Container ship collides with massive structure in Jebel Ali


Originally published at:


Wow. I don’t think that most of us appreciate the massive scale of container ships and their infrastructure… I nobody was seriously injured. Assuming somebody was in the cab, the crane operator had a long and sudden drop.

edited to add “Don’t worry, my dad’s a TV repairman, he has an awesome set of tools.”


I’m hoping the operator was not in there, the ship just got there and maybe it takes a little bit of time before they can begin unloading?

Or, maybe the industry learned long ago that having someone sitting trapped in a box in front of an oncoming cargo ship is a bad idea?


The aimless, brownian dance of the empty container trucks in the beginning is oddly soothing.

I hope nobody was in the parked one that got flattened.


I live in a setting that has full-muscle container ships waiting for loading and unloading cuddled into YAHWEHs verdant mountainous marine bays.

Driving past the bay when a new one has settled kinda has that feeling of the star cruiser taking over the frame in the open post-title shot of Star Wars. When the stevedores protest the sound fills up pretty quickly with these material Goliath.


I’d guess that the cost of the cranes and the ship are high enough, and that it takes long enough to climb the steps to get to the operating booth on the crane that the cost of paying the crane operator to wait until the ship comes is less than the amortized cost per minute of the ship, cranes and dock. So that the operator was in the cabin. OTOH, I wonder whether the x5 indicates how much the footage has been sped up. the people and vehicles certainly seem sped up so that the collapse of the crane was also likely slower than it appeared.


The 5x could have been zoom of the camera lens as well. It the video was 5x sped up, the vehicles would have been moving a lot faster, also the dust billowing afterwards is too slow for that.


Probably right. It looked a little sped up, but nothing like 5x speed.

edited to add… Looking at it again, the low frame rate make it difficult to judge whether the speed is correct. It gives the clip a jerkyness that one associates with being sped up…


Waiiiiiiit for it!


Looks like everyone escaped with their lives:

1 “moderate” and 9 “minor” injuries, no fatalities:

Splash 247


I think they were chatting unconcerned in the background because they’d already watched it a few dozen times - this was someone replaying the footage for the express purpose of filming it on their phone.


I call shenanigans, it’s a miniature, you can tell by the ants running away in the lower left after the collapse.

I keed, I keed!


I hope the insurance covered laundering the trousers of all of the people who stampeded out of that building. What a shake that must have been!


Thanks Obama!


something needs a re-design anyways like pontoons or something
perhaps radar that would detect objects-in-flight
the pilot must have been in some hurry perhaps he had a daughters wedding
to go to and might be late …who knows


The “structure” is a container crane. They fold up when not in use, then fold back down to allow unloading of the boxes straight from the ship onto trailers. Here are some in a better view:

One is folded up. The cranes also run along the docks on what are essentially train tracks. They are not fastened to the ground.
What happened is that the ship was supposed to stay parallel to the dock, but instead went nose-in, and the overhang hit the crane. I would guess pilotage mistake, but it is hard to be sure.


I do, I regularly kayak fish in NY Harbor, Kill van Kull and Newark Bay. I’ve been just yards outside the narrow shipping channel in the Kill when one of those behemoth slides by. Funny thing is they don’t leave a wake at those speeds, the hull is so efficiently designed. But when it’s a 1/4 mile past suddenly the water boils as the turbulence from the screws surfaces.

I can’t imagine what went wrong here, it had to be completely in the charge of the tugs that close, maybe someone accidentally hit the throttle? I hate those fucking tugs BTW, in the Kill they sit there thrusting a tanker against the pier for hours sending their wake halfway across the waterway, forcing me out into the shipping lane where I’d rather not be.


Elevator, usually.
I double checked, and those cranes at Jebel Ali do have little elevators.


I stopped getting too close to parked ships in the port of Melbourne because I once saw one do a drop test of its anchor.

But anyway one day I was out in my kayak off Williamstown, paddling south into a strong southerly. Not making much progress. I hear this slow thump…thump through the bottom of my boat so I look around and there is this big tug more or less behind me, also going south. So I decide to deviate to the right and take a break behind a jetty. But the tug is still there thump thump, I get to the jetty and maintain position by paddling gently. The tug deviates a bit to the left, drops his revs even more and take up exactly the same position 20 metres or so to the left.


I suppose all the people on the ground were Chinese, Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian or Pakistani migrant workers with no rights (or perceived value) whatsoever, and the reason for the lack of interest from the people talking is that they simply don’t care? This is in Dubai, after all.