A master’s reliance on scanty VHF information and another’s failure to keep a proper lookout contributed to a collision between a containership and an oil tanker off Jebel Ali earlier this year, according to a report released Wednesday by UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch.
Damage to the Alexander 1 following the February 11, 2015 collision off Jebel Ali. / Photo courtesy MAIB
The report details MAIB’s investigation into the collision between the UK-flagged container ship Ever Smart and the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Alexandra 1 off Jebel Ali, UAE on February 11, 2015. A harbor pilot was transferring from the outbound containership to the inbound tanker by launch when the vessels collided at the entrance to the port’s approach channel.
Damage to the MV Ever Smart following the collision. / Photo courtesy MAIB
Both vessels suffered major structural damage to their bows, but there were no injuries or pollution.
The MAIB’s investigation report identified several safety issues, listed below:
- Ever Smart did not monitor Alexandra 1’s movements; the proximity of the tanker was recognized only seconds before the collision.
- Alexandra 1 was unnecessarily close to the entrance to the port’s approach channel but its movement was not challenged by the port’s vessel traffic service.
- Alexandra 1 was maneuvered on the basis of scanty VHF radio information.
- A passing agreement was not agreed and promulgated to all parties and the pilot’s departure from Ever Smart was premature.
- Alexandra 1’s AIS was not operating so information such as vessel names was not readily available on board the tanker, the container ship or to the vessel traffic services.
The MAIB says that Evergreen Marine (UK) Limited, the managers of Ever Smart and Iships Management Private Limited, the managers of Alexandra 1 have taken action to improve the standard of bridge watchkeeping on board their vessels.
The MAIB has made a recommendation (2015/164) to DP World UAE Region, the operators of Jebel Ali port, that is intended to improve the effectiveness of the vessel traffic and pilotage services it provides.
The MAIB’s full report can be found here.