Hyak collision caused by human error

By Accidents

Hyak collision investigation shows that the cause for the accident was human error. On September 13, Hyak operated by Washington State Ferries collided with a motor yacht. The 2 vessels collided at the confluence of Harney and Upright channels the San Juan Islands.

Because of this accident Washington State Ferries will install new system in order to prevent such accidents in future.

The motor yacht Tasya had only one passenger aboard who was rescued by a ship passing near the location of the crash. In the same day an investigation was started to determine what caused the collision between Hyak and Tasya. More than 24 were needed the investigators to make a conclusion according to the collected data from location of the ship collision.

According to reports the crash had to be avoided if the Hyak had time, the equipment and "sea room" to react. Weather conditions and visibility were not a factor for the collision. Information from the investigators shows that this incident was a human error.

David Moseley, WSDOT assistant secretary, ferries division said:

"We conducted a thorough and detailed investigation into what happened and why,"
"We’re now shifting our focus to making improvements to prevent future incidents."

A training program and more implementation for improving safety will be done. New second mates that will work in future will have a training for their roles, responsibilities and duties. New policies and procedures will also be introduced because of this incident. Voyage Data Recorders will be a good practice to be installed on all WSF vessels. Qualification of each employee will be reviewed.

The boater Jack Gray gave his explanation for the incident between MV Hyak and Tasya motor yacht:

"I heard a loud crunch. Turning around I saw the ferry hull coming over my stern and everything growing dark and flooding...like a slow motion horror film."

The conclusion of the investigation is that the Captain and Second Mate of Hyak are guilty for the collision, the crash was caused by human error. The sailboat M/Y Tasya was not moving when this incident happened, later the sailboat sank even it was towed.