The role of the ‘lookout’ on board ships is currently more important than ever, considering the increasing traffic volumes at sea and the more complex equipment used in bridge systems. A watchkeeper must understand the equipment available and determine the risk of collision.
In the latest of UK Club’s ‘Lessons Learned’ articles, Captain David Nichol analyzes the collision of a tanker with a yacht while underway, due to insufficient look-out during hours of darkness. Midway through the watch, the OOW permitted the AB to perform cleaning and housekeeping duties, therefore becoming the sole lookout.
In October 2016, the articulated tug and barge Nathan E Stewart/DBL 55 ran aground on Edge Reef off Athlone Island, Canada, causing significant environmental damage, as 29,000 gallons of oil were released. Damage to the vessel and barge was estimated at $12 million.
On 27 November 2016, the Maltese registered cargo vessel ‘Sider Capri’ and the Italian flagged ro-ro vessel ‘Grande Anversa’ collided in the Çanakkale Strait’s Traffic Separation Scheme, both sustaining structural damages. The safety investigation by MSIU found that a close quarter situation developed to a point that a collision became inevitable.
AMSA issued a marine notice to draw the attention of vessel owners, operators and seafarers to the need to comply with the fitness for duty requirements, including hours of rest, under the STCW Convention and the MLC Convention.
Ship groundings and collisions still occur with depressing regularity, and are often attributed to errors in navigation. In the UK P&I Club’s latest LookOut, Risk Assessor David Nichol, highlights some of the contributory factors and suggests steps to ensure navigational safety.
The bulk carrier Muros ran aground on Haisborough Sand last December. UK MAIB report identified that Muros’s route was planned and monitored by the 2/O using the vessel’s ECDIS. However, system and procedural safeguards intended to prevent grounding were either overlooked, disabled or ignored.
The Japan Transport Safety Board issued an investigation report on the collision between a container ship and a fishing vessel off Himeshima Village, Oita Prefecture, Japan, that killed one person. The report includes causes of the incident and lessons learnt, to prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
Two reports have been published investigating aspects of fatigue of seafarers; The first is an on-board and predictive modelling study into the 8 hours on/8 hours off watchkeeping pattern; the second is a predictive modelling study into a range of 2-watch and 3-watch watchkeeping patterns.
BIMCO Watchkeeper article: Redefining the ‘safe’ port
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