Mistaken identification of a radar-prominent island, inadequately programmed radar alarms and lack of cross-control on the bridge led to the grounding of the 170 metre chemical tanker Sichem Osprey at 16 knots as the Officer of the Watch sipped his second coffee of the day.
Clipperton Island is a low-lying uninhabited nine-square-kilometre coral atoll owned by France in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is for John Clipperton, a pirate who made it his hideout early in the 18th century.
Although the island has no lighthouse, racon or buoyage system it does have a pronounced radar signature at a 14 nautical miles. Scattered showers had been observed on an earlier watch and the target was assumed to be a rain cloud and deselected.