Overtaking vessel small CPA but taking no avoiding action

Report Text:

As Chief Officer I had taken over the 0400- 0800 morning watch from the second officer. I had observed a vessel astern overtaking us showing a low CPA of 0.3nm, overtaking on the port side. As the overtaking vessel was still 2 miles astern I assumed he would alter to pass at a safer distance. As I continued monitoring the vessel he approached closer than 1nm, I signalled with Aldis lamp and called on VHF. There was no response or action from the other vessel. As the CPA was now still showing less than 0.3nm and range to the other vessel was now 0.5nm astern, it was clear the other vessel was not taking appropriate action under COLREGs Rule 13. I altered course 30 degrees to starboard to increase the CPA and reduce the risks from a close quarter’s situation. The other vessel finally passed on my port side at a range of 0.36nm. The other vessel at no point altered its heading and ignored repeated attempts at VHF communication/warnings. This is a perfect example of the increasing number (and size) of vessels who simply do not give way under any circumstances. It is frustrating to say the least that increasingly to pass other vessels in a safe manner you are ALWAYS the give way vessel. Although I am relating only this example, I have numerous similar experiences with large vessels approaching up to 400M in length, from large well-known companies who will overtake at 3 or 4 cables in open sea. When two such vessels meet each other in unfavourable circumstances an accident is inevitable sooner or later. Please see attached screen shots during the incident


Correspondence from 3rd party

We conducted an investigation with regards to your feedback by engaging the present Master and bridge team on board. The Chief Officer on watch at the time of the incident has already disembarked. As a lesson learnt we have taken the following steps:

  1. Briefed the Master.
  2. Asked him to conduct a bridge team meeting and discuss the feedback in detail.
  3. Conduct a Navigation Audit and ensure compliance with procedures and Collision Regulations.

CHIRP Comment

COLREGs Rule 13 governs overtaking situations and states that, “any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.” This rule applies to all vessels and is unusual in that it firmly puts the onus on one vessel to take all necessary action, in order that a collision might be avoided. The third party ship managers have taken appropriate action by their work with the current officers to help to prevent re occurrence.