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Old 14-06-2010, 20:24   #1
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'Ella's Pink Lady' Collision Report Is Out

You can download the PDF here:

268-MO-2009-008



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Old 14-06-2010, 21:11   #2
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Too bad we won't have an impartial report like this for the loss of Wild Eyes.

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Old 14-06-2010, 21:28   #3
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Interesting/frustrating:

1 - It doesn't mention any audible signaling by the Silver Yang once they had detected the danger and initiated evasive action. 5 blasts within the last 2.5 minutes might have woken Jessica up and let her avoid the collision ?

2 - It doesn't mention how they determined that Ella's Pink Lady was indeed under sail at the time (how Jessica got the sail down past the break in the mast). I was led to believe that they somehow knew it.

3 - The part about Class A AIS units not detecting Class B transponders is worrisome. There has been endless debate about whether a Class A can turn off Class receipt and the consensus has been "no", so was it just because the data had not been properly entered ?

4 - The shortcomings of the on-watch personnel on the Silver Yang are stunning (maybe not so surprising after the BP disaster).

5 - I think this report is a safety report and is not intended to pass legal judgment, so who makes the legal determination or is there none unless the parties sue each other ? IOW, is there no legal determination of fault unless there is a lawsuit despite the severity ?



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Old 15-06-2010, 01:39   #4
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The report said that Silver Yang's AIS unit picked up Pink Lady's Class-B transponder, indicating position, course, and speed -- which is all you need for collision warnings. Their Class-A *didn't* pick up Pink Lady's "static" information: vessel name, callsign, etc. This could be because the Class-A was an older unit, installed before the Class-B definitions were completed, or perhaps Pink Lady's transmissions were marginal and the only-occasionally sent static messages wern't received. Even with well-installed gear it can take a long time for the static info to show up.

Bottom line: the Class-B AIS worked well enough to have prevented the collision, had anyone been paying attention.
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Old 15-06-2010, 02:23   #5
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In a recent thread here I'd advised radar range alarm (with or without AIS) as the only excuse for going below for more than ten minutes when not maintaining a watch.
Lets not blame the Yang for failing to do what the Ying should have been doing too but wasn't. Harsh, but the both were at fault here, just one was 16 and female and alone, the other was a commercial well manned and equipped vessel.
The seas are becoming motorways with some fast non-manoeuvrable ships struggling to avoid every hedgehog that wanders into it's path.
It's a risk! Sailing. Sailing Solo increases the risk.
Certainly the commercial vessel should face some action in regard to it's poor watch keeping but which government will be responsible for that? And where will their sympathies lie.
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Old 15-06-2010, 03:26   #6
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In my opinion after reading the report….Two inexperienced watch keepers, both distracted and unaware of the proper checks needed to keep an effective lookout…. by using:

  • Properly tuned radars)
  • Binoculars to enhance night vision)
  • The discipline borne of experience to check and double check their equipment and the horizon before taking their eyes off the ball. (Whether in conversation or catnaps)

  1. A Green 2nd mate with 6 months experience, who used scanty information to decide on a target.
  2. A pleasure boater, probably very tired but hyped up on the rush of the beginning of a great adventure, that failed to remind herself that this coastal area is a pinch point for traffic large and small who looked…(but did not see)… what was really out there.

Both are equally to blame and both probably have become much better watch keepers since that incident.

Good lesson to all of us
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Old 15-06-2010, 03:43   #7
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As I mentioned when this happened, to sail the east coast of Australia and expect freighters to see you is, almost impossible. Freighters don't keep watch!!!
I have had 2 near misses to prove it.
The fact they never offered assistance is very frightening indeed.
Thanks Sven for posting this.
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Old 15-06-2010, 08:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
The report said that Silver Yang's AIS unit picked up Pink Lady's Class-B transponder, indicating position, course, and speed -- which is all you need for collision warnings. Their Class-A *didn't* pick up Pink Lady's "static" information: vessel name, callsign, etc.
Ok, I should have phrased that better. The class A watch didn't see the class B, not only in the case of the bulk carrier but also in the 4 or 5 non-controlled tests they did. The receivers may have picked up the signal, but for some reason it is not seen by the class A operators.



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Old 15-06-2010, 20:51   #9
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
Interesting/frustrating:


2 - It doesn't mention how they determined that Ella's Pink Lady was indeed under sail at the time (how Jessica got the sail down past the break in the mast). I was led to believe that they somehow knew it.


-Sven
Hi Sven,

looking at photos of Jess motoring in after the collision I believe the sail was still attached "above" the break in the mast. This photo shows it.

http://sailboats.files.wordpress.com...atson-boat.jpg

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Old 15-06-2010, 22:10   #10
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Originally Posted by Coot's Away View Post
Hi Sven,

looking at photos of Jess motoring in after the collision I believe the sail was still attached "above" the break in the mast. This photo shows it.
Hi Coot's Away,

The sail attached above the break in the mast is the inner foresail. I believe Sven was referring to her mainsail.

It was clearly established from evidence on and off the boat that Jessica was under sail at the time of the collision. I assume the actual evidence was not specifically mentioned in the final report as the report's role is to summarise the relevant facts (having established them), and only go into more detail if there is significant relevance to the safety outcome.
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Old 15-06-2010, 22:30   #11
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I agree with Pelagic. Both sides share blame. This is almost always the case with collisions.
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:36   #12
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On the whole it seems like a reasonable and fair report. From a safety aspect (the focus of the report) there is no need to establish whether EPL was sailing or motoring - it has no bearing on the conclusions or recommendations. It would only come into play in a legal battle between the two players for damage claims.
It seems too they are a little too willing to write off JW not seeing a farking great panamax a mile off her stbd bow as "inattentiveness blindness." They don't extend that courtesy to the 2nd mate of SY - who saw the light and thought it was a buoy, which explains his slight alteration to stbd to "give it more room" - IMO the stbd running light is the hardest light to see and certainly with a half-moon on a clear night, it might not have been readily seen. I'm not excusing him - the 2nd mate was clearly incompetent.
I would have liked to see an explanation for the EPL's sudden course change to port immediately preceding the collision.
Certainly instructive - you can't trust the other guy to keep a good watch - the onus is on you. Should make the soloists rethink going it alone (but I doubt it will).
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Old 16-06-2010, 02:54   #13
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No effort to assist?

Quote:
The investigation also 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.
The above is the most worrying to me. Am I to understand that following the collision the Silver Yang made no effort to render assistance?
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Old 16-06-2010, 05:54   #14
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Quote:
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The above is the most worrying to me. Am I to understand that following the collision the Silver Yang made no effort to render assistance?
If you think that is worrisome, how about this little nugget:

Quote:

Since 1990, there have been 38 collisions or near misses involving ships and small vessels that have been investigated by the ATSB or its predecessor, the Marine Incident Investigation Unit.

During this time, a number of safety investigation reports covering ship/small vessel collisions have been published. In an effort to further highlight the ongoing dangers and similar contributing factors in these incidents, the ATSB has also published a number of safety bulletins
.
An analysis of these collisions shows that on 20 occasions (53 per cent of the time) the ship involved in the collision did not offer assistance to the crew on board the smaller vessel. On 22 occasions, the crew of the smaller vessel attempted to make contact with the ship, generally via VHF Channel 16, and on 15 occasions, the ship
s crew did not respond to the calls.
That's scary.
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Old 16-06-2010, 06:28   #15
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That's scary.

Its not scary - its reality. Small boat must get the hell out of the way because big ships don't give a stuff, even if the do see you.

I really mean it. We have totally changed our methods with ships. We often run inside shipping lanes, either in the center of the 2 lanes, or on one side but still in the lane. So we deal with ships a lot. Unless you have AIS you ain't got a chance - we always give way.

We give way especially in 2 occurrences:
1) They don't know sailing rules over motor so we give way to ships.
2) They don't apply the rules of motor vessels so we give way.

Once that is ingrained into us then it becomes much easier. When we are the stand on vessel we wait for them to move. If they don't we get the hell otta their way because we are going to be the ones that die. Not them.

So read Colregs and say after me: We wanna live so we always give way

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