179 - 03/01 - Damage to Berths/Cranes (Restrictions on Use of Bridge Control Systems) - Colombo - Sri Lanka


Due to recent experiences in the port of Colombo, the harbour authorities are now putting restrictions on the use of bridge control on ships manoeuvring in the port.

There have been several serious incidents where port property, ie piers, fenders, cranes etc have been damaged, culminating in a case in February of this year which put a berth and gantry crane out of use, due to failure of the main engine of a ship to respond. The port authorities have released the following."All vessels which are geared with bridge control main engine manoueuvring systems should change over to engine room control prior to arriving at the pilot boarding grounds and have engines tested on all manoeuvring speeds for ahead and astern movements. Confirmation of above should be recorded in the bridge bell book for the pilot's scrutiny"

Clearly this type of incident is giving rise to serious concern to the Colombo Port Authority. Members should ensure that in addition to complying with the authority's requirements that berth to berth planning be carried out, they should also make sure that full contemporaneous records are kept in bell books and that ER loggers are in full working order in order to ensure a proper record of events is available should a claim arise.

Source of Information: 

Club Correspondents

Through A Hedgeland

GAC Shipping Ltd


Tel +94 74 797900

Fax +94 74 797 910

E mail:



Staff Author