142/17/Gen.Inf. Poor standards of watchkeeping lead to collision

A new report by UK MAIB highlights the importance of keeping a good lookout and risks of lone watchkeeping. The investigation report refers to a collision between general cargo vessel Daroja and oil bunker barge Erin Wood.

On 29 August 2015, in daylight and good visibility, the cargo ship Daroja and the bunker barge Erin Wood collided just east of Peterhead, Scotland. Erin Wood was badly damaged and its crew put in danger; there was also some minor pollution from leaking fuel cargo.
The accident happened because a proper lookout was not being kept on either vessel. This meant that watchkeepers in both vessels were unaware of the risk of collision and took no action to avoid the other ship.

Safety Issues

▪ Avoiding collision starts with keeping a good lookout in order to detect other vessels and assess the situation. This is a key principle of safe navigation and should be maintained by all ships at all times.
▪ Similar to previous MAIB investigations, this accident highlights the potential consequences when the risks associated with the Officer of the Watch (OOW) being the sole lookout are not effectively addressed.
▪ A high standard of watchkeeping involves using all the information available on the bridge to build and maintain a good picture. In this case radar, visual and Automatic Identification System (AIS) information could have been utilised more effectively on both ships.
▪ The flooding of Erin Wood happened because the vessel was underway with both the upper deck weathertight doors open. Care should always be taken at sea and watertight or weathertight doors should not be left open unnecessarily.

Further details may be found by reading the reportherebelow

Source : UK MAIB


Thank you & Best Regards,

Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute

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