Too close for comfort.

Sometimes things don’t happen according to plan, and when you’re operating a big ship in a narrow channel such as the Panama Canal, a ship’s crew needs to know exactly what to do in order to avert disaster.

Fortunately for the owner of the Pacific Bless, a 2012-built, 57k DWT bulk carrier, quick and appropriate actions by the ship’s crew and/or a Panama Canal Pilot saved the day when their ship suddenly veered out of the channel and began heading straight toward shore in the Panama Canal.

The smoke emanating from the bow is from the windlass and anchor chain which was released by the deck crew in an effort to stop the ship…

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  • R.

    This video is private :/

  • Nico

    I would like to see the video but is private…

  • grahamthepipe

    I have to ask. “What caused the ‘problem’? A steering gear malfunction? An engine surge? An inexperienced helmsman”? Whatever the cause, the ‘action’ taken for’d by – presumably the C/0 – was either ‘he’ letting go the hook of his own accord or – far more likely – as a direct and swift response having received the order from the command centre, namely the captain and pilot on the bridge.

    • kris

      A new ship delivered this year, had a steering failure after leaving Gaillard Cut. The control Pilot gave the order to let go the anchors and ordered the vessel’s engine full astern.
      Thanks to proper training the Panama Canal Pilot was able to save the day.

  • John van der Doe

    What ever the problem,it was a moment of good team work between bridge and anchor watch.

    Good work men.


    John van der Doe

  • Ricardo Moreno

    Why did she lose control? Was it a main engine, steering gear or blackout failure? Whichever, hurray for the mate on the bow and the bridge team.

    Ricardo Moreno

  • Captain Colin Smith. M.Sc.

    Any orders would come from the pilot. The Panama Canal is the only place in the world where the Master surrenders command of the navigation of his ship to the pilot. As a courtesy the pilot might work through the Master, especially where a language barrier exists, but the unique status of the pilot here is paramount.

    • kris

      Indeed the order came from the Panama Canal Pilot after the new ship had a steering failure.

  • IpwKY24

    685192 808066You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog. 175850

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