10 Reasons Why Access to Drinking Water is so Vital

We couldn’t survive without water. Around 60% of our body is made up of it and it’s essential to the processes that keep us functioning ¬– dehydration can be a contributing factor in life-threatening problems with your heart, lungs, kidneys and bladder.

However, we’re constantly losing water in a variety of ways – especially on board ship where the effects are increased further – so it’s crucial that we replace it to keep healthy. This isn’t always easy when you’re at sea and access to a supply of safe, potable drinking water can be complicated.

Here are 10 reasons why staying hydrated is so important:

1. Drink water for strength and endurance

Your muscles can’t contract and expand efficiently without water which will lead to a reduction in your physical abilities and a longer recovery time after exercise. The water you get rid of when you sweat also means that you’re losing valuable nutrients.

2. Drink water to think and concentrate

As well as other sensitive tissues, water cushions your brain and spinal cord. Without it, your brain cells shrink and the production of neurotransmitters is interrupted so your ability to focus on even the simplest of tasks will be affected.

3. Drink water to stay sharp

Failure to hydrate properly leads to fatigue and tiredness. Water is a much more effective drink than sugary energy drinks which might give you a sudden boost but will lead to an energy crash later.

4. Drink water to breathe

If you’re dehydrated, your body will restrict your airways to try and minimise water loss. This effects your ability to breathe and increases the impact of asthma, allergies, colds and viruses.

5. Drink water to stay cool

When your body heats up, the water that’s stored in the layers of your skin comes to the surface as sweat and cools you down. This water needs replacing to prevent heat exhaustion in a hot environment or during physical activity.

6. Drink water as part of a healthy diet

While water is no substitution for food, it can help with your eating habits – especially if you have it instead of sweetened fizzy drinks and juices. Drinking water before a meal will help your stomach to fill up and you’ll need less food to be able to function properly.

7. Drink water for your joints

The cartilage around your joints and spine allows bones to move freely against each other – its spongy texture is made up of over 80% water and prevents grating and rubbing. Without enough water, cartilage loses some of its shock-absorber effect so there’s more friction. This results in your joints aching and becoming painful.

8. Drink water for your circulation

Our blood is made up of over 90% water and if this concentration falls, it becomes thicker. This makes it harder for the heart to pump it around your body leading to an increase in blood pressure.

9. Drink water for your digestion

Your stomach and bowels need water to function properly and, if you aren’t getting enough, you run the risk of constipation, heartburn and stomach ulcers.

10. Drink water for your body waste

Saliva, tears and mucus all depend on having sufficient water and it flushes waste from your system when you go to the toilet. If you can’t maintain and regulate your body fluids, it will lead to problems with your kidneys in the long term.

Access to drinking water on board ship is not easy. With Drinksafe, you can make sure that your crews always have a good supply. As well as guaranteed compliance with water testing regulations, it’s one of the easiest to use and most cost-effective kits on the market.

That’s why the world’s largest shipping companies trust Drinksafe to take care of the well-being of their crew and passengers.

Contact us to find out more.

How does a gas detector work?

There have been gas detectors for as long as people have been aware of the harmful effects of gases in confined spaces. In the early days of mining, well before the development of electronic sensors, canaries were used.
They were taken underground in cages and if they stopped singing or died, then the miners would be alerted.

We’ve come a long way since the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now gas detection methods are much more precise – and much less harmful to animals.

How a modern gas detector works

Gas detectors use a sensor to measure the concentration of particular gases in the atmosphere. The sensor serves as a reference point and scale, producing a measurable electric current when a chemical reaction caused by a specific gas occurs. The sensor will monitor these currents and alarm the user when the presence of gas approaches an amount that is hazardous.

Early instruments were made to detect just one gas but now they can measure several at once – most commonly, oxygen (O2), flammable gases or vapours (LEL), hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon monoxide (CO). These are the gases that a 4-gas detector monitors, the minimum requirements set out by SOLAS Regulation XI/1-7.

The sensor

Most portable gas detectors use a pellistor/catalytic bead LEL sensor. To function accurately, it requires a minimum of 10% oxygen in the environment to avoid the build-up of tar and unburned fuel on the activated ring.

Theoretically, the sensor can last up to four years but it is very sensitive and can easily break if the monitor is knocked or dropped.

Most sensors will be reaching the end of their life by the time they are three years old and will need replacing. This can be a costly process that will leave the detector out of action, so you also need extra instruments to make sure you’re covered while the repair work is being carried out. Other components like backlight screens and audio alerts will begin to develop faults too so it’s important to keep detectors well-maintained.

Calibration

Pellistor sensors can be poisoned by many things, including the gases they’re detecting.

Contaminated sensors may not register dangerous gas levels and will become gradually slower and more unresponsive over time. Their performance depends on thorough testing using calibration and bump-testing to make sure they’re always measuring the correct amount of gas to keep seafarers and vessels safe.

Infrared sensors

These don’t require oxygen so will work in completely inert atmospheres. This makes them ideal for confined space detection and taking samples from tanks where a lack of oxygen is an issue. They’re also immune to sensor poisoning so there’s no need for calibration to ensure the gas detector is functioning correctly.

A traditional pellistor sensor uses a heated aluminium coil that drains a large amount of power. However, gas detectors that use infrared sensors are much more energy efficient with batteries that won’t require charging as frequently.

MGC Simple+

The cutting-edge infrared technology in the MGC Simple+ means its battery lasts for three years without charging – a world first for a portable gas detector.

It doesn’t require calibration (although it can be easily set-up to do this to meet the specifications of a risk assessments or safe systems of work) and is rated IP68 so is protected from even the finest dust and can be submerged in water for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5m.

MGC Simple+ also comes with a full warranty for three years so you’ll never incur extra repair costs.

At the end of those three years, you simply replace the detector – a much cheaper option than spending money maintaining an old instrument. Buying a new detector means that you’ll also have a new three-year warranty, the instrument will always be covered.

The MGC Simple+ is the future of gas detection – the world’s first ‘NO calibration’ portable multi-gas detector.

NO calibration. NO charging. NO cost.

Contact us to find out more.

The Most Common Cause of Death at Sea

Working at sea has always been demanding – the hours are long and irregular and the job usually requires military-precision routine. The environment also has the additional risks of handling machinery, chemicals, fuels and gases without easy access to emergency services if things go wrong.

Despite advanced technology and a greater focus on safety, there are still many dangers to seafarers. The economic struggles faced by the maritime industry have also resulted in the reduction of crew numbers, an increase in work hours and quicker turnarounds in ports that leaves less time to rest and recover.

SOLAS

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was first proposed in response to the sinking of The Titanic but eventually took effect across signatory flag states in 1948. The current version came into force in 1974 and is continually amended and updated to take into account new developments in merchant shipping and more sophisticated safety procedures.

It covers everything from the stability of installations and how cargo is carried to communications, ship management and what life-saving equipment should be kept on board. However, despite the comprehensive guidelines set out by SOLAS, fatalities on ships are still occurring from a variety of different sources.

Liberian Flag data

Liberian Flag has collated and published information regarding the leading causes of death among its seafarers for the last five years. The data goes up to 1st November 2018 and even then, without the last two months of the year, it can be seen that 2018 wasn’t the best year for safety. In fact, it was the worst since 2014 with 43 deaths lives lost at sea.

Being caught or hit by objects caused 7 deaths and suicide was responsible for 5 but the most significant number – double the nearest figure – was for ‘heart attack, collapse, unconscious’. These issues caused the deaths of 14 seafarers in 2018 and the numbers were just as high for the previous years: 18 in 2017, 14 in 2016, 19 in 2015, 25 in 2014 and 12 in 2013. ‘Heart attack, collapse, unconscious’ has been the leading cause of death among Liberian Flag seafarers for the last 5 years.

The risks of Sudden Cardiac Arrest at sea

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can strike anyone at any time, even the fittest and most healthy but the most common cause is a heart attack – a blockage in the arteries which prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the heart. Obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood pressure and a cholesterol heavy diet can all be contributing factors.

Clinical and statistical studies have also identified several other factors that increase the risk of a heart attack. Men, for example, are at greater risk and fall victim earlier in life – generally over the age of 45. As you get older, your blood vessels become less flexible making it harder for blood to flow through them, so age is a significant factor.

Over 25% of officers on ships from OECD countries are over 50 years old and 50% are over 40. There are many additional contributing factors on board a working vessel too – hypothermia, electrocution, trauma caused by impacts or falls, respiratory and circulation problems, metabolic changes and the effects of drugs all significantly increase the chances of suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

Protecting Seafarers

Rapid defibrillation with an AED is the only proven way to treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest. If a victim is shocked within sixty seconds, their chances of survival can be as high as 90%. Within five minutes, there’s still a 70% chance but after this, it drops by 10% every minute.

For this reason, AEDs are becoming commonplace in schools, sports venues, tourist locations and workplaces – and they’re saving lives. However, if your workplace is at sea, hours away from a hospital or medevac, and a crew member suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, their chances of survival are practically zero if there isn’t AED in the medical chest.

Germany was the first flag state to introduce legislation that legally requires seagoing merchant vessels to carry AEDs but this was way back in 2012 and the rest of the world has been very slow to follow suit. While AEDs are becoming standard equipment on cruise ships and ferries, merchant vessels – with all their increased risks – are still being neglected.

Lifeforce Marine AED

Lifeforce is designed specifically for the tough conditions faced on board ship. It’s the first AED to be GL Type Approved for the marine industry and is rated IPX4 for water protection, IP5X for dust protection and has been jet and helicopter tested, coming up to US Military standards for shock and vibration. The handle and sides are rubberised to prevent impact damage and there are no lids, cases or moving parts to get in the way during an emergency. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to store.

During an emergency situation, non-medically trained personnel may often be in a state of panic so it’s also essential that your AED is easy to use for all crew members – it could make all the difference to a victim’s survival. Independent studies have shown that Lifeforce is the simplest and most successful AED to use in the world, stating that: ‘Users are on average 26% more likely to deliver effective defibrillation using LIFEFORCE® than with other AEDs’.

Stay safe at sea.

Make sure your crew are protected from the world’s biggest killer with a Type Approved defibrillator that you can depend on.

Contact us to find out more.

Gas Detection: What is a 4-gas detector?

4-Gas Detectors

Effective gas detection is one of the most important safety concerns in the shipping industry. A third of all dangerous incidents that happen offshore are gas related.
Fatalities among seafarers are still occurring despite attempts by regulatory bodies to prevent them.
 

Regulations

SOLAS Regulation XI/1-7 states that:

‘Every ship to which Chapter 1 applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments.
As a minimum, these shall be capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide.’
 
It’s these gases that a 4 gas detector is designed to monitor. They represent the biggest threat to crew members on vessels at sea or in port.
 
Oxygen (O2)
As well as being necessary to breathe, oxygen also supports combustion. So, monitoring its presence is vital in hazardous working environments on board ship.
 
Flammable gases (LEL)
LEL is short for ‘Lower Explosive Limit’.
LEL is the lowest concentration of a gas or vapour capable of producing fire in the presence of an ignition.
 
Concentrations lower than the LEL are too lean to burn, those above, too rich. The LEL is displayed as a percentage with 0% showing a combustible gas-free atmosphere and 100% when a gas is at its lower flammable limit.
The percentages will differ from gas to gas.
Methane, for example, is too lean to burn between 0% and 5% but is highly flammable between 5% and 17%. Over 17% and the atmosphere is too rich for methane to ignite.
 
Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)
Known as ‘sewer gas’ or ‘swamp gas’, Hydrogen Sulphide is colourless and highly flammable.
It’s produced by industrial processes and/or decaying organic matter and has a characteristic odour of rotten eggs.
However, this may not be detected until it’s too late as exposure to the gas affects your sense of smell.
It’s heavier than air, so hydrogen sulphide accumulates in enclosed and poorly ventilated areas.
 
Inhalation produces extremely rapid unconsciousness and death.
 
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
CO is produced whenever a fossil fuel is burned and collects in poorly ventilated areas. CO displaces oxygen in the blood, depriving vital organs of oxygen causing victims to lose consciousness and suffocate.
 
Because it’s odourless and colourless and can overcome you in minutes, it kills thousands of people every year.
 

Fixed gas detectors

Fixed gas detection systems are a requirement for some vessels but are recommended for a much wider range of ships. These can be placed in vulnerable locations to monitor gases at all times, issuing alerts at the first sign of potential danger.
 
However, one gas detection system doesn’t necessarily suit all vessels. You have to make sure that you have the correct equipment for your vessel’s particular needs.
SOLAS guidance states:
It should be noted that, given a ship’s specific characteristics and operations, additional atmospheric hazards in enclosed spaces may be present that may not be detected by the instrument recommended to be selected by these Guidelines, and in such cases, if known, additional appropriate instruments should be carried.’
 
That’s why at Martek, we have a team of expert engineers. They build our fixed detection systems in-house so that we can ensure that the equipment is tailored to your specific requirements.
 
Our MM2000 system tests for toxic and flammable gases in a wide variety of situations and is guaranteed to be SOLAS and ISGOTT compliant.
 

Portable gas detectors

Worn by seafarers entering spaces where dangerous gases may be present.
This equipment should be as versatile and easy to use as possible so that all crew members are protected.
 
We have a range of the best portable gas detection equipment designed to cover a variety of requirements, including:
 

A robust and accurate portable gas detector, the Marine 4™ provides unrivalled protection in confined space applications with audible and visual alarms in the event of exposure to flammable or toxic gases.

Detecting and displaying up to 4 gases simultaneously, it is suitable for a host of applications in a variety of industries. The Marine 4™ can be configured to detect a combination of:

    • Methane
    • Oxygen
    • Carbon Monoxide
    • Hydrogen Sulphidea
  • and other flammable gases.

MGC Simple+

NO CALIBRATION. NO CHARGING. NO COSTS.

A WORLD FIRST IN PORTABLE GAS DETECTION.

From Zone 0 to inert atmospheres – with the Marine Triple-C you’re always good to go.

Innovative 3-year battery life and cutting-edge infrared technology remove the need to calibrate, meaning no unproductive maintenance breaks and no expensive sensor replacement.

This all-in-one solution guarantees compliance and reduces risk whilst saving time and money – all at the touch of a single button.

 

Discover how we can help to keep your crew safe on board ship.

Kivu Ebola Outbreak – What you need to know

The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared on the 1st August 2018 and has grown to become the second biggest EVD outbreak to date.

This recent outbreak followed on from the earlier Équateur province Ebola outbreak which occurred May to July 2018.

Previous Epidemic

The West African Ebola virus epidemic was the largest to date with 28,616 reported cases and 11,310 deaths – although it was suspected that 17-70% of cases went unreported.

This epidemic saw reported cases outside of Africa in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

It was believed to have started in December 2013 when a one-year-old boy in Guinea died from the disease. Later, his mother, sister and grandmother died from the same symptoms.

The village was close to a large colony of Angolan free-tailed bats, which have been thought to spread Ebola, yet none of the bats tested were found to carry the disease.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Update

As of 26th December 2018, a total of 591 EVD cases, including 543 confirmed and 48 probable cases, have been reported.
These reported cases have come from 16 health zones in the two neighbouring provinces of North Kivu and Ituri (Figure 1).

Of these cases, 54 were healthcare workers, of which 18 died. Overall, 357 cases have died (case fatality ratio 60%).

In the past week, ten additional patients were discharged from Ebola treatment centres; overall, 203 patients have recovered to date. The highest number of cases were from age group 15‒49 years with 60% (355/589) of the cases, and of those, 228 were female.

Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by week of illness onset, data as of 26 December 2018. Source: WHO
Confirmed and probable Ebola virus disease cases by week of illness onset, data as of 26 December 2018.
Source: WHO

Travel Restrictions

WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information.

Currently, no country has implemented travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic to and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Travellers should seek medical advice before travel and should practice good hygiene.

Direct Transmission

Ebola’s transmitted through close and direct physical contact with infected bodily fluids. The most infectious being vomit, blood, and faeces.

There have also been cases of Ebola detected in breast milk, urine and semen; with studies detecting the virus 70 days after the patience had recovered from symptoms.

There have also been studies showing the virus to be present in Saliva and tears, but the sample size was limited.

If coming into contact with those who may have Ebola, you should ensure protective equipment is worn.

Indirect Transmission

Ebola can be transmitted indirectly through contaminated objects and surfaces.

If you are frequently in contact with objects, materials or surfaces that could carry infection, it’s recommended to regularly clean and disinfect. Wearing protective equipment will decrease the risk of transmission.

There is no evidence that Ebola can be transmitted via airborne means. The virus could be transmitted through large wet droplets from a heavily infected individual coughing and sneezing at close distance, but no study has confirmed this.

Again, if you are in close proximity with people who may be in contact with the virus disease, ensure thorough cleaning procedures are in place and consider safety equipment.

Vaccination

There is currently no licensed vaccine to protect people from the Ebola virus. Therefore, any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination are not a reasonable basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of visas for passengers leaving the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Summary

The latest Ebola outbreak is the second biggest to date, behind the West African Ebola virus epidemic 2012-2016.

There are currently just short of 600 cases, with around 10% of those being healthcare workers.

Ebola is passed through direct contact with infected bodily fluids and can survive for 70+ days after the symptoms have passed.

Although there is currently no cure, the risk of spread can be greatly reduced though personal and surface cleaning procedures, and further reduced with protective equipment.

Deaths in confined spaces are still happening

Modern ships are capable of carrying larger and larger loads while the number of crew aboard remains approximately the same. This means that Seafarers are more exposed to the dangers of confined space entries than ever before.

What is a Confined Space?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) defines enclosed spaces as having limited openings for entry and exit, inadequate ventilation or a design not intended for continuous worker occupancy.

This includes:

  • cargo spaces
  • double bottoms
  • fuel tanks, ballast tanks
  • cargo pump-rooms, compressor rooms
  • chain lockers
  • and any other area that may be oxygen deficient.

These spaces are often used for installing new machinery or for storage and, on a modern vessel that has a complex matrix of pipelines running through each of its parts, there will be even more of them.

Toxic gases generated by storage or leakage accumulate in confined spaces because of the lack of ventilation. Therefore, if a crew member enters to carry out repairs or cleaning without taking adequate precautions, the results are usually fatal.

Recent Incidents

In the last few years, there have been numerous deaths caused by confined spaces in the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia.

In the last four months alone, there have been six deaths.

Two incidents on RMI flagged ships occurred within 24 hours of each other and resulted in the deaths of three crew members and two others losing consciousness.
Then, as recently as November, three more seafarers died of asphyxiation on board the timber carrier Apollo Kita as they were working in the vessel’s hold.

These are just the latest in a long line of similar incidents.

Regulations

Deaths in confined keep happening despite the IMOs attempts to prevent them with new regulations. The latest – Regulation XI-1/7 – requires all SOLAS applicable vessels to carry portable gas detectors for monitoring enclosed spaces:

“Every ship to which Chapter 1 applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments. As a minimum, these shall be capable to measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide. Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation. Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments.”

Effective gas detectors and calibration instruments are essential on all cargo vessels. This equipment should also be as versatile and easy to use as possible so that all crew members are protected.

Equipment

Martek has a range of fixed and portable gas detection equipment that’s designed to be as simple and safe to use as possible.

The MGC Simple+ doesn’t require calibration or charging, due to cutting edge sensor technology, so crew members can carry it at all times to make sure that that the environment they’re working in is safe.

The MGC Simple+ is lightweight and convenient to carry. It’s simple and easy to use, with one-button operation and large screen that’s readable in low light or changeable conditions.

The MGC Simple+ is rated IP68 so it’s waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 minutes, durable and uses infrared technology that’s immune to sensor poisoning, which means no calibration is necessary.

Because it doesn’t need oxygen to operate, it will reliably test for hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen (O2) and combustible gases (LEL) in even the most challenging of confined spaces.

Learn how the MGC Simple+ or any other item in our range of gas detection equipment, can prevent loss of lives on your vessel.

Meet our new Regional Sales Manager!

We’re always expanding and developing our wonderful team, so we’re delighted to announce our latest internal promotion: Nicole Rayner.

Nicole joined us at Martek just six months ago having worked in telesales for the previous five years.  She quickly demonstrated her abilities as a sales person so when the position of Regional Sales Manager came up, she seemed like a very natural fit. Nicole will now look after her own international sales territory, traveling to meet clients as well as managing their needs from our head office.

Nicole says: This promotion gives me the opportunity not only to visit extraordinary places but to develop both professionally and personally. I cannot wait to see where my new role will take me!’

We can’t wait either! We know Nicole will be a great Regional Sales Manager and everyone at Martek wishes her all the best.

Reduce your plastic waste with Drinksafe

8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. If our current consumption continues at the same rate, there will be more plastic than fish by 2050. Single use plastic is the biggest problem with half of all plastic products designed to be used only once. Across the world, over a million plastic drinking bottles are bought every minute and these make up about 20% of all sea plastic.

But the world is waking up to the problem. There is increasing public awareness and governments are taking steps to reduce the use of disposable plastic. Just this week, the European Parliament announced plans to ban many throwaway plastic items by 2021 and stated that 90% of all plastic drinks bottles must be recycled by the year 2025. This will have a huge impact on shipping companies who are still relying on plastic water bottles for their clean water supply.

DrinkSafe is therefore even more important – not just for safeguarding crews, but for helping to save the environment.

It’s the easiest water testing kit on the market and is designed around MLC 2006 and WHO guidelines to provide you with everything you need to perform regular, comprehensive testing of your vessel’s water supplies. With DrinkSafe there’s no need to use single-use plastic bottles and some of the biggest shipping companies in the world are using it to look after the safety of their passengers and crews.

One of our customers, Grindrod Ship Management, have completely eliminated the use of bottled water on board ship by switching to Drinksafe to improve their water testing. As well as a massive cost saving, the change has also had a big impact on their plastic waste. Capt Rajaraman Krishnamoorthy from Grindrod said: ‘our company is saving 32,000 bottles per month due to more robust water testing policies’.

This represents a step in the right direction when it comes to plastic pollution and we hope that even more companies follow Grindrod’s great example.

 

Liquefaction – Are your hatches putting you at risk?

Your bulk cargo carrier could be at risk of liquefaction.

What is liquefaction?

Granular materials loaded onto a ship hold can turn into a liquid state – which can be disastrous for your ship and crew.

Solid bulk cargo often contains water between solid particles. Present from mining, this moisture level can rise through transport and storing.

Friction between these particles makes these particles act like a solid, despite the liquid presence.

Ship vibrations and movements cause the space between the particles to reduce, increasing pore water pressure. If the pore water pressure increases enough, the “dry” cargo begins to act like a fluid due to the loss of friction between the particles.

The risk to life

The liquefied bulk can shift inside the hold and can solidify again in a shifted position.

This shift can cause the ship to list. If the cargo liquefies again, the angle of the list can increase. At this point, water can enter the hull via hatch covers, or the ship may be unable to recover from a roll.

Water from the liquefied cargo can also move towards the surface, causing further instability.

This happened to the Bulk Jupiter, which sank 300km off the coast of Vietnam.

Only one crew member survived.

The IMO issued warnings over possible liquefication of a solid bulk aluminium ore, Bauxite.

The answer

Beginning at the source, the method for storing, transporting and method of loading can affect the state of the solid bulk cargo.

Hard loading, to load cargo faster, increases the risk of raising pore water pressure. During transit, crews can be put off from draining cargo due to pressures to deliver the same tonnage as was loaded.

Technology may hold the answer, such as sensors to measure cargo water pressure or laser observers.

The problem lies in finding a technology cheap enough, yet also performs to a high enough standard to inform the crew of the dangers in real time.

Once water pressure increase had been detected the crew can look to drain cargo water, change course to reduce motion, or even evacuate the ship.

Summary

Liquefaction is not a new phenomenon – we’ve been aware of it for over a century.

Technology, storage and loading procedures alone aren’t currently in a place where they can reduce the risk of liquefaction. There would be a need for several cross-industry changes to take place.

Hatches can be a cause of sinking should a ship list due to water ingress, never mind the damage to cargo – which makes up over 60% of P&I loss claims.

Traditional methods of testing the tightness of hatches can be unreliable and time-consuming. Only ultrasonic testing ensure hatches are secure at all times.

You can download our whitepaper on hatch cover testing here.

Spotlight on Shelley – 10 years at Martek Marine

Shelley might look like a fresh-faced new joiner, but she’s a Martek veteran.

After 10 years in the finance department (equivalent to 50 years in other roles, we’re told), We decided to catch up with Shelley about her time here at Martek and why she’s still here!

10 years – How did it all start at Martek?

I started with Martek back in November 2006. I joined as Credit Controller and Purchase Ledger Clerk and was one half of the 2-person finance team. Just a Finance Manager and I back then!

Shortly after, we got a 3rd team member, a Purchase Ledger Clerk, and my focus was solely on Credit Control.

Wanting to progress, I began to study for my AAT accounting qualifications. With study support from Martek, I completed the qual and moved into a new role as Assistant Management Accountant. We also gained another team member due to growth, 4 now in total.

And then you left… (spoiler: for a bit)

In Jan 2011 I decided to look for a change and new challenge.

But, there was something missing. I found the culture was too different elsewhere. Very corporate, stuck in their ways and a lack of personality that I loved at Martek.

I realised that Martek was where I felt more comfortable day to day. The social aspect is great and I developed loads of friends, not just work colleagues.

In December 2012, an opportunity opened at Martek and I jumped at the chance. I re-joined the team as a Management Accountant. I’ve been here since!

Looking back to 2006, what have been the biggest changes at Martek?

The introduction of freedom and responsibility (F&R) was amazing. In a nutshell: Take ownership of your responsibilities, do your work well, and enjoy the freedom that comes as a reward.

What time of ‘freedom’ has this meant for you?

I’m a mum of two, and one of my children has special needs. F&R meant I was able to be flexible with my working hours. I’m able to work from home for a few hours in a morning, which means I can manage the jobs at home too!

Martek stand by F&R, it isn’t just a tag. As I knew I could manage my workload around the office hours I chose, and had a proven track record, I felt comfortable using F&R. I’ve heard of companies where it’s advertised but not actioned and that’s not the case here.

Beside your AAT, have you had any other support in your 10 years.

Plenty! Martek take CPD seriously and really push us to be the best we can be. There’s a free audible account brimming with audio/actual books to keep learning.

Since returning in 2012, Martek supported me as I studied for and passed my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), and with this I’ve progressed to a department leader and now sit on the leadership team.

Without the support of Martek I wouldn’t be where I am today!

Any messages for potential new joiners, or those who have just started with the company?

Martek is a fantastic company to work for. The culture is fun, people focussed and there are plenty of rewards.

That said, expect to be challenged. If you’re prepared to be challenged, take ownership and put in the work where it’s needed the rewards are fantastic.

I wouldn’t work anywhere else!

To learn more about our staff at Martek click here