A preliminary report into the grounding of a Maersk containership outside Freemantle harbor in Western Australia earlier this year has found that the ship’s bridge crew was not actively engaged with the pilotage and mostly unaware of the pilotage plan.
The preliminary findings were released Thursday by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident.
On the morning of February 28, 2015, the MV Maersk Garonne was under Fremantle marine pilot guidance on its entry to the Port of Fremantle when, at 0441, the pilot ordered port helm to bring the ship around to enter the port’s Inner Harbour entrance channel. During the turning maneuver, attempts to delay the ship’s arrival at the entrance beacons led to the ship passing south of the channel. The ship grounded at 0448 on a sand bank to the south of channel beacons number 1 and number 2.
The ship was later refloated at 0824 and taken to anchor where an inspection of the ship found no damage.
The ATSB said that based on preliminary information provided during its investigation, it was apparent that the ship’s bridge crew had not been directly and actively engaged with the pilotage as it progressed, and were broadly unaware of the pilotage plan. Procedures had not been enacted and actions not taken to ensure the full bridge resources available to the pilot and master were utilized.
The investigation is ongoing and will continue to focus on pilotage procedures, planning and practices, information exchange and contingency planning for Fremantle pilotage; the existence, relevance, understanding and implementation of procedures by the pilotage company, port and ship to reduce the risk of grounding; bridge team dynamics, resource management and personnel engagement during pilotage; the implementation and effectiveness of bridge resource management training.
The full Preliminary Report can be downloaded HERE (opens as pdf).
SEE ALSO: AIS Replay of Maersk Garonne Grounding