In what is almost a carboncopy of the Aurora/Simone collision reported earlier on MAC Australia’s Transport Safety Board investigation on the collision between the bulk carrier F&K and the fishing vessel Jolly Roger compounds poor lookout with an unquestioned assumption by officers on the larger vessel that they were on a parallel course and in an overtaking situation rather than a crossing situation.
Jolly Roger’s skipper did not have his radar switched on when on a moonlit night he went to brightly-lit afterdeck with the other crew members to work. A yellow tarpaulin ‘dodger’ was arranged at the stern to protect them from the wind. In that bright cocoon, and without maintaining a lookout, the skipper and crew were unaware of the approaching F&K, whose lights would have been visible at around six nautical miles, until catching a glimpse of something big and red immediately before the impact.
Jolly Roger listed heavily to port as a result of the collision and its crew of three had to abandon the vessel.
Meanwhile, the bridge team on the F&K saw white and yellow lights, Jolly Roger, fine on the port bow 20 minutes before impact. They believed they were overtaking the other vessel and made an alteration of course to maintain separation.
As in the case of Aurora/Simone, shortly before the collision the bridge team on the F&K perceived Jolly Roger to suddenly turn to starboard and close on them. Only then did they see the Jolly Roger’s green navigation light.
Those on the F&K had not assessed the situation before the collision and, evidentially did not plot the other vessel’s movements.