Ship Runs Aground After Chief Officer Blacks Out While Hitting the Head

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January 22, 2013

The 260 TEU Coastal Isle.

The Chief Officer of cargo ship has been fined after his ship ran aground when he apparently fell asleep while going to the head.

The U.K.’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency reports that on July 2, 2012 the Antigua and Barbuda registered cargo ship Coastal Isle was en route from Belfast to Greenock when at 0500hrs it grounded at Garroch Point on the southern coast of the Island of Bute.

Fortunately there were no injuries or pollution and the ship was refloated a few hours later. The ship was taken to Greenock where divers found that the ship had suffered serious damage for about one third of its length and the fore peak tank was ruptured.

In court, the ships Chief Officer, Necati Izmir, admitted to leaving the bridge at about 03.00hrs to go to the toilet and has no recollection of events until after the collision when he was found in his cabin. The Captain later testified that the Chief Officer had been found asleep in his bed.

Read: Cheating Sleep – Tips on How to Stay Awake on Watch

Izmir pleaded guilty at the Sheriff Court in Greenock in November 2012 for failing to safely navigate his ship and on Tuesday was fined a total of £5,000.

Captain Singh Grewal, Area Operations Manager (Survey and Inspection) for the MCA commented: “This was a very serious incident. It could so easily have been a dreadful tragedy but fortunately there were no injuries or pollution.”

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