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Old 02-02-2011, 15:53   #31
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Ralph,

Actually there was a big-time inquest into the incident, and the report (which is available on line, but I don't have the link now) apportioned blame on both sides. The watch officer on the ship was severely criticized for his actions as well as Jessica. Neither one came away looking very good. Makes very interesting reading!!
Thanks, I stand corrected - "two wrongs don't make a right" kind of thing I suppose.

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Old 02-02-2011, 16:14   #32
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I can't imagine Kuwaiti officials would be too worried about an oil tanker running over a recreational vessel or two. Unless one of their royalty was a sailor.
Remember, De bigger da boat, da righter de way!
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Old 02-02-2011, 16:41   #33
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Is this the one you're referring to?

There was a family of four apporching OZ from the north in the late '90's which was struck by a hit and run frieghter, while everyone was below for supper.

The women watched in horror as her husband and children drowned as she clung to a piece of flotsam. She was found days later sitting on a beach distraught with grief.

Weeks later a Korean flagged frieghter was found with paint scrapings , matching the hull of the sailboat, on its bow,.and the skipper and crew were charged.
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Old 02-02-2011, 17:37   #34
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When it comes to ships and you. Any time you have to look up to see that ship's superstructure, you are way too close. If you have to turn your head in order to see one end of that ship to the other, are way too close.
For vessels less than 20 meters (65ft 7in) you should be at least a half mile away to the side in close quarters. And remember your draft of less then 10 ft will put you well into waters that a ship drawing 35 to 52 ft cannot go. And being in such waters is much safer for you.
If you don't have the option of safer waters then stay at least two miles to the side and NEVER NEVER CROSS HIS BOW. And watch him at all times...
A ship cannot stop on a dime, it takes up to two or more miles.
A ship has very poor maneuverbility at slow speeds and close quarters.
A ship has blind spots: One is the bow where they can't see anything that is less then one to one an a half mile dead ahead.
A ship out masses you by more then several thousand tons.
A ship's skin is thicker steel then your vessel's skin and your vessel will not even dent it but your vessel will be squashed.
Any Questions?

I'm a Sail Boat and have the right of is not a safe way of thinking.

ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST!! Or your heirs will inherit.
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Old 02-02-2011, 18:05   #35
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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 and motor 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.
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Old 02-02-2011, 18:24   #36
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We had a near miss on Lake Erie many years ago on a Roberts Race. This requiered an evening start to the North and transit of the freighter lanes. We watched two white lights for several hours and thought they were the mast lights of the big guys who started behind us. Turned out to be an ocean freighter with no bow or stern lights, no deck lights, no bridge lights and clearly on auto pilot with no watch. When we finally picked the big black hull out of the inky dark there was not much time to make decisions. We were running with a kite and passed about 50 yards ahead. The boat directly behind did a 360 with the kite as did the next 12 boats. there were 300 yachts on the water that night, most with radar reflectors. If the guy had any bridge watch he would have seen a wall of marks. The ship was running blind on auto. This was absolutely in violation of Great lakes rules. Closest I've ever come to the big bang.
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Old 02-02-2011, 22:35   #37
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I was raised by the saying that if you are in a small boat and have to take evasive action from a large ship, someone's sleeping on duty..
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:23   #38
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When it comes to ships...look up to see that ship's superstructure...turn your head in order to see one end of that ship to the other...be at least a half mile away to the side...stay at least two miles to the side....NEVER NEVER CROSS HIS BOW
Apparently you've not sailed in busy areas....say the far east...for example. A few hundred feet is enough...it"s all you get.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:12   #39
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I have a lot of sympathy for big ships due to my historical perspective. But, even when they are in the wrong, as seems to be the case in Saucy's example, we are beset with two problem areas:

1. Flag State Control, and:

2. Effective enforcement.

If we want to take action against a ship, we can enforce against the Ship, its Master, Its Owner and possibly even the Pilot, and on some occassions, even against The Harbour Authority. But, only if it is a ship with a National Flag that comes from a Nation that takes such things seriously.

If it is (and I use these states only as an example) a Liberian registered vessel, with a Somaili Captain, Palastinian owners with a Company domiciled in Sierra Leone and so on, then any form of prosecution becomes academic only.

It is unfair, since only a US or UK, Dutch, German or whatever (again just examples) ship, will get prosecuted (assuming they don't have brilliant lawyers).

We can effect Port State Control over the ship, the next time it arrives, but, if the offence was serious enough to warrant the paperwork in the first place, by the time the ship returns, it probably belongs to someone else, with a different flag, new skipper, and so on.

So, we start off with a situation where Port Authorities have a devil of a job to prosecute in the first place; won't raise the game because of the enormous costs involved in foreign prosecutions; and will only prosecute if someone really forces them to so do. It is a better situation for the National Authorities such as Coastguard(s), but even they have a massive job to do it.

Now, imagine trying to prosecute a Chinese ship once it has left your waters, and if it is one of your Country's trading partners. Would such a prosecution be "politically expediant"

If you want an example, I would refer you to The VLCC "Salem" all 200,000 tons of her. If you can get hold of a copy of the book by Barabara Conway entitled "The Piracy Business" you will get an idea of just how hard it is to raise a successful prosecution in these circumstances. I would add, that since Barbara wrote the book, more information has come to light, incluing the fact that the VLCC though "Sunk" off The West African coast, did in fact later appear large as life sporting a Chinese flag.

The consequence of the legal nightmares, is that you or I who can be reasonably prosecuted, find it unfair, that the incompetant and sometimes downright dangerous "others" can get away with it. The very worst aspect of it, is that they don't care, because they know that no one is likely to do anything.

And so, it goes on...
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:03   #40
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If you want an example, I would refer you to The VLCC "Salem" all 200,000 tons of her. If you can get hold of a copy of the book by Barabara Conway entitled "The Piracy Business" you will get an idea of just how hard it is to raise a successful prosecution in these circumstances. I would add, that since Barbara wrote the book, more information has come to light, incluing the fact that the VLCC though "Sunk" off The West African coast, did in fact later appear large as life sporting a Chinese flag.

..
If anyone is interested, there is some information on the Salem here
The SALEM fraud - Pt2 The Liberian Investigation Report

Had a friend at the time who was Third Mate on the British Trident, who picked up the Salem crew, dressed in their Sunday best and bags packed.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:34   #41
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Cheers Nigel, Good old BP.

I love the bit:

"Based upon the crew list and our examination of the pertinent records, Chief Engineer Kalomiropoulos was the only officer of the SALEM who was properly licensed and qualified under Liberian law"

Just to put this in perspective for Saucy, this was a 231,000 ton ship with 193,000 tonnes of cargo.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:58   #42
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My perspective on this is, it is possible and even likely that the helmsman on this ship doesn't like those pesky rec boats in his work area. It is even possible that he deliberatly changed course to squeeze you out of his work area.

The practicle matter is commercial vessels have the "right of way" over rec vessels. What ever the causes, and even if the COLREGS don't support their actions. My advice KEEP CLEAR, even if it means returning to port, and never cut across the bow of another vessel that is either going faster than you, or bigger than you.

In Kuwait??? The captain could have been anybody, including from a nation or an extremist group with an axe to grind. I would keep well clear and be prepaired to take extreme avoidance actions.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:01   #43
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I think it would be a stretch to believe that the tanker deliberately altered course and increased speed purely to endanger some sailing vessels. I cannot speak for them, no one knows what interaction was taking place on the bridge at the time of the close quarters incident prior to the encounter. The standard of the industry is that there is a pilot aboard this vessel prior to leaving the berth, there will be a security call given by the ship's pilot, usually on VHF 13 & 16, or there may be a local channel they are using, however every where I have been in the world 13 & 16 are the chosen channels, also 12 & 14 can be used. I will assume that leaving the berth in Kuwait, that they are fully loaded, at that point they carry a tremendous amount of inertia and as stated in an earlier post once below 5 knots their steerage ability is questionable, they have to have the speed to maneuver, perhaps there is a prevailing current in the area required them to take up that heading. As stated earlier these vessels draw a lot of water some over 70' so the surrounding depths play a big part in how these vessels are operated, and they do require miles of space for their safe operation. I work regularly with ULCCs which range up to and over 300 meters, they carry over 1 million barrels of crude, and I have yet to observe any of them being operated in less than a professional fashion, regardless the flag.
I am not making excuses for the interaction you experienced with this tanker. Regardless of whom has the right of way, if they run over you, and you are in the right, you are just as dead as if you were in the wrong.
I give them a wide berth and never run in front of them if at all possible, even if they are 10 nm away.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:10   #44
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Apparently you've not sailed in busy areas....say the far east...for example. A few hundred feet is enough...it"s all you get.
Sailed the far East many times... luckily or unluckily, I was the watch officer on the Naval tanker. But the then you had the locals in their boats who want to cross your bow close, in order to transfer the demons trailing them to your vessel. See that several times. And a couple of them were passenger boats, most others were fishing boats trying to get rid of those bad luck demons. So many of the close calls that I've seen, were caused by supertitions and not poor seamanship.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:04   #45
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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 and motor 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 0150 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 2 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 0148, 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 0149, 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 0205, 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 0209, 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 0210, 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 0216, 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 2 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 2 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
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