Pilot/VTS assisted Collision – Too Many Gentlemen On The Bridge

January 29, 2008

The UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has released its full report on the collision between the Audacity and the Leonis in the approaches to the River Humber in April 2007. There was a pilot aboard the Audacity and there was a VTS in operation.  It’s well worth a read.

Among the observations were: ” Effectively, no-one held the con on the bridge of Audacity because both the master and pilot had deferred to the other, there was no discussion or questioning of the intentions of Leonis, and at a critical time they involved themselves with tasks that were inappropriate given the impending close quarters situation.”

Polite deference may be a virtue, but not necessarily in bad visibility.

Also worrying is: “The bridge on Audacity was insufficiently manned in the circumstances and conditions. It did not comply with company requirements or HES instructions to pilots, however no additional resources were requested by the pilot.”

VTS operators made similar errors to the ones made by ships bridge teams that consistently appear in reports on incidents involving vessels with a pilot aboard: “VTS operators did not consider they were able to give advice and guidance to vessels with pilots on board. It was considered that the pilot would know what he was doing and that the operator did not need to be further involved once a pilot was on board.”

Pilots are, indeed, highly trained and extremely knowledgeable but not infallible.

As the American P&I Club video, Stranger On The Bridge advises, “Be more alert, not less, when there is a pilot aboard”.

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Maritime Safety News Today – 28th December 2007

December 28, 2007

Suspected Sunken Shipwreck Found
Korea Times – South Korea
By Kim Rahn The Navy has found an object on the sea floor which is suspected of being the hull of the cargo vessel Eastern Bright, which sank Tuesday in

Heavy storms to keep ships in harbors
Jakarta Post – Jakarta,Indonesia
While Indonesia is a maritime nation, its sea transportation remains a public concern, because many vessels are poorly equipped and apply minimum safety

Barge Hits Rail Bridge
Posted 12/27/07 at 08:29 AM

The Coast Guard, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company responded after a tug and barge struck a railroad bridge in Beverly, MA, on December 21, 2007.

Work still on target
Devon 24 – UK
STORMS which caused the stern of the MSC Napoli to list have complicated matters, but work is still progressing to cut up the remaining half of the ship.


Whatever Happened To MAC Pinoy?

December 17, 2007

Ok, most people reading this will know that Filipinos represent the largest single nationality in the global maritime workforce, around 25 per cent, and that will probably increase over the coming years. Most Filipinos speak English, the Philippines is the world’s third largest group of English speakers so most don’t have a problem with the MAC podcasts or the transcripts (The majority of Filipinos are actually tri-lingual, fluent in their own regional language as well as Tagalog, the national language, and English).

BUT, it’s MAC’s policy to reach out to seafarers in the most effective way and in the most effective language so we decided to launch MAC episode editions in Tagalog.

The first four episodes have been translated by Ami Jacinto, a translator and well-know voice talent in the Philippines who will be presenting the audio podcasts. We announced the coming service earlier this year.

SO what happened? As we were preparing to record the Tagalog episode, IDESS Interactive Technologies revealed that it was about to construct a purpose-built sound facility and offered to let MAC use the facility to record its podcasts. Needless to say we were delighted and wanted to launch the Tagalog service using those facilities.

Construction should be complete in January so we decided to put the Tagalog service on hold so we could launch it using the new facility.

So, yes, the Tagalog service is coming we hope to broadcast the first episodes in late January/early February.

The Tagalog service will be on trial. If there is demand from Filipino seafarers and we can secure sponsorship we’ll keep it going.


New Podcast – The Case Of The Confused Pilot

November 28, 2007

Pilotage and bridge team management have come to the fore this month with the allison between the Cosco Busan and the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge so the latest MAC episode, The Case Of The Confused Pilot is a timely reminder of the issues at stake.

Check out the podcast.home page at http://www.maritimeaccident.org for the audio podcast, the illustrated transcript is under construction and will be available by the weekend.


Maritime Safety News Today – 27 November 2007

November 27, 2007

Calls for tourism safeguards after cruise ship sinks
Stuff.co.nz – Wellington,New Zealand
Sanson said New Zealand had recently completed a ship-grounding rescue exercise with the rescue co-ordination centre, the Defence Force and the US Antarctic

Environmental advocates see weakness in new rules for barges
SouthCoastToday.com – New Bedford,MA,USA
The platform ripped a 35-foot long by 6-foot wide hole through the vessel’s bow, puncturing both of its hulls and damaging the main cargo tank, according to

Denmark re-elected for IMO’s Council

On Friday 23 November 2007, Denmark was re-elected for the Council of the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Council consists of 40 of the 167 IMO Member States.


Maritime Safety News Today – 24 November 2007

November 25, 2007

Safety fears after 154 tourists rescued on Antarctic cruise
Scotsman – United Kingdom
The rescued passengers, who include 24 Britons, were last night taken to a Chilean base in Antarctica after being picked up following their lifeboat ordeal.

Crew rescued after trawler sinks
The Press Association –
Howth RNLI manager Rupert Jeffare said the all-weather lifeboat was launched by on-call volunteers within 10 minutes. The four men were found on the rocks 

Refugee boat crash kills more than 60
United Press International – USA
A security official in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, said 25 survivors of the maritime accident Wednesday reached the country’s southern shores and were taken

Search on for eight missing in south China ship collision
Xinhua – China
Friday morning has left eight people missing, a maritime official said. The accident occurred at around 9:30 am when a ferry with the registration No.

Arrest warrant for Cosco Busan
Court grants request by class action trial lawyer.

China, IMO sign memorandum on technical co-op
Xinhua – China
The program is designed to help developing countries improve their ability to comply with international rules and standards relating to maritime safety and


Radar Makes a Splash On Rogue Waves

November 22, 2007

If our post on rogue waves has given you sleepless nights, don’t worry, help is on the way suggests a report in my favourite science magazine, New Scientist.

Says NS, at a confere3cne in Oahu, Hawaii, a German radar company and a scientist from Spain’s Alcala University, Jose Nieto, presented a radar technology that should be able to detect massive rogue waves using number crunching software that filters out various type of radar noise to give a clearer picture of wave height.

That means you should have enough time to batten down the hatches and take appropriate action before getting clobbered by one of these monstrosities which sink around ten ships a year.

Since the existence of rogue waves was finally confirmed there is some serious research efforts afoot to predict them, liker the EU’s Maxwave project.