species, it has become necessary to exert control over how these practices are carried out. A fishing licence is essential if you have intentions of selling your catch. Selling fish without a proper licence is a legal basis for prosecution, and an individual may be required to pay a substantial fine. Even if you are just selling to neighbours, a licence is required.
When You Don’t Need A Licence
There are some instances where a licence is not necessary for deep sea fishing. One scenario is when a vessel carries anglers who are fishing for recreational purposes. When fishing for common eels and with a vessel that is not more than 10 meters long, a licence is not needed. Fishing for migratory trout and salmon will require you to get more information from the Environmental Agency. If the fishing is done within 12 nautical miles of the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey, then you have to consider the regulations of those particular areas.
How to Get A Licence
Fishing licences are of two types. One is a domestic licence for fishing in the UK and EU waters, and the other is an external licence if fishing will go beyond the UK and EU. For a vessel to get a licence, it must first be registered. The Registry of Shipping and Seamen is the body responsible for the regulation. Licencing also varies depending on the type of vessel and what kinds of fish you intend to catch. For deep sea species, you will need a licence that covers that specifically.
Another point of importance to take into account is that there are no new licences issued for fishing vessels. What happens is that first-time applications get transfers of entitlement, which means you get a licence from a previous holder. For a licence entitlement to be available for purchase, it must not be connected to a fishing vessel that is still active. The best way to find licence entitlement is to look for advertisements in trade newspapers. Alternatively, you can use a fishing vessel agent to find an entitlement that caters to your specific needs.