Vessel Type: Tanker
In conditions of good weather and visibility, a small tanker and an overtaking capesize bulk carrier were proceeding in a north easterly direction towards a traffic separation scheme. The tanker was steering a course of 034o(T) at a speed of 10.5 knots and the overtaking bulk carrier was steering 036o(T) at a speed of 12.5 knots. The tanker’s OOW went onto both bridge wings during this period but did not notice the bulker approaching from astern as his attention was directed forward of the beam. As the vessels came into close proximity, the effect of hydrodynamic interaction pushed the tanker’s stern to starboard, resulting in the bulker colliding with the port side of the tanker. The collision caused serious damage to the tanker’s hull structure and consequential flooding.
The collision was principally caused by the failure of the overtaking bulker to comply with her obligation under Rule 13 of the COLREGS to keep clear of the vessel being overtaken. A proper lookout was not being maintained on either vessel. In the case of the tanker, the OOW failed to keep a proper lookout by all available means over a full 360o arc of the horizon and as a consequence, did not take the appropriate avoiding action required of a stand-on vessel under Rule 17 of the COLREGS.
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