The incident

A Bahamas-flagged passenger vessel was conducting routine passenger transfers back to the ship via the ship’s tender boat, when a large wave rocked the tender boat with such force that two passengers were seriously injured, one of which was thrown into the water.

Minor injuries were also experienced by some of the remaining passengers and crew onboard the tender boat.

Probable causes

  • The wave was likely generated by a passing vessel, at speed and in close proximity to the tender platform. The wake produced from this passing boat was significant and struck the tender boat on the beam during the passenger disembarkation process.
  • The wave was not observed visually by the crew of the tender boat or those on the platform assisting the passengers during the disembarkation process.
  • The tender boat was committed to the disembarkation process and exposed to the wake generated by this passing vessel.
  • The passing vessel lacked sufficient spatial awareness and failed to observe good seamanship in recognizing the danger posed in passing at close proximity to another vessel conducting small boat operations.

Actions taken

This incident is currently being investigated by the coastal State in consultation with the flag State who are recognised as a substantially interested state along with the assistance of the vessel owner and operator.