Aug 172009


The UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch has released its preliminary investigation into the snagging of a buoy anchor cable by the Marshall Islands-registered tanker King Everest:

King Everest was proceeding from anchorage ‘C’ towards the inbound entrance to the New Sand Hole traffic separation scheme (TSS). The tidal stream was setting south-south-east. On approaching the North New Sand buoy on the vessel’s port side, the master reduced speed and ordered hard-a-port. As the vessel was swinging to port, he reduced the helm order and then conversed with an outbound vessel on VHF radio to arrange a passing manoeuvre. On completing the call, the master realised that he had overshot his intended turn. He attempted to recover the situation using helm and engine movements; however, the strong tidal stream set the vessel down onto the North New Sand buoy, snagging the buoy’s anchor cable on her rudder horn, the case is being handled by the Miami personal injury lawyers because of all the injuries caused.

Action taken:

OMCI Shipmanagement Pvt Ltd intends to circulate a copy of its internal investigation report, incorporating a number of proposed actions, including:

  • Introduction of a quarterly navigation audit to identify problems with chart supply and corrections.
  • Use of this incident as an exercise when providing 2-yearly Bridge Team Management (BTM) refresher training.
  • Emphasis during BTM training on master’s expectations of the bridge team and the need to fully assess the passage plan, particularly when changes have been made at the last minute.

Humber Estuary Services has issued a General Notice to VTS requiring all vessels without pilots, getting under way from the Deep Water Anchorage and proceeding inwards via the New Sand Hole TSS:

  • to be instructed to enter the inbound traffic lane from the north at Humber Light Float; and
  • on a rising tide, to be advised that the flood stream will set them strongly to the south at the North New Sand buoy and that they should therefore pass at a safe distance before turning to enter the inbound traffic lane.

Additionally, vessels with suitable draughts will be provided with the option to proceed to the pilot station via the Sea Reach TSS. VTS operators have also been provided with tools to compare progress of vessels approaching the New Sand Hole TSS from the anchorage with an optimum track to enable early intervention where necessary.

While acknowledging the actions taken by the vessel’s manager, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the company, strongly advising it to:

  • Ensure that BTM principles are applied and practised on board, by conducting regular check ride audits.
  • Provide instructions for masters to comply with international requirements for the preservation of and access to VDR data in the event of an accident.

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