Originally Posted by Weyalan
Was the big boat constrained by draft at all? It was certainly constrained by manouverability. It is probably, on balance, easier for small boats to avoid it, than for it to avoid small boats. Not saying that you were, necessarily, in the wrong, but that it would have been prudent to take evasive action sooner.
The Pink Lady / Jessica Watson
case that was mentioned is interesting. Watson had ample opportunity to avoid the large ship. She could see it from miles and miles away, but rather than simply altering course, she tried, unsuccessfully, to radio
to tell the big ship to alter course.
When the big boat got close, and her very slow sailing speed made avoiding collision difficult, she did not start her perfectly serviceable engine
out of the way, instead choosing to go below and get into her bunk...
Irregardless of what Collregs might suggest on the subject of right of way, constraint to manoueverability notwithstanding, and leaving aside how blame got apportioned at the enquiry, personally I place the blame for the collision 100% fairly and squarely on the shoulders of Watson.
Well Weyalan, I'm not sure where you got your info from, but definitely not the official report which you can get here:
Investigation: 268-MO-2009-008 - Collision between Silver Yang and Ella
then click on the Download the Final Report button for the actual report.
Some points of interest if you can't be bothered to go and read the report:
#The collision did not occur in a restricted waterway
#Jessica was asleep below deck
and was woken by the impact.
#Silver Yang's AIS
unit had picked up Pink Lady's Class-B transponder, indicating position, course, and speed 38 minutes prior to the collision, but this information was not used by the officer on watch
#The Silver Yang had Pink Lady sighted, running a constant course which would lead to a probable collision for 2 and a half minutes prior to the collision, but made no attempt to call up the boat, make audible signal or take evasive action until it was too late to avoid collision.
#The excuse for this was that the 2/m apparently confused the fixed light of Pink Lady as a stationary buoy that was somehow maintaining the same relative bearing as he was making way.
#It doesn't mention any audible signaling by the Silver Yang once they had detected the danger
- 5 blasts within the last 2.5 minutes might have woken Jessica up and let her avoid the collision.
#The Silver Yang made no effort to render assistance, stop, or make contact with the yacht it had just been in collision with.
Quote "At 0150½ on 9 September 2009, in a position about 15 miles1 to the east of Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island, Queensland
, the Australian registered single-handed yacht Ella’s Pink Lady collided with the Hong Kong
registered bulk carrier Silver Yang."
Quote "At the time of the collision, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper had the radius of the inner and outer guard rings set at 2 miles and 4 miles respectively, but the alarms did not activate before the collision. It was the skipper‟s routine to set the guard ring alarms to operate only when she was sleeping. She stated that this was probably because the alarms sometimes activated when a ghost echo crossed the guard ring, causing her unnecessary distraction. As a result, the guard rings were not set for activation in the period leading up to the collision. When the skipper set them prior to taking the catnap, Silver Yang was only about 1 mile away; a position that was already inside both guard rings. As a result, the alarms never activated and the skipper was not alerted to the ship‟s presence."
Quote "The investigation found that, following the collision, the ship's watch keeper did not initiate contact or offer any form of assistance to the yacht‟s crew and that, when contacted by the yacht's skipper via VHF
radio, he could not be clearly understood. "
Quote "Silver Yang‟s second mate and a seaman were on duty on the ship‟s bridge, but they did not see Ella’s Pink Lady until 2½ minutes before the collision. At first, they thought the light was a fishing
vessel. However, it did not appear to be moving so they concluded that it was a buoy."
Quote "At 0148, Silver Yang‟s second mate observed a single
green light about 45° on the port bow. He estimated that it was at a range of about 3 to 5 miles. At first, he thought that the light may have been a small fishing vessel, but it didn‟t appear to be moving. At 0148½, he altered the ship‟s heading by a few degrees to starboard, to give more passing room to what he and the lookout now thought might be a buoy. Silver Yang‟s second mate and lookout continued to observe the light, which remained at a constant bearing. The two men
concluded that the light was stationary, but when the ship got closer to it, they thought that it started moving quickly towards their ship. At 0149½, the lookout took the helm
Quote "Immediately following the collision, Silver Yang‟s second mate ordered port helm
and the lookout eased the helm to midships. The second mate could now see that the vessel his ship had just collided with was a yacht and that it was damaged. The impact of the collision pushed Ella’s Pink Lady‟s bow to port and the yacht‟s starboard side scraped along the port side of the ship. The collision woke the skipper and she climbed out of the cabin
, grabbed the tiller and tried to steer the yacht. She looked upwards and thought that the yacht‟s rigging
would probably become entangled with the ship and dismast her vessel, so she returned to the cabin
. A few seconds later, the mast
came crashing down. "
Quote "About 20 minutes after the collision, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper called Silver Yang on very high frequency (VHF) radio channel 16. The second mate eventually replied, and was able to ascertain that the yacht‟s skipper was safe, but he did not offer her any form of assistance."
Quote "At 0205¾, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper made a VHF radio call, „Ship on the horizon, ship on the horizon, ship on the horizon, this is sailing vessel Pink Lady, Pink Lady, Pink Lady, on one six, over‟. She received no reply. At 0209½, she made a second similar broadcast, but again received no reply. She then checked the yacht‟s AIS
unit to see if she could determine the name of the ship that her yacht had collided with.
At 0210½, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper made another VHF radio call, „Silver Yang, Silver Yang, Silver Yang, this is sailing vessel Pink Lady, Pink Lady, Pink Lady, on one six, over‟. She received no reply, so 30 seconds later, she repeated the broadcast. On this occasion, Silver Yang‟s second mate replied."
Quote "It was difficult for Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper to understand Silver Yang‟s Chinese second mate‟s poor spoken English
. However, over a series of short conversations, spread out over a 5 minute period, the ship‟s second mate was able to ascertain that the yacht was damaged, it had been dismasted and that its crew was safe. During the discussions, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper asked Silver Yang‟s second mate to provide his ship‟s identification number but it was not provided. At 0216½, Silver Yang‟s second mate telephoned the ship‟s master and informed him that there had been a collision. About 1 minute later, the master arrived on the
bridge. He queried the second mate and the lookout as to what had happened and what they had done to avoid the collision. He also asked them, on a number of occasions, the condition of the yacht‟s crew. On each occasion, the second mate confirmed that the yacht‟s crew was safe. The master questioned why the second mate had not taken appropriate action to avoid the yacht; why he did not stop the ship after colliding with the yacht; and why he waited so long before telephoning the master. The second mate offered no answers to the master‟s questions. Silver Yang continued on its voyage. Meanwhile, Ella’s Pink Lady‟s skipper cut the
headsail free and secured the mainsail
, mast and rigging
on board the yacht. She then set a course for Southport."
Quote "The audio component of Silver Yang‟s voyage data recorder (VDR) data indicates that the second mate and lookout remained in the one location in the wheelhouse during the 30 minutes leading up to the collision. During that period of time, they were engaged in a conversation unrelated to their duties that continued without interruption. It is likely that the two men
were engrossed in their conversation and that they were not as attentive to their lookout duties as they should have been.
They did not see the yacht until it was 0.6 miles away, only 2½ minutes before the collision. Ella’s Pink Lady‟s sidelights were visible at a range of at least 1 mile, consistent with statutory requirements. However, in practice, these types of lights are often detectable at greater ranges. At the time of the collision, the sky was well lit by a half moon, visibility was good and the seas were slight. In these excellent conditions, the yacht was probably visible to the watch keepers on board Silver Yang at a range of at least 3 miles. This may explain why, when the second mate first saw the yacht, he assumed that it was 3 to 5 miles away. However, it was only
0.6 miles away. The second mate did not use binoculars to check for any other lights, to confirm the type of vessel that he had detected or its aspect. Furthermore, he did not check the radar
or the automatic information system (AIS) unit to ascertain its range. He simply assumed that it was at a range of about 3 to 5 miles."
Quote "the VDR data shows that the yacht was detected by the ship‟s AIS unit at least 38 minutes before the collision."
Quote "However, the second mate did not detect the yacht until he saw it visually 2½ minutes before the collision. This indicates that during the period of time leading up to the collision (at least 38 minutes), he either did not check the AIS unit display or did not comprehend the information it was displaying"
She was tired (hadn't slept in 17 hours), was sea sick and running solo. She didn't see the Silver Yang, and it was inside her guard rings when she set them before taking a cat nap.
The Silver Yang had a second mate and a helmsman on watch, they didn't see her until 2 and a half minutes before impact. Regardless of their actions prior to the collision, they then failed in what I would consider to be basic seamanship in their handling of the event after the collision.
Quote "“This is a timely reminder that, under United Nations‟ conventions, ship operators have an obligation to offer assistance immediately to other vessels following a collision,” Mr Dolan said.
As a result of the ATSB investigation, the following key safety
actions were taken:
Ella’s Pink Lady‟s radar visibility was enhanced before its departure from Sydney
The international requirement to render assistance following a collision has been highlighted.
Attention was drawn to the possible limits in the detectability of Class B AIS transmissions.
Silver Yang‟s operators intend to undertake further training of deck officers."
But don't let facts get in the way of a good story