Tag Archives: collision

ACCIDENTS: No interaction between people, destructive interaction between ships

From the British Maritime Accident Investigation Branch’s Safety Digest 2/2011:


A 2,800gt cargo vessel collided with a 58,000gt ro-ro vessel as it was overtaking the larger vessel in the confines of a buoyed channel when they were departing from a major port. Local pilots were embarked on both vessels at the time.

The ro-ro vessel had recently entered the channel from a lock, and was steadily increasing speed as the cargo vessel approached her from the starboard quarter. The cargo vessel’s pilot assumed the ro-ro vessel would quickly increase speed and pull ahead, and initially was not concerned as the distance between the two vessels continued to decrease.

However, the cargo vessel continued to overtake the other vessel, and with shallow water to starboard it reduced speed in an attempt to prevent a collision. Unfortunately this action was ineffective as the cargo vessel was now so close to the ro-ro vessel that hydrodynamic interaction occurred between the two vessels. The cargo vessel took a sheer to port and collided with the ro-ro vessel’s starboard quarter.

The cargo vessel’s engine was stopped, but she remained pinned against the ro-ro vessel for several minutes. The ro-ro vessel’s bridge team had been unaware of the close proximity of the other vessel until the collision occurred as both vessels had been monitoring different VHF channels.

The cargo vessel’s engine was then put astern and she slid aft, along the ro-ro vessel’s hull, until she came clear of the larger vessel. Both vessels suffered minor damage as a result of the collision, but were able to continue on their respective passages.

The Lessons

  1. The cargo vessel was overtaking the ro-ro vessel and was thus the give way vessel. However, the pilot of the cargo vessel assumed that the ro-ro vessel would quickly pull ahead, but by the time it was realised that this was not happening, it was too late to avoid a collision. The pilot of the cargo vessel made an assumption, based on scanty information, that the ro-ro vessel was increasing speed. He should have ensured that this was the case before coming so close to the other vessel that a collision was unavoidable.[REMARK: Something like a “before overtaking checklist” might be useful in helping pilots and bridge teams avoid critical errors in this potentially hazardous situation. It might as well contribute to avoid the dangers of the “control and command” style of navigation in restricted waters. Pilotage is a complex act that requires orchestration rather than one or two bright soloists.]
  2. Hydrodynamic interaction occurred between the two vessels when the cargo vessel drew level with the ro-ro’s starboard quarter. There was a strong attractive force between the two vessels due to the reduced pressure between the underwater portion of the hulls. Mariners should familiarise themselves with MGN 199 (M) Dangers of interactionin order to be alert to the situations when hydrodynamic interaction may occur.[REMARK: A video from the Ilawa Ship Handling Research Training Centre can give you a better idea of how this sort of interaction between ships is about. There is also some relevant footage from the Port Revel Training Centre on the same subject.]
  3. The bridge personnel were not functioning as a team on either vessel. They had been monitoring different VHF channels and those on the ro-ro vessel were not aware of the cargo vessel until after the collision. It is essential that every member of the bridge team remains vigilant and fully involved in monitoring the execution of the passage, and that a good all round lookout is maintained when the vessel is in pilotage waters as well as when she is at sea.[REMARK: It’s about communication and awareness, after all. If overtakings are allowed in pilotage districts, everyone involved in the passage must be aware or made aware of this possibility and prepare for it accordingly.]

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Press Release 09/27/2011: NTSB determines uncorrected sheering motion causes Eagle Otome collision with two other vessels; fatigue and distraction also contributed


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CRUISE | Opera was a hit in Buenos Aires — twice

The following videos refer to an accident involving the cruise ship MSC Opera on March 25th during her departure from Buenos Aires.

Video #1 shows the two contacts with the corner of a berth:

Video #2 provides more details of the second, seemingly more serious allision:

According to a report from one of the crew members (in Portuguese), the two collisions caused damage to “2 or 3 cabins” on the decks 3 and 4, but nobody was hurt.

As a result of the accident, the Argentine Maritime Authority reportedly held the ship in order to inspect her eventually allowing MSC Opera to continue her trip after repairs, approximately 10 hours later.


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MARITIME | NTSB: Tug pilot in duck boat crash was on cell

PHILADELPHIA – The mate piloting a tug boat in last summer’s deadly collision of a tourist boat and a barge was consumed by a family emergency and on his cell phone at the time, a new government report on the crash revealed Monday.

The mate told a tugboat company manager he had learned that day of a life-threatening medical emergency involving his young son, the National Transportation Safety Board report said. The mate, who was not identified, made or received 21 calls on his personal cell phone from the time he took the wheel at noon until the 2:37 p.m. crash.

The barge struck a disabled amphibious “duck boat” on July 7, killing two Hungarian students and plunging 35 other people into the Delaware River. The NTSB report does not analyze what caused the crash.

The 4,400-page report released Monday also said the mate did not assign a lookout on the high-sitting barge as it was being pushed from behind by the small tug.

A federal criminal investigation is also under way. At his lawyer’s advice, the mate has declined to cooperate with NTSB investigators, citing his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

His defense lawyer, Frank DeSimone, said Monday that he had not yet read the new report and declined to comment.

The parents of the Hungarian students killed, 20-year-old Szabolcs Prem and 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner, have a wrongful death lawsuit pending against the city, which owned the barge, and operators of both the tug and the amphibious duck boat.

Ride the Ducks, the tour boat company, has not resumed its land-and-water tours in Philadelphia.

The tour boat’s radio calls to the approaching tug went unheeded in the moments before the collision, the NTSB found. The mate, in brief statements the day of the crash, told investigators he did not hear, see or feel anything before seeing people in the water, the NTSB said.

Drug and alcohol tests on the crews of both vessels were negative, the NTSB has said.

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WHALE WARS | Report shares blame for whaling collision

An investigation has laid blame on both anti-whaling vessel Ady Gil and Japanese whaling ship Shonan Maru No. 2 for their Southern Ocean collision earlier this year.

The Ady Gil was on a Sea Shepherd Conservation Society mission aimed at stopping Japanese whaling when it crashed into the Shonan Maru on January 20.

The impact tore off 3.5m of the Ady Gil’s bow and left a cameraman aboard the trimaran with a suspected fracture to his rib.

The boat’s skipper, conservationist Peter Bethune, was later put on trial in Japan after trying to make a citizens arrest of the Shonan Maru No. 2 captain.

A Maritime New Zealand investigation has found both vessels disobeyed international anti-collision rules for “close quarters” encounters.

Neither the Shonan Maru No. 2 captain or Mr Bethune were charged with deliberately causing the impact.

“The collision appears to have resulted from a failure on the part of both masters and the crew of both vessels to appreciate and react appropriately to the potential for collision,” the report says.

The report says the Shonan Maru No. 2 kept at an unsafe speed and turned starboard to put itself in a collision course with the Ady Gil.

As the overtaking vessel, the Shonan Maru was responsible for avoiding a collision and had sufficient room to do so, the report says.

The report says is near certain the ship’s captain knew the Ady Gil was there and did not adjust his course despite having “ample opportunity”.

But the report criticises Mr Bethune and his crew for not keeping a good lookout and contributing to the collision.

Mr Bethune should have kept well clear of the oncoming whaling vessel, but instead maintained his course and speed, the report says.

Its helmsman did not monitor the ship’s radar and left himself little time to take evasive action, it says.

Investigators found there was insufficient evidence to say whether the Ady Gil’s helmsman’s acceleration of the ship before impact contributed to the crash.

Mr Bethune says he accepts the reports findings and has moved on from the incident.

He has retracted an earlier statement that the collision was “attempted murder” on the part of the Shonan Maru No. 2 captain.

“Having been on the Shonan Maru and met the crew, they’re just doing a job. I’ve met the captain. One day I could see myself sitting down and having a beer with him.”

But he remains adamant the ship turning in “the last 10 seconds” to adopt a collision course was a deliberate attempt to damage the Ady Gil.

“If they didn’t mean to murder us, they certainly meant to damage out vessel.”

He has no regrets about his actions in the Southern Ocean.

“In the end it was just a boat and I have six guys here who are happy to be alive.

“In many regards the sinking of the Ady Gil has done more for stopping whaling than anything else we could have done there.

“Whaling is a big issue in Japan now. It’s put the spotlight on the issue.”

Maritime New Zealand says the incident shows the need for all vessels to act responsibly in the Southern Ocean.

In its report, its director:

a) reminds all masters of the need to comply with the International Collision Regulations, the domestic laws and regulations of their flag state and the practices of good seamanship, irrespective of the activities they may be engaged in

b) calls for a higher standard of care to be taken by all parties who may be involved during demonstrations, protests or confrontations on the high seas

c) denounces actions or inactions that could potentially endanger human life, the marine environment or property during demonstrations, protests or confrontations on the high seas

d) draws the parties’ attention to the IMO’s resolution assuring safety during demonstrations, protests or confrontations on the high seas.

Source: The New Zealand Herald

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INDIA | Box ships collide near Nurpur

A container ship got stranded in Hooghly in South 24 Parganas district on Tuesday morning after colliding with another container vessel. The 12 crew members are safe. Green Valley, a Bahama registered container ship, collided with a Gibraltar-registered vessel — Tiger Spring — at the confluence of Hooghly and Rupnarayan rivers at Nurpur, close to Haldia and around 50 km south of Kolkata.

“The Tiger Spring was severely damaged and had begun to sink, but now the salvage work is over,” said LN Meena, Superintendent of Police, South 24 Parganas.

AK Bagchi, the director of the Marine Department of KoPT, said there was no oil spill from the vessels.

Mukul Roy, Minister of State for Shipping, who had rushed to the spot, said: “The river channel became narrow after its western bank became silted and ship movement was restricted to the eastern flank. The accident took place because of miscommunication between the pilots of the two ships.”

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/container-ships-collide-near-nurpur/715210/


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FRANCE | Port de Brest accused of denying refuge to chemtanker

Edited from Lloyd’s List | 2010.10.12

A CHEMTANKER involved in a collision in the English Channel last week had to be towed into military facilities in Brest after being denied access to the commercial port, sources involved in the incident have claimed.

Representatives of Port de Brest were today unavailable to respond to the claim.

If substantiated, the accusation will reawaken the controversy over so-called ports of refuge, highlighted in the Castor, Erika and Prestige cases, which centres on whether ports have a duty to admit ships in trouble, despite the risk of pollution.

Proponents of such a system argue that insisting such ships stay out at sea seriously increases the likelihood of an accident and the risk of more widespread pollution that could cause greater environmental damage than might otherwise have been the case.

V.Ships-managed YM Uranus – laden with 6,000 tonnes of heavy pyrolysis gasoline, which is flammable – collided with 179,420 dwt bulk carrier Hanjin Rizhao on October 8.

The collision occurred about 100 km southwest of the island of Ouessant, off the coast of France’s Brittany region. Turkish-owned YM Uranus was en route from Porto Marghera in Italy to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

At one stage it was taking on water. But the inflow stopped and the cargo tanks were not breached. Following the evacuation of 13 seafarers on board, it as towed into military facilities at the French port on Saturday.

No pollution is believed to have resulted, but teams from the local government prefecture laid out a floating anti-pollution barrier and divers inspected the hull as a precaution.

“It all unfolded very quickly last Friday and Saturday,” said one person aware of the situation. “The ship was towed to Brest and it ended up in the naval rather than the commercial port. It was a port of refuge issue.

“At the end of the day, the ship is safe. But if the ship could not have been gotten to safety as quickly as possible, then it would have been a different issue. But it is safe and alongside, and the first phase of repair and removal of the cargo is going ahead.”

Some shipping organisations – including tanker owner grouping Intertanko – have recommended that governments should designate ports or anchorages for such purposes on all stretches of coast close to major shipping lanes, with suitable tugs and pollution control equipment at hand in the vicinity.

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