A report from a management company, describing how an important NAVAREA warning was overlooked and led to a near miss.
What the Reporter told us:
Recently, we received a near miss report in which parts of a booster rocket launched from xxx fell near a vessel due to the failure of the bridge team to note a navigation warning regarding the area and the risk of falling debris.
A NAVAREA message about the launching of a rocket, including the area at risk from falling debris, was issued by a national coast guard. However, the Master and duty officer overlooked it and did not plot the risk area on the chart or ECDIS. The vessel entered a hazardous area with considerable risk to the ship’s safety, resulting in a serious near miss in which the vessel came close to being hit by falling debris from the booster rocket.
Schematic showing ships track and fall prediction area of rocket debris
Regarding lessons learned, the company advised that in order to avoid any re-occurrence, bridge teams should have the following processes in place for navigation warnings:
- All available means are to be used to receive navigation warnings concerning areas near the ship’s intended route.
- Navigation warnings must be properly checked by the duty officer, always supervised by the Master.
- Appropriate navigation warnings are to be marked on the chart, recorded in the notebook (or designated file), and shared with the bridge team.
The Maritime Advisory Board agreed with the lessons learned. All Navigation Area warnings, NAVTEX transmissions and Enhanced Group Call (EGC) messages should be checked and acted upon where necessary. A procedure should be in place on the bridge to ensure that this is done. Chart Management Systems routinely provide a system which can be used.