London P&I Club concludes that a degree of complacency may have contributed to incidents

Ship-bridgeThe London P&I Club has recently published StopLoss Issue 61 including an article on complacency which may contribure to collision. A notable example is that of an enteredbulk carrier which was nearing the end ofa Traffic Separation Scheme.

The shipwas slowing to make an ETA at a pilotstation in the adjacent Inshore TrafficZone, and was soon to make asubstantial alteration of course toStarboard in accordance with herpassage plan.At the same time, the ship in questionwas being overtaken by a container shipwith a very small CPA on her Starboardside.

As the changeover of thenavigational watch was approaching, itbecame apparent to the OOW that theovertaking ship was not taking action topass well clear in accordance with herobligations under Rule 13. A VHFconversation took place in which theentered ship made her intentions knownto the overtaking ship, and anagreement was reached whereby theentered ship would make her alterationto Starboard soon; and that theovertaking ship should alter courseto Port and pass on the Port sideof the entered ship.

It was soon after this conversation that therelieving officer arrived on the bridge andthe watch handover process began. It wasapparent that the OOW of the enteredbulk carrier was confident that the planwas fully understood by both ships andexpected the Containership to pass onthe Port Quarter. Unfortunately, the OOWfailed to monitor the situation, failed toalter course to Starboard as agreed,and was taken by complete surprise inmid-conversation when the overtakingcontainership collided with the bulkcarrier just forward of the bridge on theStarboard side.

It is clear to see that throughout thedescribed situation, the ships were in adeveloping close-quarters situation, andthat good seamanship ought to havedictated that the OOW monitored theconduct of the overtaking ship veryclosely until she was finally past and clear,possibly delaying the watch-handover.Misplaced complacency andoverconfidence in the circumstancesmay have significantly contributedto this collision claim.

Source: The London P&I Club