“PROPER and effective” lookout was maintained neither on the bulker Jag Arnav nor the fast utility vessel Total Response when they collided in daylight hours on 23 June 2015, according to an Australian Transport Safety Bureau report.
When the incident occurred, the 19.9-metre Total Response was en route from Albany to Fremantle and the 229-metre Jag Arnav was sailing from Bunbury, bound for the UAE.
The Bureau’s investigation found the Total Response had an unqualified deckhand performing the duties of deck watchkeeper without adequate supervision, and the Jag Arnav was not detected by anyone onboard.
Also, the ATSB considers it likely the chief mate and deckhand were in a “state of reduced alertness” because of “environmental factors, including workload”.
Meanwhile, on the Jag Arnav, the Bureau found the third officer did not maintain effective lookout after he saw Total Response, but decided, incorrectly, the vessel was passing clear.
The vessels collided roughly 26 nautical miles north-west of Bunbury, resulting in structural damage to Total Response’s bow and deck, and Jag Arnav sustaining minor damage. Two crew of the smaller vessel received lacerations and abrasions, while there were no injuries on Jag Arnav.
In its report, the ATSB said it and its predecessors had investigated 38 collisions between trading ships and small vessels over the past 28 years.
“These investigations have found that failure to keep a proper and effective lookout and to take early and effective avoiding action are recurring contributing factors to these collisions,” the report reads.
“This was again highlighted by this accident.”
The full report can be read on the ATSB’s website.