Wake Wash incident

The commercial motor vessel was returning to her normal moorings. A yachting regatta was taking place at the time. The vessel appeared to be travelling at excessive speed and was creating significant wash. A RIB was towing a small sailing dinghy with 2 people in it. The wash swamped this dinghy and two persons were thrown into the water and had to be rescued by other launches.

The CHIRP Maritime Advisory Board considered this report and makes the following observations:
• Incidents of this type are increasingly commonplace; there is a significant risk of injury.
• All persons with a responsibility for navigation should be conscious of the wash they are generating and its potential impact on other craft and the shoreline.
• Those responsible for organising events on the water should ensure that a risk assessment is carried out and that suitable notice is given to other relevant organisations.
• Personal flotation aids are of great value in the event of the unexpected occurring and should be worn.
The reported incident was brought to the attention of the vessel’s operator. It was not clear whether the Master of the vessel was aware of the incident at the time. The operator responded as follows:
“We view any such incident as a serious matter, and have instructed the Master of the vessel to investigate and submit his report.
When the full facts are known, please be assured that actions will be taken to ensure prevention of a similar incident occurring in the future.”