JTSB issued an investigation report on the collision of the car carrier GLOVIS COMPANION with the fishing vessel HIGASHIDA MARU, in September 2019. The incident stressed the need for vessels crossing a traffic route to enter the route after fully ascertaining the passage of other vessels navigating in the area.
The car carrier GLOVIS COMPANION (Vessel A) was proceeding west in the Akashi-Kaikyo Traffic Route and the fishing vessel HIGASHIDA MARU (Vessel B) was proceeding southeast and attempting to cross the Akashi-Kaikyo Traffic Route when both vessels collided in the Akashi-Kaikyo Traffic Route.
The master of HIGASHIDA MARU was injured, and her bow sustained crushing and other damage, while GLOVIS COMPANION sustained abrasions on her starboard- side shell plating.
- It is probable that the accident occurred when, as Vessel A was proceeding west under Pilot A’s pilotage and Vessel B was proceeding southeast in the Traffic Route at night. Both vessels collided because Pilot A continued navigating with his attention directed to maintaining Vessel A’s path within the Traffic Route and Vessel B continued proceeding south-southwest and crossing the Traffic Route after entering the route with his attention on vessels that were proceeding east in the Traffic Route.
- It is somewhat likely that Master B proceeded south-southwest and continued crossing the Traffic Route after entering the route for the reason that, at the time of the accident, there were several vessels proceeding east to Vessel B’s west and Master B was directing his attention to the vessels proceeding east and did not notice Vessel A proceeding west because he was considering which of the vessels to pass by their sterns.
- It is probable that Pilot A continued navigating with his attention directed to maintaining Vessel B’s path within the route because he did not personally notice Vessel A’s approach and there was no report of Vessel B’s approach from Master A or Navigation Officer A.
- It is probable that the situation whereby Pilot A did not make any specific requests for lookout giving attention to the situation outside of the Traffic Route to Master A despite knowing that, at the time of the accident, it was a time of day when fishing vessels leave port contributed to the accident’s occurrence.
It is probable that the following actions will be useful in preventing the reoccurrence of a similar accident:
- Vessels crossing a traffic route enter the route after fully ascertaining the passage of other vessels navigating in the route prior to entry.
- Vessels entering a traffic route from outside the route give way to vessels navigating along the route.
- Vessels navigating in a traffic route conduct lookout for vessels outside the route due to the possibility that fishing vessels, etc., may cross the route, and conduct lookout for fishing vessels, etc., present near the traffic route particularly when altering course.
- Vessels navigating in a traffic route, and particularly large vessels, issue warning signals consisting of at least five short blasts to fishing vessels, etc., approaching from outside the route so that the masters of those vessels quickly and certainly notice the navigating vessel’s presence, giving consideration to the possibility that blind spots from the wheelhouse exist and that means for communicating with fishing vessels, etc., are unavailable.
- Pilots make specific requests for lookout in accordance with the local situation to masters, giving consideration to the season, time of day, topography, current, conditions of vessel passage, operating conditions of fishing vessels, conditions of maritime construction work, etc.
- Pilots proactively apply BRM to ensure communication and sharing of information with masters and crew members.
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