Safety alert issued by West of England P&I Club

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The West of England P&I Club issues Safety Alert regarding Passage planning in confined waters and traffic separation schemes as follows:

The Club has recently encountered a number of large claims where vessels have had to alter course during a close quarters situation, resulting in either a collision or a grounding.

These incidents have taken place while navigating in high traffic areas where many vessels have been using very similar passage plans. When passage planning it is customary for the course to be laid off on paper charts or entered into the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), ensuring that the voyage will be the shortest and safest route possible between the port of departure and the port of destination.

Any applicable mandatory naviga-tional requirements will also need to be incorporated.

Navigators should be aware that in busy waters off headlands, shoal patches and within Traffic Separation Schemes, many vessels may be following similar tracks and altering course at waypoints plotted in very close proximity to one another.

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Source: The West of England P&I Club