Watch crane collapse onto boat, causing a terrible oil spill in the Galapagos Islands

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I can’t watch that.


It really bugs me that cranes don’t seem to have instrumentation for this. Something which measures the tilt of the crane chasis would do fine, if it knows where the load is as well.

This sort of thing happens way too much.


Most do. But just because the crane was designed/built with the proper sensors, does not mean that:

  1. The sensors are working correctly and haven’t broken at some point.
  2. The operators are trained to use them
  3. The operators didn’t disable them because they’re “annoying”
  4. Are paying attention to them at all

Sometimes cranes are just operated by the nearest guy around that thinks they know enough to do the job.


It was “nice” of whoever to edit the video and cut out the entire start of the tip. Leaves me wondering if it tipped due to improper loading or if something else happened.


Maybe its one of those “why were they filming situations”? Maybe they only started filming again when the real fun started.


I’m told diesel fuel is volatile and that this isn’t at all comparable to, say, a spill of crude oil. has some interesting details:

Galapagos minister Norman Wray told reporters that work was under way to recover the diesel. He also said the generator, which was intended to supply energy on Isabela Island, and the barge would be replaced “as soon as possible.”

Isabela Island, the largest island, is currently facing energy rationing. Wray assured reporters that food supply levels in the Galapagos would remain normal despite the loss of the barge.

The same barge, which is used to transport fuel and construction materials to the Galapagos, had sunk previously in February 2018 due to a weight imbalance, in a port on the Guayas River.



Ditto. Too stressful, especially in the context of this day and age when it’s emblematic of general human destructiveness.


I’ve been right there. It’s the only Island with people on it.
I watched them unload a car one panel at a time.
It’s sort of a busy port area with (fortunately) not too much in the way of wild life in the immediate
vicinity. Still though…


We are the baby seal clubbers.

We clubbed them not for our sustenance, but rather we clubbed baby seals to death for fashion.

We are the dog fighting pit owners. We are the children in cages ghouls. And we are the idiots that put the crane and the boat there together.

There’s a fair amount of selection bias, since most people don’t spend hours watching the boring video of cranes doing crane things.


I mean, it will burn. But good luck lighting it with a match–it won’t anymore than (say) olive oil will.

Diesel engines can actually run off of heating oil. High energy viscous fluids that don’t evaporate at room temperature.

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I feel like there’s a “just the tip” joke to be made here.

In that form factor that could be as large as a 2000kw generator—enough power for a small community. They can weigh 70,000+ Lbs. Its possible the boom lift was simply undersized for this task


True, but I thought weight and balance calculations would be standard operating procedure when operating a crane. I guess I was wrong.

I work in a shipbuilding environment, and from the start of the video I was horrified. One guy casually pushing at a container as it dangles from an undersized and unstable lifter is just horrifyingly inept. Plan the lift, work the plan - don’t just drive up and drop the thing.


I’m not sure I’d put two acts of conscious cruelty on the same list as “accidentally didn’t balance the crane properly”.


It’s my layman’s understanding that they are SOP; but I suspect that if there is no adequate crane available within budget or without waiting, potentially months, cautious adherence to procedure probably starts to slip down the priority list a bit.

Even if you think of clubbing tortoises as a hobby there’s no way that amount of equipment damage is a desired outcome; but nobody likes, or likes to be, the bearer of bad news which can gives rise to a dangerous level of willingness to make do and improvise.

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I mean, it will burn. But good luck lighting it with a match–it won’t anymore than (say) olive oil will.

Umm, what? As someone who has spent a life around diesel machinery, I can assure you that diesel lights with a match and burns very nicely. We use it to start campfires on damp wood and all sorts of other things. It makes a wicked black smoke when it burns, but it lights just fine.

Diesel engines can actually run off of heating oil. High energy viscous fluids that don’t evaporate at room temperature.

This part of your statement is correct. Diesels will run on most any thin oil. Diesel fuel is, itself, a very lightweight oil. You can convince them to run on vegetable oils, kerosene, jet fuels (many of which are basically kerosene), whale oil (I dunno why you’d have that, but hey), lamp oil, even used motor oil if it’s hot enough. Despite what Road Warrior movies would have us believe, diesels will be the motor of choice post-apocalypse because they run on whatever you can find and don’t need much for an electrical system.


Thank goodness Big Fossil Fuels found a way to pollute one of the remotest inhabited places on earth.