ATSB issued a report on the collision between the container ship ‘Beijing Bridge’ with the fishing vessel ‘Saxon Onward’, in the Tasman Sea, off Gabo Island, on 23 January 2018. The report identified the ship’s alteration of course and the insufficient lookout in darkness as the key causes of the accident.
South Africa has become the 25th State to sign up to the IMO treaty on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel (STCW-F). The Convention sets the certification and minimum training requirements for crews of seagoing fishing vessels of 24 metres in length and above.
On 10 October 2017, the Netherlands-flagged general cargo vessel ‘Ruyter’ ran aground off Rathlin Island when the master, who was the watchkeeper, left the bridge unattended. The UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the incident, noting that the master had been consuming alcohol prior to taking over the watch.
Finnish Government submitted a bill on ships’ crews and the safety management of ships, promoting autonomous tests in maritime transport. Under the submission, in future, exemptions to minimum vessel manning requirements and watchkeeping may be made for a fixed term in order to promote technological innovations.
On 23 June 2015, in daylight with clear visibility, ‘Jag Arnav’ and ‘Total Response’ collided about 26 NM north-west of Bunbury, Western Australia. Jag Arnav sustained minor damage and no injuries to the crew. The ATSB investigation identified the poor lookout and lack of alertness as key causes of the accident.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued an investigation report on the grounding of articulated tug-barge composed of the tug’ Nathan E. Stewart’ and the tank barge ‘DBL 55’, resulting in the barge’s sinking and an oil discharge into the water. The report indicated fatigue as the key cause of the accident.
Watchstanding is a very important operation and one of the many tasks that an Officer of the Watch has to do in a daily basis. The change over has to be done in a short period of time, which is critical for the effective marine watch of the relieving OOW.
The UK MAIB issued an investigation report on the grounding of the general cargo vessel ‘Islay Trader’, off Margate, Kent, UK, in October 2017. The report highlights the importance of planning when going to anchor and the requirement for ensuring that an effective watch is kept whilst at anchor.
While the vessel was in laden condition, waiting for the cargo documents and pre‐departure underwater inspection, the patrolling deck crew noticed four unknown people on the deck near the starboard quarter around 2212 hours. The OOW was informed immediately and the general alarm was raised.
In the latest edition of its Safety Digest, the UK MAIB described a collision of a cargo ship with a bunker barge, highlighting the possible consequences from inefficient watchkeeping, as well as poor understanding of a vessel’s stability. Keeping a good lookout is perhaps the most fundamental watchkeeping requirement on any vessel.
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