ADDITIONAL training for pilots has been implemented following the near grounding of a bulker near Newcastle early last year.
The vessel Aquadiva (IMO 9469675) was departing Newcastle Harbour on a night in February last year under the conduct of a harbour pilot.
During Aquadiva’s passage through a section of channel known as The Horse Shoe, insufficient rudder was reportedly applied to effectively turn the ship.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the ship slewed toward the southern edge of the channel and crossed the limits of the marked navigation channel. Additional tugs were required to arrest the ship’s movement and return it to the channel to complete departure.
According to Bureau, the Port Authority had implemented a “training and information process” with pilots to discuss the incident.
“Also, procedures are to be updated to require the use of portable pilotage units on all pilotages, and a project to implement sharing of electronic passages plans is also being undertaken,” the ATSB stated. “Aquadiva’s operator provided targeted training to the ship’s officers.”
The company is also reported to have conducted an internal investigation and circulated the report throughout its fleet.
“Safety message Safe and efficient pilotage requires clear, unambiguous, effective communication and information exchange between all active participants,” the ATSB stated.
“An agreed passage plan, its understanding and the establishment of a ‘shared mental model’ between a harbour pilot and a ship’s crew, forms the basis for a safe voyage.”
Aquadiva was launched in 2010 and sails under the flag of Greece.