sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Anatomy of a collision - yacht and bulk carrier
Anatomy of a collision - yacht and bulk carrier


'Furness Melbourne and Riga II -chart showing their respective courses'    .

What are the factors most likely to cause a collision at sea? What mistakes should the cruising sailor NOT make? How much can we rely on a good lookout by ships that we pass? The investigation of this non-fatal collision between a Swiss-flagged yacht and an Australian bulk carrier carries some significant messages for how we should all act when sailing an open seaway.

Just before 10.00pm on 26 May 2012, the bulk carrier Furness Melbourne and the yacht Riga II collided about
15 miles north of Bowen, Queensland. Riga II was dismasted and its hull was damaged but no-one was seriously injured and the yacht was towed into Bowen on the Australia's Queensland coast by a volunteer marine rescue vessel.
Furness Melbourne was not damaged and, after rendering assistance to the yacht, continued its voyage. But the story is one that will cause a chill down the spine of many a cruising sailor.

About Riga II:

Riga II. 13.6 metre Allores yacht in happier days - did not ’keep a proper watch’ -  .. .  


Riga II was a 13.6 m sloop rigged yacht constructed from aluminium and composite materials. The yacht was fitted with a diesel engine but, at the time of the collision, it was under sail and the engine was not being used.

Riga II was crewed by its owners (the skipper and his wife) and their friend. All three held a Swiss international certificate for operators of pleasure craft (Permit B). Each had more than 25 years of sailing experience in different parts of the world. Over that period, they had sailed together a number of times.

After purchasing Riga II in 2007, the skipper and his wife began sailing around the world in the yacht with their friend frequently accompanying them as circumstances permitted. In September 2011, their leisurely paced voyage brought them to Bundaberg, Australia. They returned to Europe for a few months before resuming their voyage in May 2012, after their friend and 11 year old grandson had joined them to sail north along the coast of Queensland.

The yacht’s navigational equipment included a SIMRAD CX-44 radar, a NASA MARINE AIS radar
receiver and two VHF radios (SIMRAD and ICOM).

What the ATSB found:
The investigation found that a proper lookout was not being kept on board either vessel in the time
leading up to the collision.

At the time of the collision the 13.6 m yacht Riga II was en route to Townsville. At 1542, the yacht was about 9 miles
east of Gloucester Island on a course of 303º (T) and making good about 6.5 knots. The skipper and his wife (the yacht’s owners), their friend and grandson were on board. They had sailed from Cid Harbour in the Whitsunday Islands earlier that afternoon on the first leg of a cruise to far north Queensland.

By 1930, Riga II had reached a position nearly 6 miles west of Holbourne Island, very close to the 123·5º - 303·5º charted ‘preferred route’ (see below for explanation). The yacht’s auto-pilot was set to make good its planned course of 303º (T) and the wind (15 to 20 knots from the south) was abaft the port beam. The starboard leeway meant that the heading varied between 295º and 300º.

The skipper was on watch, keeping a lookout while the others on board either rested or slept. While the yacht’s
automatic identification system (AIS) unit was switched on, the radar was switched off.

Furness Melbourne - mistook the lights they saw -  .. .  
At this time, Furness Melbourne was on a 123º (T) course following the 123·5º - 303·5º preferred route in the opposite direction to Riga II. At 2000, when the third mate took over the bridge watch from the chief mate, the ship was about 42 miles west-northwest of Holbourne Island. The duty seaman on watch also changed. The weather conditions recorded in the ship’s log book noted ‘overcast skies, good visibility, fresh southerly breeze and rough seas’.

At 2051, the third mate began playing music on a personal computer. From time to time, he hummed or sang along with the music and, sometimes, chatted with the lookout. The visibility remained good and they could not see any ships or other traffic nearby. The s-band radar, AIS unit and both very high frequency (VHF) radios were switched on.

Shortly after 2100, the seaman reported a white light fine on Furness Melbourne’s port bow. The third mate told the seaman that the light was a distant lighthouse. At this time, Holbourne Island and Nares Rock, both of which were fitted with lights, were a little over 30 miles away

At about 2118, the lookout reported that the white light he had seen earlier was flashing. The third mate could see no radar targets in the general direction of the light and told the lookout that it was the distant lighthouse that he had previously mentioned.

At 2142, the seaman reported a green light fine on the port bow. The third mate thought the green light was from the isolated danger beacon on Nares Rock and he told the seaman that the light was a distant ‘light buoy’. In fact, the green light was the starboard sidelight of Riga II, which was about 4 miles away.

At 2144, the third mate adjusted Furness Melbourne’s heading to starboard from 123º to 128º, to pass further away from what he mistakenly believed was Nares Rock. At 2146, he adjusted the heading back to 125º and, 2 minutes later, again to 128º. He then adjusted the heading back to 123º. He sang and hummed along with the music as he had during the past hour.

At about 2149, Riga II’s AIS unit ‘target alarm’ sounded. Alerted, the skipper’s wife called the skipper to come inside the cabin and have a look at the AIS display. Together, they noted from the AIS data that the approaching ship was making good a course of 122º (T) at 11.5 knots. They also switched on the yacht’s radar.

Shortly afterwards, Riga II’s skipper, who had not yet visually sighted Furness Melbourne, went back on deck to look for the ship. Within a minute, he saw its green sidelight fine on his starboard bow. He decided to alter course to port and, by about 2151, Riga II’s heading had been altered 10º to port. The skipper then altered the yacht’s heading a further 10º to port to a heading of about 280º, with the aim of passing well clear of the ship.

Just after 2153, Furness Melbourne’s lookout reported that the green light he had been observing seemed very close. Riga II was now less than 1 mile ahead of the ship and the two vessels were closing at a combined speed of nearly 18 knots. In response to the seaman’s report, the third mate checked the radar and the AIS unit and saw no target in the direction of the green light.

At 2154, the third mate adjusted Furness Melbourne’s heading to 128º.

Riga II’s AIS unit now indicated that the ship was making good 127º. The skipper’s wife passed this information to the skipper, who exclaimed in surprise to his wife about what the ship appeared to be doing.

At 2155¼, she called Furness Melbourne on VHF channel 16 and identified her vessel as Riga II. The yacht was now about 200 m from the ship’s bow.

Alerted by the unexpected radio call to his ship, the third mate stopped humming. A few seconds later, he broadcast on VHF channel 16 that the ship’s course was being altered to starboard. He then ordered the seaman to engage hand steering.

At 2155¾, the skipper’s wife called Furness Melbourne again and asked its intentions. At about the same time, the skipper saw the ship bearing down on the yacht and shouted for his wife to brace herself.

The third mate responded to the call from Riga II, stating that he was going to starboard and asked for a port to port passing. He could no longer see the yacht’s green light when he ordered the rudder hard-to-starboard.

At 2156, Furness Melbourne’s heading was about 130º when it collided with Riga II in position 19º 35.88’S 148º 01.37’E. The ship’s starboard anchor and/or some part of its flared bow contacted the yacht’s mast and brought it down and the yacht scraped along the ship’s starboard side.

At 2156¼, the skipper’s wife called Furness Melbourne and reported the collision. A few seconds later, she reported that Riga II had been dismasted. The yacht’s navigation lights (mounted on the mast) had gone out and the third mate could not see the yacht. He thought that the yacht was on the port side and, at 2157¼, ordered hard over to port to swing the stern of the ship away from it.

At 2157¾, the third mate ordered the rudder amidships and called the master, asking him to come to the bridge. The master hurried from his cabin to the bridge to find the third mate on the bridge wing looking for a boat he thought the ship might have collided with.

At 2159, the master ordered a heading of 122º. He adjusted the radar’s gain and clutter settings and identified a small target close by on the starboard quarter. He then sighted a dim light in the direction of the target and thought it could be from a torch.

Meanwhile, Riga II’s skipper and his wife were assessing the damage to the yacht. No-one on board was seriously injured. At 2202, the skipper’s wife broadcast an urgency message on VHF channel 16 and then called Furness Melbourne. The master answered her call, exchanged necessary information and advised that he would assist. He then turned his ship around to render assistance to the yacht.

At 2210, Furness Melbourne’s master reported the collision to authorities ashore, advising that the ship was providing assistance to Riga II. The authorities began preparing resources ashore to respond.

By 2300, Furness Melbourne had arrived near the disabled Riga II. The yacht’s sails and rigging had fouled its hull and propeller. The master ordered a lifeboat lowered to assist the yacht’s crew while he manoeuvred the ship to shelter the yacht from the wind and waves.

At 2353, the volunteer marine rescue (VMR) vessel Rescue Bowen departed Bowen to assist Riga II. By this time, Furness Melbourne’s starboard lifeboat was in the water and approaching the yacht with tools that had been requested to cut the rigging that was fouling the hull.

At 0130 on 27 May, Rescue Bowen arrived on the scene and approached Riga II. With Furness Melbourne providing a lee, the VMR rescue crew began connecting their vessel’s tow line to the yacht. By 0206, Rescue Bowen had connected the tow line and, shortly afterwards, began towing Riga II towards Bowen at a speed of about 6 knots.

Furness Melbourne’s crew recovered the lifeboat and, at 0237, after the master had confirmed with authorities that the ship was no longer required to assist, the passage to Portland was resumed.

By 0647, Riga II had been safely towed into Bowen and secured in the marina. In addition to losing its mast, sails and rigging, the yacht’s hull, handrails and paintwork on the starboard side, were damaged. The internal support of the mast had moved, as had some cabinetwork and internal lighting.

Findings on contributing factors to the collision:
• While Furness Melbourne’s lookout sighted Riga II’s starboard sidelight, the officer of the watch was not keeping a proper lookout. He made a series of assumptions based on limited information instead of following a systematic approach to confirm what had been observed. As a result, he did not conclude early enough that the lookout had identified Riga II and that the yacht posed a risk of collision.

• Riga II’s watchkeeper was not keeping a proper lookout. He did not visually identify Furness Melbourne’s navigation lights in time to make an effective appraisal of the situation, did not set the yacht’s AIS unit on a range scale that provided adequate warning of approaching vessels and, when alerted by the AIS of the approaching ship, misinterpreted that information.

Other factors that increase risk:
• In the past 25 years the ATSB and its predecessor have investigated 39 collisions between trading ships and smaller vessels on the Australian coast. These investigations have all concluded that there was a failure of the watchkeepers on board one or both vessels to keep a proper lookout and that there was an absence of early and appropriate action to avoid the collision.

Other findings:
• Riga II was not equipped with a radar reflector or an AIS transceiver unit, either of which would have made it more readily detectable by the watchkeepers on board Furness Melbourne.

In the past 25 years, 60 collisions involving ships and small vessels have been reported to the ATSB and its predecessor, the Marine Incident Investigation Unit. Of these, 39 have been investigated.

The findings from these investigations have invariably included the failure of the watchkeepers on board one or both vessels to keep a proper lookout and the absence of early and appropriate action to avoid a collision.

Safety message:
This incident again emphasises the need for those charged with the navigation of vessels of all types and sizes to keep a proper lookout and to take early and appropriate action to avoid a collision in accordance with the international collision regulations.

The safety lessons from these investigations have been included in the published investigation reports. A number of safety bulletins that aim to highlight the risks and educate seafarers with regard to the similar contributing factors have also been published. These documents and further safety related information can be downloaded at:
www.atsb.gov.au/marine.aspx

Preferred route: The relevant note on the Aus navigational charts states: This is a preferred route and has not been surveyed in accordance with the IMO/IHO standards for recommended tracks, but is the preferred route for vessels having regard to charted depths. The attention of vessels meeting on the preferred routes is drawn to the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea (1972), particularly Rules 18 and 28 in regards to vessels constrained by their draught.


by Lee Mylchreest

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117585

11:34 PM Thu 12 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

American Windsurfing Tour - The Goya Pro Cabo Verde is shaping up to be the latest AWT edition of the ‘Clash of the Titans.’ The mega stars of windsurfing are currently tuning up their gear, and making final adjustments before the long journey to the remote island of Sal, Cabo Verde. ... [more]  

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce its partnership with Gill North America as official crew merchandise provider for the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, starting in Antigua on Monday 23 February. ... [more]  

The second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge will be hosted by Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

Roger Hickman skipper of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race IRC winner Wild Rose sat down with Geoff Waller of www.boatson.tv and described just what went into his boat winning the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. His was a 'full-on' race (with dramatic 'on-board' video) which included a knock-down, broken steering, a wild 'Chinese gybe', storms and only a small amount of blood spilt. ... [more]  

The world’s elite sailors are preparing to meet in Singapore for the opening Act of the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series™, which is set to bring the world famous Marina Bay alive with its pioneering Stadium Racing concept. With the transfer window now closed, some new players will enter the arena as the Series launches into its ninth season, with continued support of Series Main Partner Land Rover. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 4 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

2014 - 2015 Barcelona World Race - No scape south because of South Indian Ocean Antarctic Exclusion Zone means a painful wait for Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin on GAES Centros Auditivos. ... [more]  

The expansion of sailing into so-called developing countries, continues at the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Miami, with newly embraced Cuba joining the 64 nation line-up encompassing 600 boats. The 2015 fleet on Biscayne Bay is a record turnout, for this second event on the 2015 Sailing World Cup Circuit ... [more]  

Day 4 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015, Presented by Sunbrella, saw the US Sailing Team Sperry make steady gains in the Laser and Laser Radial classes as gold fleet racing approaches its conclusion. In the Sonar, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) will go for gold tomorrow in the final day of Paralympic racing. ... [more]  

At exactly 00:01 on the 29th January 2015, TeamVestas?' VO65 left VTE - Voltri Terminal Europa en route to Persico Marine in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The boat is now safely secured in a purpose-built facility near Bergamo, awaiting full assessment and the beginning of the repair process. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Day 3 - There's a world of difference between skiing a long, smooth run and skiing on moguls. Today, forget the waves, it was the breeze on Biscayne Bay that was 'moguls.' Shift upon shift upon shift upon shift. ... [more]  

Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), the 2012 Finn European Champion, ruled the roost in Miami today with two emphatic race wins and moves up to third overall. Giles Scott (GBR) sailed his worst day so far, but still leads with a five point gap on Jake Lilley, and 12 points over Mitakis as the event reaches its half way stage. ... [more]  

The International DN Ice Yacht World and North American Championships are being held in Kingston, Ontario (right in front of our office). For the Kingston Yacht Club, we skated out to the middle of the lake, and put together a little highlight piece for them to remember the event by. ... [more]  

Doyle Sails had more success last weekend in the Auckland Optimist Championships, taking first and second overall in the 110 strong Open fleet. Six countries were represented in the event, and young sailors came the length of New Zealand to compete in the regatta that is a ranking event for World and International team selection. ... [more]  

EFG's Star Winter Series rules in Biscayne Bay by Connie Bischoff, Miami, FL
The third Star Winter Series presented by EFG (SWS) and hosted by Miami’s Biscayne Bay was a shining success. Not only have all five regattas had stronger participation than last year but the final one, the Mid Winters, grew 35% with 45% of the sailors international (CAN, SWE, BRA, UKR, ARG, ITA and GER). ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 3 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Day 3 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella marked the midpoint of North America’s biggest Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. With bright sunshine and fresh breeze in abundance, the world’s top athletes in 13 classes were treated to the conditions that exemplify why Miami is a preferred international sailing destination. ... [more]  

It was windshift upon windshift upon shift upon windshift on Day 3 of the ISAF World Sailing Cup Miami sailed on Biscayne Bay Presented by Sunbrella, the premier regatta has attracted 599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting all day to one thing or another. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed. ... [more]  

Following the success of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series that concluded last week, the dates of next year’s event have been confirmed for 16-24 January 2016. With overseas competitors from 11 nations represented a large part of the 47-strong fleet overall at the 2015 event ... [more]  

Ben Ainslie Racing, the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, have shipped two foiling Nacra 20 catamarans to Bermuda and have become the first team to commence sailing operations at the Venue for the next Cup. The team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda, last week. ... [more]  

North U kicked off its 2015 season of youth match racing clinics around the U.S. with a successful clinic hosted by the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah, Texas on Galveston Bay near Houston. Forty high school and college sailors spent two-and-a-half days learning about match racing and training in Sonars on flat water and 6-12 knots of breeze. ... [more]  

A fantastic week of sunshine, warm weather, big breeze and competitive sailing is what sailors were treated to last week in Key West. Several Canadians left the bitter cold of the north to partake in the fun filled week and a few even brought home trophies. Here's a peek at the fun in the sun! ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya
Touch2Play at Key West Race Week
Barcelona World Race leaders split paths
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - Final line-up to be announced
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Day 1 - Brits off to a flying start
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Tough Day 1 + Video
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Tough Day 1 + Video
RC44 World Championship Leg 1 - RC44 Valletta Cup preview
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami -Finn class -testing conditions on Day 1
ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica wins first podium place in Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng scores historic victory for China
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng release first DroneCam video from Leg 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Chinese team set historic first with home port win
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind arrives on time in Genoa + Video
America's Cup - Virgin considers backing Ben Ainslie, BAR
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Changes
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview
Barcelona World Race - A game of chase   
Quantum Key West Race Week: Four GC32's make spectacular USA debut   
Volvo Ocean Race – Frostad says Caudrelier proving them wrong *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins   
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history   
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed   
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour   
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??   
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year   
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage   
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015   
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish   
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT