Vessel A, loaded bulk carrier, draught 17.3 metres (from AIS), was approaching the western end of a TSS east bound lane and vessel B was a container vessel altering to a southerly course after leaving the westbound lane.
It became clear that the two vessels were entering a very close quarters situation.
At range 3.5 miles, when no apparent action had been taken by the “give way” container vessel, she was called by name on VHF Ch.16, but did not reply. At range 3.0 miles, there was no action taken and no reply to another VHF call.
At 2.5 miles range a round turn to starboard was initiated by the “stand-on” loaded bulk carrier.
When the bulk carrier was approximately 60 degrees off its original course, the container vessel called it on VHF Ch.16 and asked “What are your intentions?”
The vessels then moved to a working channel, and the container vessel was politely advised of the near-miss and his knowledge of the collision regulations was called into question. The container vessel officer made no comment and wished the bulk carrier officer “A good watch”.
Fortunately there were no other vessels in the immediate vicinity, but conversely, it meant there was no excuse for the container vessel not altering her course.
This report was sent to the give way vessel’s management for assessment, but before the correspondence was complete CHIRP received the following report involving another of the company’s vessels attempting the same manoeuvre in the same location and coming very close to a sister ship…………