Kaami grounding

Coastguard helicopter video still showing the general cargo vessel Kaami aground on Sgeir Graidach shoal in the Little Minch. Photo credit: MAIB

MAIB Report Reveals Holes in Cargo Ship’s Voyage Planning Process Before Grounding

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 6392
June 3, 2021

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has issued its report into last year’s grounding of the general cargo vessel Kaami on the west coast of Scotland, revealing holes in the vessel’s voyage planning process prior to the grounding.

The MV Kaami ran aground on Sgeir Graidach shoal in the Little Minch, on the west coast of Scotland, early in the morning on March 21, 2020. The crew was safely evacuated by a Coastguard helicopter with no injuries, but the ship stayed aground for over a month before it was eventually refloated by salvors on May 4. No pollution was reported, however the vessel itself was declared a constructive total loss and was later scrapped.

In its report, the MAIB said the crew’s voyage planning procedures and passage monitoring did not identify the grounding hazard, even after a verbal warning from a local fishing boat.

According to the MAIB, the a full appraisal of information was not made in the voyage planning process, rather the Master relied on previous experience of navigating the Little Minch, leading to an IMO adopted recommended route not being used. There was also no calculation of a minimum under keel clearance for the vessel, resulting in safety contour settings on the electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) to be incorrect. Meanwhile, a visual check of the route using appropriately scaled electronic navigation charts was also not conducted and the ECDIS route safety check was not carried out.

With no ECDIS route safety check conducted, several errors, including two locations where Kaami would likely run aground were missed. The report also noted that the chief officer was also likely suffering from the effects of fatigue.

The MAIB report made recommendations made to Misje Rederi AS, the ship’s manager, to review the number of watchkeepers on its vessels with the aim of minimizing the hazards associated with fatigue, improve the guidance given in its safety management systems on the effective use of ECDIS and of bridge lookouts, and to enhance its ability of conduct internal navigation audits.

The safety issues and recommendations are below, and we encourage you to read the full report here.

Safety Issues

  • the mandatory generic and type specific training for the electronic chart display and information (ECDIS) system were not successful in providing the crew of Kaami with the skills and knowledge necessary to use the vessel’s ECDIS safely.
  • although manned in accordance with the flag state requirements, the on board operation did not allow adequate opportunity for the chief officer to plan the voyage and for his plan to be checked and verified by a second member of the bridge team as required by the vessel’s safety management system.
  • the safety management system did not provide adequate safeguards for voyage planning and ECDIS use, and the vessel operator’s internal auditing program did not identify shortfalls in voyage planning and ECDIS use.

Recommendations

Recommendations (2021/112, 2021/113, 2021/114 and 2021/115) have been made to Misje Rederi AS to review the number of watchkeepers on its vessels with the aim of minimising the hazards associated with fatigue, improve the guidance given in its safety management systems on the effective use of ECDIS and of bridge lookouts, and to enhance its ability of conduct internal navigation audits.

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