COLLISION IN SINGAPORE STRAITS A CASE STUDY Presented by Capt. N. Padhi, Safety & Quality Manager, MTM Ship Management Pte Ltd., Singapore
VIDEO CLIP – EXTRACT FROM VDR • 20:59 LT: “Vessel "B"” at right astern distance 1.4 NM, course about 268(G) Vessel "A"’s Course 258(G) x speed 7.7 Kts • 21:06 LT: “Vessel "B"” at Stb’d quarter of Vessel "A", Brg 060(G) x distance 0.8 NM, appears faster speed than Vessel "A". Vessel "A"’s Course Co 259(G) x Spd 7.6 Kt • 21:13 LT: “Vessel "B"” overtaking own vessel at Stb’d abeam distance about 0.4 NM, course almost parallel to Vessel "A"’s Course . Vessel "A"’s Course Co 259(G) x 7.6 Kts • 21:36 LT: “Vessel "B"” at Vessel "A"’s Stbd bow Brg 287G x 1.0NM. She begun making large alteration of her course to port. Vessel "A"’s Course 259(G) x 7.4 Kts
21:38 LT: “Vessel "B"” fine on Vessel "A"’s stb’d bow distance approx 0.5 NM • Singapore VTIS informs on VHF Ch. 16 to Vessel "A" of presence of another vessel at about 2 cables on starboard bow. Vessel "A" replys stating yes, altering to starboard. • Vessel "A" started altering course to S’tbd as avoiding action spd 7.4 kts. • At 21:40LT:”Vessel "B"” at right ahead distance 0.4NM and continue turning to port at the spd of 4.3 Kts. Vessel "A"’s Course 269(G) and Spd 7.4 Kts. • 21:41 LT: “Vessel "B"’ collided into port side of Vessel "A" at angle 50 degree between two ships headings. “Vessel "B"” Co & Spd was 114(G) x 4.1 Kts and Vessel "A"’s Co & Spd was 344(G) x 6.6 Kts. VTIS contacts Vessel "A". Vessel "A" confirms to VTIS that there has been a collision. Vessel “B". collided with Vessel "A". Position of collision also is communicated to VTIS by Vessel "A".
DAMAGES SUSTAINED: • Ship side (port) found damaged in the way off following: • No 3 port wing ballast tank aft transverse bulkhead buckled • No 4 wing port ballast tank open to sea at stringer 1 & 2 • Internal structure damage • No 5 port wing ballast tank ship side indents • No 6 port wing ballast tank small buckles in ship side • No 7 port wing ballast tank fwd transverse bulkhead buckled • The vessel was subsequently docked at the Sembawang Ship yard on 5th June 2010 at 1755hrs., Singapore for the collision related structural repairs. All repairs and associated class surveys were completed on 9th July 2010. Vessel sailed out from Sembawang Ship yard after completion of all repairs on 10th July 2010 at 1430hrs.
SUMMARY: • From the information available, it appears that a collision was forced upon “A” which conducted herself fully in accordance with all rules of COLREG. • “B” was the Over taking vessel with obligation to keep clear of “A” (COLREGs, Rule 13). • Prior altering course, when she created a crossing situation (being an overtaking vessel) “B” did not caution “A”. It was only about 2 minutes before the collision that “B” contacted “A” on VHF after “A” confirmed to VTIS that she is altering course to starboard. • “A” informed “B” when contacted by her to maintain course and she (“A”) is altering course to starboard. However, “B” continued altering to port.
SUMMARY: • The reason for “B” which was an overtaking vessel to alter course to port and take a complete swing in the TSS against the general direction of traffic flow in a TSS is not clear. • No Alert was broadcast by any one with regard to above course of action by “B”. • At the time of collision, “B”’s heading was east bound ie in the opposite direction of traffic flow of the west bound lane in TSS.
IMMEDIATE CAUSES: • Lack of collision avoidance action taken by “B” while involved in a crossing situation with “risk of collision” with the “A” (being a give way vessel having overtaken “A”). • “B” failed to pre-warn the other vessel involved in a crossing situation ie the “A” with respect to her sudden swinging to port. • The vessel “A” altered course to hard starboard and increased RPM to full ahead to accelerate starboard swing as a collision avoidance action in accordance with COLREGS, Rule 8 c. However, “A” did not consider a crash stop maneuver by stopping and reversing the engines to take all way off for avoiding the collision or minimizing the impact of the collision. • Use of light and sound signals for alteration of course or drawing attention when in doubt as to the intention of the other vessel as required by the COLREG, Rule 34 was not used by either of the vessels involved in the collision.
ROOT CAUSES: • Failure to follow Rules & Regulations (by “B”). • Incorrect navigation or ship handling (by “B”). • Failure to warn (by both vessels involved in the collision) the other vessel by light or sound signals while altering ship’s course or by timely alerting the other vessel of the vessel’s intentions through use of effective use of VHF communication on identification of the vessels through AIS. • Lack of effective situational awareness by the bridge team on MT “A” to take a collision avoidance action in good time when MT “B” though an overtaking vessel as per the COLREG, was proceeding towards numerous vessels at anchor on the north side of the TSS lane which could have compelled her (“B”) to suddenly alter course to port to come out of such a situation.
Observations • The vessels involved in the collision did not consider alternate collision avoidance action such as the Crash Stop. • Calculations have shown that if Vessel A had to alter course to “Port” the collision could have been avoided. • After the collision, the Vessel B went back to anchor off Eastern Boarding Ground. (did complete the port swing after the collision). • The VDR information from the vessel B could not be retrieved.