In the early hours of 05 July 2019, the Maltese registered bulk carrier Klima anchored at Eastern Special Purposes ‘A’, Singapore for bunkers. Bunker barge Libra was made fast alongside.
At about 0400, the vessel started to yaw. As the tidal stream intensified, the surge at the extremity of her yaw strained her anchor and anchor chain, and Klima was drawn closer to Anatoli, which was at anchor on her port quarter.
The master decided to shift Klima and re-anchor with the bunker barge tied alongside. Subsequently, Klima and Libra allided with Spring Snow during the shifting manoeuvres.
The safety investigation identified several contributing factors including, the monitoring of the anchor position, the vessel’s yaw, and the prevailing tidal stream acting on the vessel.
The course of Klima’s movement to secure a suitable anchor position, proximity of anchored vessels, impact of tidal stream on manoeuvrability and the limited options available to the master to counter the vessel’s drift towards Spring Snow had contributed to the complexity of the already evolving situation.
- Klima dragged her anchor because of severe yaw and surge on her cable which eased her anchor from its holding position;
- Although ECDIS was fitted onboard, paper charts were the primary means of navigation. The recommended anchor watch markers (drag and swing circles) were not plotted on the paper chart. There was no indication of whether anchor positions logged by the OOW lay inside or outside the anchor watch circle;
- Considering the tidal stream, yaw, and close proximity of other vessels, monitoring / logging of anchor position at an interval of one hour was not appropriate;
- The anchor dragging alarm displayed on the second ECDIS was ineffective and did not immediately draw the watchkeeper’s attention;
- Neither the master nor the watchkeeper broadcasted a warning to other vessels that Klima was dragging anchor, call pilots for assistance or alert East Control to the developing situation;
- Weighing of anchor and re-anchoring were unplanned and no particular attention was given to the tidal stream’s direction, rate, or its influence on vessel’s manoeuvrability;
- Klima was unable to move swiftly because there was insufficient time to develop speed and arrest the vessel’s drift towards Spring Snow;
- VHF logbook recommended by the Ship’s SMS procedures was not kept onboard and key communications relevant to the incident were not logged in the deck logbook;
- Libra’s calls went unnoticed because Klima’s crew members were engaged in preparing the anchors and the bridge team was focused on manoeuvring Klima;
- It was not excluded that fatigue may have affected the master’s assessment of the situation and subsequent actions on the bridge.
Naturally, any of the available options, irrespective of which one was taken by the master, was not free from the risk of an adverse outcome. The absence of informative communication led to different mental models on the bridge.
The following corrective actions were taken by Klima’s managers:
- A safety bulletin was communicated to all vessels managed by the company;
- Lessons learnt will be taken into account in forthcoming risk assessments and incorporated in the office’s and vessel’s risk assessment libraries;
- Prior to re-employment, the master and additional chief officer were required to undergo a training programme in Managing Stress and Bridge Resource Management and Ship Handling Simulator course;
- Additional internal / external navigational audits were agreed to be carried out on completion of repairs;
- Additional training material / DVD has been prepared and a safety campaign on managing collision avoidance at sea was introduced onboard company ships;
- All masters are required to be briefed on this accident prior to their employment;
- This allision will be discussed during the Company’s annual safety seminars;
- An extra Management Review Meeting will be convened in order to discuss the results of the investigation and agree on the further actions to be taken to prevent reoccurrence. The Management Review Meeting will mainly focus on the recruitment process for masters and navigating officers.
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