Catastrophe In The Heart Of The Sea
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by gCaptain in 2016 and is being republished now because it’s lessons are timeless and possibly more relevant in 2022 as today’s ships...
In the video below, the 68,789 dwt bulk carrier Grand Rodosi is seen absolutely destroying a much smaller tuna boat, the Apollo S, while moored at the wharf in Port Lincoln, South Australia. Luckily the Apollo S was unmanned at the time, but it quickly sank (at least once the Grand Rodosi had unpinned it) and the wharf was damage in the collision. Meanwhile the MV Grand Rodosi sustained only minor damage.
An investigation by the Australian Transport Safety Board found that, despite the pilot ordering astern movements, the ship’s main engine did not run astern in the 5 minutes leading up to the collision. The chief engineer, who was operating the main engine start/fuel lever in the engine room control room, did not allow sufficient time for starting air to stop the ahead running engine. Consequently, when fuel was introduced into the engine, it continued to run ahead, despite the astern telegraph orders.
The investigation also found that the chief engineer’s mistake was not identified by anyone on the ship’s bridge or in the engine room control room until after the collision; that the master/pilot information exchange was less than optimal; and that bridge resource management principles could have been better applied during the passage to the berth.
The full ATSB investigation into this incident can be found on this incident HERE.
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