Outdated charts, a threat to safety

I came across a text in the January 2010 issue of the London P&I Club’s StopLoss Bulletin

The writer gives two examples of the consequences of non-compliance:

In the first case, a telecommunications company alleged that a submarine cable had been damaged by a ship’s anchor.

The first assumption was that, if the anchor had contacted the cable, then it must have been because it was dragging and the ship had not been able to recover the anchor in due time. However, the Club-appointed surveyor quickly established that the ship had, in fact, anchored directly over the cable but that the bridge team had been completely unaware of the hazard beneath them. The surveyor identified that the ship had used an old edition of the chart, which predated the laying of the cable.

Apparently, on preparing the passage plan, the second officer had not checked that he had the current edition of the chart.

In the second case, the investigation into the circumstances in which a ship suffered damage as it struck a hazardous wreck confirmed that the current edition of the chart was in use but that it had not been properly corrected. A chart correction showing the wreck had been issued some three years previously.

The questions which remain unanswered are:

  1. Why the charts were not properly updated; and
  2. What can be done to help crews and management ensure the charts are actually updated.


Rules V/27 and V/34 of the SOLAS convention.a requirement of, about the need to update charts on board —


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