While we’re on avoidable incidents about which far too little is being done, there’s also fatigue. When will the industry see the wisdom of tackling this issue? Australia’s ATSB has issued its report on the grounding of the Antigua and Barbuda registered container ship Francoise Gilot in Port Phillip, Victoria on 9 May 2008. Says the report:
“The ship had sailed from Melbourne earlier that morning and was departing Port Phillip bound for Sydney.
The ship grounded between beacons 18 and 20 of the South Channel during a starboard turn around the Hovell Pile beacon at the entrance to the Channel. The ship was refloated at 0755 using its main engine following a water ballast transfer operation and it then returned to Melbourne where an underwater inspection of its hull revealed that it had not been damaged during the grounding.
The ATSB investigation found that the helmsman had put the helm to starboard instead of port during the turn around the Hovell Pile beacon and that he was probably affected by fatigue at the time. The investigation also found that neither the Port Phillip pilot nor the ship’s master discussed the allocation of roles and responsibilities of the bridge team before the ship left the berth. Consequently, no one was actively monitoring the helmsman’s actions when he was executing the pilots orders and as a result, the helmsmans error was not detected until it was too late to avoid the grounding.”
Fatigue and PP bridge team management is a bad mix.
You can read the full report at the ATSB site here