The Swedish P&I Club issues Monthly Safety Scenario for May 2015

The Swedish P&I Club has published its Monthly Safety Scenario for May 2015 regarding a collision due to poor communication on bridge.

While the vessel was drifting outside the port, the 2nd Officer completed the voyage plan. He informed the master that there were a couple of charts missing that were needed for the passage and some charts were not the latest editions which were required for the area. The manger had a chart provider in Europe but they did not provide any automatic updates. Charts and publications had to be ordered. The master was advised that all the outstanding charts would be supplied in another port but not in the present port.

Vessel A was partly loaded and departed around 2030. Two pilots were onboard and the weather was good with partly cloudy sky, wind NW force 2. The vessel had all the required navigational equipment. The vessel did not have an ECDIS and navigated as per paper charts. All navigation lights were displayed.

On the bridge were the pilots, Master, 2nd Officer, 3rd Officer and a helmsman. The vessel was in hand steering mode. The VHF units were on channel 16 and channel 08. Two radars were operating at 3 M range.

About one hour later the pilots departed the vessel. The master had the conn and ordered full ahead and altered course as per the passage plan.

The vessel was maintaining about 10.5 knots in the fairway and the master informed the VTS that the pilot had departed. A couple of targets were plotted, one of which was vessel C. It was fine to port about 3 miles away, it seemed that the vessels would pass each other closely portto-port. The master altered a couple of degrees to starboard. The vessel was now sailing close to the starboard side of the fairway.

Another vessel was plotted which was also fine to port and at a distance of 4 miles. This was vessel B that was crossing the fairway.The master expected that vessel B would alter to starboard.

Vessel A was actually outside the fairway and altered a bit to port to maintain the starboard side of the fairway. At this time vessel B was 1.5 miles away and showing green light.

When vessel B was 1 mile away it was slightly to starboard of vessel A and showing green light. It seemed that vessel B would pass down the starboard side of vessel A.

Vessel A altered a bit more to port to stay clear of B. At the same time the master called vessel B on the VHF and asked about their intentions but there was no reply. The master also called the VTS but didnt receive any reply.

Shortly afterwards when vessel B was about 0.8 miles away the navigation lights started to change as the red light started to be visible. Now the master could see both the red and green lights. Then her red light and mast lights were visible. On the VHF the master could hear port-to-port but the caller didnt identify himself or who he called. The master ordered hard-to-port.

Vessel B, which had initiated a starboard turn towards vessel A, continued to alter to starboard and struck vessel A on the starboard side.

The Scenario encloses the following questions for review of the accident and lessons learnt:

  1. What were the immediate causes of this accident?
  2. Where does the chain of error start?
  3. What is the risk of this type of accident happening to our vessel
  4. How are charts distributed to us?
  5. Do we always have the correct charts?
  6. Do we practice MRM on our bridge?
  7. What failed in the communication on the bridge?
  8. Do we practice closed loop communication onboard?
  9. Which COLREGS regulations werent followed?
  10. At what point should the master have taken evasive action?
  11. What are our procedures on how to use the VHF for collision avoidance?
  12. How could this accident have been prevented?
  13. What sections in our SMS, if any, were breached?
  14. Would our SMS have been enough to prevent this accident?
  15. If procedures werent followed, why do you think this was the case?
  16. What do you think is the root cause of this accident?

You may view theMonthly Safety Scenario for May 2015 by clicking below:

Source: The Swedish Club