MAIB’s report on the grounding of the containership Maersk Kendal on the Monggok Sebarok reef in the Singapore Strait on 16 September 2009 presents some all-too familiar problems and a package of lessons to learn. Complacency, lack of voyage planning, failure of bridge teamwork and inadequate awareness of the information being provided by the Singapore Vessel Traffic information service, were contributory factors.
Two items in the report in particular caught MAC’s attention. The first is the role of cultural factors in the bridge team which were also covered in the report on the grounding of chemical tanker Maria M. In that case a abrasive and abusive Italian master resulted in a bridge team that was afraid to challenge, question or advise him. On Maersk Kendall the situation between the British master and an Indian chief officer was very different, they appeared to be on good terms and the master’s standing orders required the bridge team to question the master if in any doubt concerning his actions yet it still didn’t happen.