Nov 122009
 

image In the middle of a turn into the Thorn Channel the pilot-conducted 43,797 gross tonne Vallermosa was suddenly told to abort its berthing and return to the Nab Anchorage because the wrong customs form had been used to declare the origin of the cargo. Then followed a series of manouvers at the overworked and frustrated  pilot’s request then culminated in making contact with two tankers, Navion Fennia and BW Orinoco, which were discharging  at Fawley Marine Terminal.

Says the MAIB report synopsis: “On 25 February 2009, the oil product and chemical tanker, Vallermosa, loaded with a full cargo of 35,000t of jet fuel and bound for the BP Hamble Terminal in Southampton Water, made contact with two oil tankers which were discharging alongside at Fawley Marine Terminal. The accident caused structural damage to all three vessels, minor damage to the jetty and minor pollution.

”The MAIB investigation has identified inter alia, that the following factors contributed to the accident:

• Vallermosa’s approach was unnecessarily aborted for administrative reasons.
• The pilot’s effectiveness was reduced due to his heightened workload, frustration and increasing stress.
• The master and bridge team were not monitoring the pilot’s actions sufficiently,
despite their obligation to ensure the vessel’s safety.

As a result of the accident, action has been taken by BP Oil UK to ensure berthing
operations are not aborted for administrative reasons, and ABP Southampton has
amended its procedures so as to prevent the late aborting of tankers calling at
oil terminals, regardless of their size. Navigazione Montanari has taken action to
improve, and monitor, the performance of its bridge teams.
Recommendations have been made to the UK Major Ports Group, British Ports
Association and the UK Marine Pilots Association to jointly define their expectations
of bridge team and pilot performance. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has
been recommended to provide the shipping industry with more detailed information
on the expected levels of support which should be provided by bridge teams when
a pilot is embarked. The International Association of Marine Institutions has been
recommended to ensure that its members’ Bridge Resource Management training
includes the integration of pilots into bridge teams.

Download the full report

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