CMA CGM Platon Contact: Pilot Had Port Too Late

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Dec 082011

Pilot applied port helm too late

CMA CGM Platon made hard contact with a quay because the well-experience pilot ordered port helm too late to prevent the vessel being taken to starboard by the tidal stream says a report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

The tug used during the unberthing operation was released shortly after the
vessel’s departure from the berth and, once control of the vessel had been
lost, there was little the pilot and bridge team could do, in the time available, to
prevent collision with the quay on the opposite riverbank.

The quay sustained superficial damage but the vessel suffered significant damage to her bow, and her forepeak tank was punctured. Fortunately there was no pollution and no-one was hurt.

An MAIB analysis concludes: “Although CMA CGM Platon’s speed through the water was about 8.5 knots, the flood tide acting on her port bow, coupled with the downdrain and wind acting on her starboard quarter, was sufficient to overcome the turning effect of the applied port helm. This resulted in the vessel unexpectedly turning to starboard.

“Although the engine was then set to ‘full astern’, the vessel’s stopping distance of 4 cables exceeded the available space ahead and she consequently made contact with the quay”. Continue reading »