Monday 20th Aug, 2018

Watchkeepers’ oversight lead to containership collision: ATSB report

Photo: Damage to the fishing vessel Mako, credit ATSB
Photo: Damage to the fishing vessel Mako, credit ATSB

A PROPER lookout was not being maintained on two ships that collided in Bass Strait in August of last year, a recent report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found.

The 14.2m fishing vessel Mako collided with the 281m containership Glasgow Express (IMO 9232589) about 15 nautical miles south of Cape Woolamai, Victoria

The ATSB found that both vessels had been on a collision course for about 15 minutes before they collided at about 2246 on 12 August 2017.

Glasgow Express’ bridge team had seen Mako about 45 minutes before the collision, but a full appraisal of the situation was not carried out.

“As a consequence, the situation was misinterpreted and the risk of collision was not identified. Therefore, no avoiding action was taken,” the ATSB’s report reads.

Meanwhile, on the Mako, the watchkeeper had seen Glasgow Express both visually and on radar and concluded that the containership was passing clear ahead of the vessel, and now avoiding action was taken.

A second watchkeeper took on the watch and did not see Glasgow Express until just before the collision.

The report noted that the Mako was underway with its external lights on, increasing its visibility to other vessels, but reducing the watchkeepers’ night vision.

Mako suffered “significant” damage in the collision, with about 1m of the bow stoved in, among other damage and the Glasgow Express sustained scratches along its hull. No injuries were reported.

The full report can be read on the ATSB’s website.


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