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Old 08-24-2016, 12:21 PM   #21
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Notland.... Ah someone else that has made that journey with a pump and hose. What you say is true but in this instance I do not see where the wind swells or "plow" would apply to a barge docked inside another barge. I would have to go with the broken lines / cables while unloading speculation as to flipping over. Typically you would think that they would unload or load from one end NOT the Sides. Could have been in inexperienced operator on the clam shell bucket.
I am having a hard time visualizing how they would load a barge that was in the middle of two other barges. The only loading operations I have watched, were single barges loaded alongside a pier. These were all loaded with conveyors so I don't know how they do with with a clamshell loader.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:35 PM   #22
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Notland.... Ah someone else that has made that journey with a pump and hose. What you say is true but in this instance I do not see where the wind swells or "plow" would apply to a barge docked inside another barge. I would have to go with the broken lines / cables while unloading speculation as to flipping over. Typically you would think that they would unload or load from one end NOT the Sides. Could have been in inexperienced operator on the clam shell bucket.
Merely an attempt to illustrate how quickly this situation occurs. I agree the wires would have to break, but the wires breaking in and of themselves would not make the barge roll. Improper loading coupled with compartment flooding is only my guess without having been there. I have never seen loading/unloading from the end of the barge. I suppose it is possible but seems logistically difficult in terms of "reach". OH River barges are 195' LOA so it would require big equipment.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #23
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I can not think of any barge that is NOT loaded and unloaded from one end to the other. There exists the very probable risk of "breaking the back" if not loaded /unloaded from one end or the other. You also do not want to load the two ends with nothing in the middle same outcome only you break the back the other way. I assume you worked on the Ohio but must have missed the loading and unloading operations so therefore were not a tankerman or on a fleet boat. You may also note if you visit a liquid dock that tank barges being unloaded will always "roll" the product back to the pump end of the barge and load the tanks closest to the pump first.

Any problem with "reach" of the unloading equipment is corrected by moving the barges up or down the dock if the equipment is not capable of moving on the dock itself.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:04 PM   #24
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I can not think of any barge that is NOT loaded and unloaded from one end to the other. There exists the very probable risk of "breaking the back" if not loaded /unloaded from one end or the other. You also do not want to load the two ends with nothing in the middle same outcome only you break the back the other way. I assume you worked on the Ohio but must have missed the loading and unloading operations so therefore were not a tankerman or on a fleet boat. You may also note if you visit a liquid dock that tank barges being unloaded will always "roll" the product back to the pump end of the barge and load the tanks closest to the pump first.

Any problem with "reach" of the unloading equipment is corrected by moving the barges up or down the dock if the equipment is not capable of moving on the dock itself.
Haha! It's perspective, I suppose. When you said "loaded from the end" I visualized the barge being nosed into the bank, so to speak. You are correct, a barge is loaded from one end to another, parallel to the bank. No, I was not a tankerman, we called them line boats, not fleet boats.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:11 PM   #25
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Freight barges, mostly containers, but also heavy equipment, trucks etc. are usually loaded and unloaded from the center of the barge. In AK, ramps are used to drive the wheeled stuff off, as well as large forklifts picking up containers. Sometimes depending on where one is, cranes are used to pick off the stuff stacked on top of containers which are often stacked 3 and 4 high. About the only time freight barges are loaded from the ends is when its a beach and ramp situation where no cranes can reach, or when using certain docks that are purposely set up for ramp work. The barge is loaded as it goes, one end to the other until the center section is reached which is usually left with just enough room to turn a forklift around to begin unloading at destination.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:29 PM   #26
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[QUOTE=78puget-trawler;472704]Freight barges, mostly containers, but also heavy equipment, trucks etc. are usually loaded and unloaded from the center of the barge. In AK, ramps are used to drive the wheeled stuff off, as well as large forklifts picking up containers. Sometimes depending on where one is, cranes are used to pick off the stuff stacked on top of containers which are often stacked 3 and 4 high. About the only time freight barges are loaded from the ends is when its a beach and ramp situation where no cranes can reach, or when using certain docks that are purposely set up for ramp work. The barge is loaded as it goes, one end to the other until the center section is reached which is usually left with just enough room to turn a forklift around to begin unloading at destination.[/QUOTE

Makes sense. I was talking about bulk material barges.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:35 PM   #27
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I figured you were but ulysses said "any", so had to add my 2 cts worth.
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Old 08-24-2016, 02:38 PM   #28
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Haha! It's perspective, I suppose. When you said "loaded from the end" I visualized the barge being nosed into the bank, so to speak. You are correct, a barge is loaded from one end to another, parallel to the bank. No, I was not a tankerman, we called them line boats, not fleet boats.

I made the same mistake in visualizing it.
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Old 08-24-2016, 04:59 PM   #29
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78puget,,, I appreciate your 2 cents worth except that I don't think you have a very good perspective either. I am not talking about where a ramp is or where the fork truck enters or exits a barge. I am speaking of the weights of the load. What you described as the fork truck coming in at the middle of a barge and loading one end to the middle and then continuing down the barge is placing the loads at one end and then working to the middle. The small amount of room to turn the fork truck around is not really important nor where the ramp is located. Primarily and as you described the process the weight of the load is distributed equally over the barge starting by placing the weight of the first portion of the load on one end.
To continue the science portion of this discussion, I might suggest John La Dage's "Stability and Trim for the Ship's Officer" as an excellent reference on loading and unloading a vessel without "breaking its back". Believe it or not there is a right and wrong way of loading and unloading barges whether the equipment you are using is a fork truck, overhead crane, pump and pipeline, or shovels and wheelbarrow and no matter where the equipment enters upon the vessel.
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Old 08-24-2016, 05:25 PM   #30
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Thank you for the physics lesson! I guess I don't know much about it other than what I did for a long time working on tugs and loading barges. There is nothing wrong with my perspective, it just might not be the same as yours. I wasn't talking about anything you said other than to address "any". And I don't care anyway, I am retired! Thanks.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:15 PM   #31
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These barges are typically so overbuilt that it matter not how they are (un)loaded.

The 'under 200' sized little barges in the gravel trade are made to withstand being grounded while being (un)loaded that it is not a stress issue with them.

However, the free surface inside the tanks (which ARE supposed to be free of water) is often an issue. I have seen several around New York harbor flipped in my career. The water being pumped out is an issue. Keeping it out is another issue. The front barge (Bernoullis' principle) in a tow is susceptible to being constantly head down, thus the forward tanks being full of water.

Here is a crude drawing of how free surface affects the list on a barge, and (since there is no pumping ability installed) it necessitates manually hauling pumps around the barge to empty the tanks.

Of course this is simplified, but the method of the barge capsizing is a known event, and when a barge is 'lurching' side to side is a huge warning sign to both crew ON the barge as well as the tug operator to pump the tanks dry.

I don't have pictures, but I flipped a 130' deck barge over, using water ballast in the barge, and one tug pulling the barge sideways, and My tug pulling the barge the opposite way, with the wire bridles wrapped around the side of the barge. The barge slowly tips over on her side, and lays upside down. The deck hatchs with the water in them have water hose suction fittings installed to pump out the water and the barge is flipped. It works the same in reverse, but a diver must be used to remove the hatchs' underwater and install modified hatches with hose fittings to pump water in, or out as needed.
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:42 PM   #32
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Freight barge loading/unloading can be seen in quasi real time here, for those interested:
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:42 PM   #33
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There is a barge in Great Harbor in the BVI that we usually dive every time we are down there. It sank by the stern and sat that way for some time partially submerged until it eventually over a lengthy time sank to the 80' bottom. It rests on its side and the last time i dove it it was still partially buoyant, laying on its side... still holding air in its tanks after a number of years.. it rocks back and forth.. even at 50' of depth the the shallowest part.
If anybody goes down there it's a great dive and often one gets rewarded with tasty mollusks hiding in its shadows...
We just spent time skiing on the Snake river and it is amazing how they load the grain barges from the stern first... and often the deck is awash until they balance the load.

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Old 08-24-2016, 11:51 PM   #34
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Sorry, here:
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:02 AM   #35
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That looks familiar! The company that tows their barges is who I worked for for some years. Western Towboat, Seattle. Worked for them between 1980 and about 1993 or so.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:02 AM   #36
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These barges in the video are not the same as what has capsized. The barge capsized is a deck load of gravel which is bulk loaded (dumped on) and scooped off by some unloader (bucket, scoop or rotary vacuum)

Although the deck load is the same, the method of (un)loading on the two is distinctly different.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:27 AM   #37
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[QUOTE][These barges in the video are not the same as what has capsized/QUOTE]

Post 32:
Freight barge loading/unloading can be seen in quasi real time here, for those interested:
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:33 AM   #38
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http://www.ccibarge.com/cah/cahpubli...Rules?OpenPage

Safety rules for loading dry bulk cargo established by Cargill Grain. While hopper barges are depicted in the diagram the basics are similar to most any vessel.

The barges in the original post appear to be semi-ocean going deck barges in the 300' x 50 range with cargo, in this case gravel, being carried on the deck. Initial Stability is the relationship between the center of buoyancy (B) and the center of gravity (G). In the case of a loaded deck type barge G is relatively high due to the placement of the load being higher than in a hopper type barge. As B is effected, normally by seaways wave action this change in B with G remaining the same creates a "righting moment" or tendency. Without getting into transverse metacenter and the metacentric height there is an explanation as to the actions that may have possibly caused the problems shown in the provided pictures.
Three loaded barges secured abreast and to the dock. Inside barge (I) middle barge (M) and outside barge (O). Consider all barges are facing the same direction with I being port side to the dock and likewise O being secured port side to M. I barge is being unloaded as it is being unloaded it increases the buoyancy on the port side of M due to the lines or cables securing the barges together. In other words as I is unloaded M's port side is being lifted. Buoyancy (B) is shifted to the port of M while G remains the same increasing the angle between B and G (greater than those one might find in a seaway or at initial buoyancy. At some point G shifts to M's strb. side due to gravity shifting the load. Then things start speeding up as the angle between B and G increases rapidly. The securing lines between I and M have parted at this point. Some of the gravel rolling off of M lands on the port side of O making the port side of O go slightly deeper in the water. As the port side of M comes out of the water the distance between I and O is reduced and in that the position and forces acting between M and O still tied together drives O closer to the dock and under M. As this action increase M is flipped onto 0's deck.
That is my speculation of how this occurred. Poor unloading practices - always check your lines.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:40 AM   #39
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Very common occurrence. frequent scenario is on compartment takes on water until she shifts and dumps deck load. Most of the companies that do aggregate work have people that routinely pump these but not always in time. We are in Norfolk raising one now for the Navy, 600 tons.
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Old 08-25-2016, 09:08 AM   #40
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Yep, the same one that is usually responsible for checking and pumping is the one that checks the lines. He may have been off that day.
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