Isamar Sinking – It Must Have Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

 Accident Investigation, Accident report, charts, grounding, Sinking  Comments Off on Isamar Sinking – It Must Have Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
Apr 192014

MY Isamar

Fortunately no lives were lost when the 24 metre motor yacht Isamar struck the charted the Grand écueil d’Olmeto shoal but poor seamanship sank the rather pretty vessel. One suspects that each of the actions or inactions that led to the casualty seemed like a good idea at the time even if they conflicted with good advice at the time.

That the UK-registered vessel had its radar switched off might not have contributed to the loss but the fact that the echosounder – fathomometer for American readers – was switched on but had no shallow water alarm set might well have done.

It might not have mattered that the Electronic Chart System, ECS, had not been updated for 10 years, while indicating a certain laxity with regard to safe navigation, but the fact that it was used for primary navigation when paper charts are advised when using such a system, and set to a scale that did not reveal that there was a reef in the way, certainly did.

No waypoints or course marks were set on the ECS. After all, the captain had a pair of mark one eyeballs.

There are good reasons why an ECS is not recommended for primary navigation. In Isamar‘s case even at the scale which showed the shoal there were no depth indications.

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Hydrographic Survey for Straits of Malacca and Singapore Underway

 charts, ECDIS, ENC, navigation, news  Comments Off on Hydrographic Survey for Straits of Malacca and Singapore Underway
Mar 102010

image A key hydrographic survey within the Traffic Separation Scheme, TSS, of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore is now underway, as part of the Marine Electronic Highway Demonstration Project, a regional project that IMO is carrying out for the Global Environment Facility World Bank. The purpose is to produce an updated electronic navigation chart of the area.

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Federal Kivalina Grounding – Bridge Team Lost Control – No Passage Planning

 Accident, Accident report, charts, ENC, grounding, navigation, passage plan, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on Federal Kivalina Grounding – Bridge Team Lost Control – No Passage Planning
Feb 252010

Federal Kivalina aground

Bulk carrier Federal Kivalina ran aground at 0510 hours on 6 October 2008 at Årsundøya in Møre and Romsdal county, Norway, while under pilotage as the ship’s electrician analysed an alleged fault in the AIS. Norway’s Accident Investigation Board highlights bridge team management, passage planning and the master-pilot exchange as vectors in the incident.

After boarding the vessel the pilot tried to connect his laptop computer to the ship’s AIS using the pilot plug but failed and reported the problem to the master. The master called the ship’s electrician who attempted to locate the fault.

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MNZ Issues ECDIS, ENC Guidance

 charts, ECDIS, ENC, navigation  Comments Off on MNZ Issues ECDIS, ENC Guidance
Aug 202009

Maritime New Zealand has issued a guidance note, June 2008, Issue 8:  Use of electronic charts, ECDIS and ENCs in New Zealand, targetted at New Zealand shipping companies, International SOLAS, vessels visiting New Zealand, Classification societies in New Zealand, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) safety inspectors, auditors and accident investigators.

The notice details the technical requirements relating to Maritime Rule Part 25, the different types of chart display systems and the need to maintain and use paper charts. The notice was first issued in June 2008, and the information on the availability of ENCs (electronic navigation charts) from land Information New Zealand has been updated.

Download [PDF: 134Kb, 8 pages]

Jul 162009

Freyja directs/the sittings in the hall./She half the fallen chooses each day,


Freya takes more than her half. Before and after.

Chart updates came too late for the Danish cargo ship Freya to be directed around a light structure at the entrance to the Elbe on 16 December 2008, according to Germany’s Bundesstel le für Seeunfalluntersuchung, Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation. The resulting contact – allision to our American readers -severely damaged the cargo ship and demolished the structure.

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Sea Diamond Master, Shipowner Banned From Investigation

 Accident, Accident report, charts, maritime safety, navigation, news, Sinking  Comments Off on Sea Diamond Master, Shipowner Banned From Investigation
Jul 152009

Louis Cruise Lines says that Sea Diamond’s master and the ship’s owners were barred from giving evidence before the board investigating the the vessel’s contact with a wrongly-charted reef and subsequent sinking with the loss of two lives.

In an announcement the cruise lines says: “With regards to the report drafted by the “Investigating Board of Maritime Casualties” (“IBMC”) which is controlled by the Ministry of Mercantile Marine on the Sea Diamond accident and subsequent sinking, the Ship Owners and Ship Managers of the vessel would like to point out that its context is hardly surprising since it is exactly what they were “warned” about in advance by various authorities. The largely expected materialization of the aforementioned warning became evident when for the first time in the history of such cases the lawyers of the Master and the Ship Owners were prohibited from being present during the relevant hearings. Continue reading »

No More Excuse For Bad/No Passage Planning

 Admiralty, charts, navigation, UKHO  Comments Off on No More Excuse For Bad/No Passage Planning
Jul 112009


Over the years, MAC has observed, with no particular surprise, that ships involved in groundings, collisions and other contact incidents, more often than not lack competent passage plans, if any at all. It’s as common as a dog with a bark, so we’re looking forward to the launch of the Admiralty e-Navigator ‘solution’ by the UKHO this Autumn.

The good news first, it’s going to be free, so there’s no excuse for not having it.


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