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Case study: Lone watchkeeping grounding at night

What happened

As part of its BSafe campaign, Britannia P&I Club describes a case where a vessel ran aground at night. The primary factor contributing to the grounding of the ship was the officer of the watch’s failure to effectively monitor the ship’s progress for about two hours.

The incident involved the general cargo vessel Priscilla and it occurred in July 2018.  The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch report on it can be found here.

The Britannia P&I Club has created a handy case study on the incident, including a summary, presentation commentary and lessons learned: here.

What went wrong?

The ship ran aground because it drifted to the south of the planned track while on autopilot. The officer of the watch did not monitor the ship’s progress for about two hours, while sitting in the bridge chair watching videos on his mobile phone.

Lessons learned

  • Pay attention to what is happening around you!!
  • Monitoring vessel progress along the planned passage is a vital component of safe navigation, and the officer of the watch should not become distracted from this responsibility;
  • Reducing to a sole lookout should be properly risk assessed;
  • Electronic navigation aids should always be set up to aid the officer of the watch by giving warning of danger ahead. 

Members may wish to refer to:

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