Sep 162010

image Inspectors from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, boarded the Singapore-registered bulker Alam Pintar in Hamburg they discovered a crime: The master had tampered with ship’s documents and the voyage data recorder to conceal evidence that not only had the vessel collided with, and sunk, the fishing vessel Etoile des Ondes with the loss of a life, but had ignored obligations to those in distress. Crewmember testimony of events ‘conflicted’ with AIS and radar recordings from other sources.

Any decision to prosecute will be up to Singapore, the Alam Pintar’s flag state.

The newly-released MAIB report raises a number of issues of frustration and concern.

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Trawler Skipper Clobbered For Wrong Way In One Way

 collision regulations, colregs  Comments Off on Trawler Skipper Clobbered For Wrong Way In One Way
Sep 022010

imageAt a hearing on Friday 27th August at Folkestone Magistrates Court, the owner/skipper of a UK Registered fishing trawler was prosecuted following an incident in the Traffic Separation Scheme off Texel, Netherlands on the 9th January 2009.

On the morning of 9th January 2009 the Netherlands Coastguard observed on radar an unidentified vessel steaming the wrong way down the northbound lane of the Off Texel Traffic Separation Scheme. About 40 minutes later the vessel was observed by the Netherlands Coastguard passing within one cable of a northbound vessel. An aircraft operated by the Netherlands Coastguard was sent to identify the vessel which it did as the UK registered fishing vessel Wilhelmina (LT60). The Wilhelmina was fishing at the time of the incident.


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Ella’s Pink Lady/Silver Yang: The Watchkeeper Who Thought A Girl Was A Buoy

 Accident, Accident report, ATSB, Australia, collision, colregs  Comments Off on Ella’s Pink Lady/Silver Yang: The Watchkeeper Who Thought A Girl Was A Buoy
Jun 292010

imageMuch coverage of the Australian Transport Safety Board report on the collision between round-the-world yachtswoman Jessica Watson’s Ella’s Pink Lady, a 10 metre sloop and the 225 metre Panamax bulker Silver Yang has focussed on the hit-and-run aspects of the case but there remain cautionary aspects that apply to both professional mariners and the yachties with whom they too often share seaspace.

The ‘Leaping Light’ phenomenon appears again, as it has in several cases of night-time collision.

Typically a watchkeeper notes a light which is assumed to be a vessel running ahead on a parallel course, or a fixed light such as a buoy. Suddenly, the light appears to ‘swerve’ towards the watchkeeper’s vessel, having in fact been a vessel on zero CPA and it’s usually too late to avoid a collision. Here’s how it looked from the Silver Yang:

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Jetski vs Coastguard: Colregs and Lookout

 Accident report, collision, collision regulations, colregs  Comments Off on Jetski vs Coastguard: Colregs and Lookout
May 032010


Maritime New Zealand has released its report into the collision between the
Auckland Coastguard vessel Rescue Alpha and a recreational personal water craft PWC 911, also known as a jet ski, on 13 June 2009. As a result of the collision the rider of the PWC 911 fractured her ankle and several ribs.

The PWC 911 was extensively damaged and has been “written off” as being uneconomical to repair.

Says Maritime New Zealand: “The overarching causation was determined as being the way the master of the Rescue Alpha applied the ‘stand on’ requirements contained in Maritime Rule 22.17. It was also determined that the lookout maintained by the rider of PWC 911 was not adequate to account for vessels not involved in the race event that were approaching side on, abeam.

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Premium – Case Of The Church Bell Now Available

 collision, collision regulations, colregs, fatality, fire, podcast, Podcasts  Comments Off on Premium – Case Of The Church Bell Now Available
Aug 262009
The bell of British Trent

Although the recent collision between Formosaproduct Brick and Ostende Max, with subsequent fire and fatalities, and the 1993 collision between the tanker British Trent and Western Winner, also with a subsequent fire and fatalities, were different incidents it is almost certain that there will be similarities and some of the same lessons to be learned. MAC has re-released The Case of the Church Bell in the premium library.

Magdeburg vs Yamashiro Maru – Plots and Clots

 capsize, collision, collision regulations, colregs  Comments Off on Magdeburg vs Yamashiro Maru – Plots and Clots
Oct 292008

MAC’s eye for mystery was caught by a recent report in the Observer retailing claims that the CIA was responsible for a collision of two vessels on the Thames in 1964. Real sea mysteries are fascinating, one of these days we’ll nose around the tale of the Mary Celeste, non-mysteries like the fraudulent ‘Bermuda Triangle’ we don’t have time for. Are tales of the CIA sinking ships in the Thames evidence of a plot, or the tales by a clot?

To set the scene for younger readers, 1964 was the height of the Cold War between capitalism, led by the US, and Communism, led by countries mainly belonging to the Soviet Bloc. Five years earlier, the corrupt Cuban regime of Fulgencio Batista was overthrown in a revolt lead by Fidel Castro, not a communist at the time, who appealed to the US for help rebuilding his country, was turned down and who turned to the Soviets for h only announcing two years after the revolution that Cuba was to be developed as a Soviet-style state. Subsequently, US President John Kennedy authorised an invasion of Cuba, a fiasco now know as the Bay Of Pigs, for which the Cubans have never been forgiven. The Cuban missile crisis didn’t improve their temper either.

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