First “B” cuts across bows of “C”.
“C” has to alter 360o to avoid collision with “B” cutting across bows. No warning given. Near-collision. Appalling seamanship.
“B” now on collision course with Vessel D, who calls her up and she has to stay on course for three miles before altering to port.
Very open water, no traffic to worry about!
“B” has absolutely no idea or conception of traffic rules or seamanship and is an accident waiting to happen.
Eventually “B” is persuaded to alter course to port towards her destination and away from Vessel “D”. The “Navigating” officer has obviously been instructed to blindly follow the red line on the radar without deviation.
Initial investigation indicated vessels “B” and “C” were operated by the same company and CHIRP approached them to ensure they were aware of the incident. Subsequently it was discovered the two vessels were time-chartered and technically managed by separate companies, who provided the following edited accounts at the Charterer’s request, first from Vessel “B”:
With reference to the Near Miss Navigation Incident between the Vessel “B” and Vessel “C”, we have carried out an investigation and would like to report the following:
Both the vessels were navigating in the Southwest Safety Fairway (in a high traffic density area) on a south westerly course with Vessel “B” doing about 14 knots with Vessel “C” overtaking.
At about 1205 hrs LT, Vessel “C” was noticed on the port quarter, overtaking on the port side. Vessel “B” was a bit concerned about this and raised Vessel “C”, informing Vessel “C” of her destination and that she would be altering course to port shortly. This was acknowledged by the Vessel “C”. The AIS on the Vessel “B” was also programmed to show her destination.
Since Vessel “C” was the overtaking vessel, it was her duty to keep clear of the Vessel “B” till finally past and clear. Also, general seamanship practices suggest that vessels be overtaken from the stbd side. However, Vessel “C” continued on her course and speed.
At 1225 LT, Vessel “C” was reminded by Vessel “B” that they will be altering course shortly. This was acknowledged by the other vessel.
At 1445 LT, when Vessel “C” was about 1.3 miles on the port quarter, after assessing the situation, Vessel “B” informed Vessel “C” of her intentions, and altered course to port.
Shortly afterwards, Vessel “C” was noticed to alter course to port and taking a full turn to keep clear.
The above situation could have been easily avoided if the Vessel “C” had correctly assessed the situation and taken early action.
Next we hear from Vessel “C”:
I clarify incident reported by CHIRP and report is correct.
According COLREG Rule 8 “Action to avoid collision” I decided that I have only one possibility to avoid close-quarters situation and risk of collision with actions:
Immediately rudder was made hard to port (very short distance, no idea which course she will be have and her intention) to keep as far as possible from vessel which suddenly (without any notice) altered her course to port and cuts across our bow.
Master was informed immediately and he was present on bridge during the circulation.
From my side I did my best for prevention collision according regulation and good sea practice.
The reason for the sudden manoeuvre of Vessel “B” is unknown.
There was nothing in the course of the Vessel “B” which forced them to alter course that drastically- open water, clear way (as mentioned in report).
The closest distance during the manoeuvre of circulation between our vessels was approx 0.2-0.3miles.
Finally we hear from the Charterer:
We meet with our suppliers, in this case the Owners of the Time-Chartered Vessels, regularly and present them with our views, concerns and wishes in respect to various matters related to the business.
As pointed out, our company/brand, are vulnerable towards accidents, bad press etc thus we do all that we can think of to protect it. We will use this case in our next presentation to the various Owners we deal with and we have of course already shared it internally to all relevant parties.
The Maritime Advisory Board is grateful to the Charterer and the Owners/Managers involved for their co-operation in looking into these incidents and sharing their investigations with CHIRP.
The Board notes the accounts provided by the owner/operators conflict and suggests the Charterer, on the information supplied, has not gained much, if any, reassurance that the risks to safety and their brand have been adequately identified or mitigated.
The Board recommends that incidents of this nature should be investigated as if they were accidents if the maximum benefit is to be gained from them.