Better bridge planning, communications and experience of ship has been advised handling Britain’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch
On arrival off the port of Montrose, Silves proceeded past the pilot boarding position and, with the master expecting to imminently embark a pilot, approached the channel entrance. The pilot, who had intended to transfer to Silves from a departing ship, saw that Silves was now committed to entering the channel and instructed the master to continue proceeding inwards.
The pilot advised the master to follow the leading lights and sent the pilot boat to guide him to the ship’s intended berth. Silves experienced difficulty in following the pilot boat and approached the berth at a larger angle and at a higher speed than was normal. Although the master applied astern propulsion, his action was too late to prevent Silves from making heavy contact with the quay.
The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the ship’s management company, advising it to improve bridge planning and communications and to ensure its masters are sufficiently experienced in shiphandling.
He has also written to the port authority, advising it to review its risk assessment and suggesting control measures aimed at preventing a similar accident in the future.