Close-quarters situation between liquid petroleum gas tanker Sigas Centurion and container vessel Jeppesen Maersk

Location: MPC Buoy in the Dover Straits off the south east coast of England.

Completed PE Summary: Sigas Centurion/ Jappesen Maersk

Registered Owner & Manager:   Eitzen Group
Port of registry:   Singapore
Flag:   Singapore
Type:   LPG Tanker
Built:   1984
Classification society:   Lloyds Register
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   81.11m
Gross tonnage:   2,169
Date & Time   14 February 2007 0420 UTC
Location of incident:   Dover Strait TSS - MPC Buoy
Incident Type:   Hazardous Incident (close quarters)
Persons onboard:   14
Injuries/ fatalities:   Nil
Damage/ Pollution:   Nil
Registered Owner & Manager:   Moller AP
Port of registry:   Kolding
Flag:   Denmark
Type:   Container Ship
Built:   2001
Classification society:   Lloyds Register
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   216.3m
Gross tonnage:   30,166
Date & Time   14 February 2007
Location of incident:   Dover Strait TSS - MPC Buoy
Incident Type:   Hazardous Incident (close quarters)
Persons onboard:   14
Injuries/ fatalities:   Nil
Damage/ Pollution:   Nil

Synopsis

At 0420 UTC in the Dover Strait TSS near the MPC Buoy the NE bound LPG Tanker Sigas Centurion and the SW bound container ship Jeppesen Maersk were involved in a near collision.

When Sigas Centurion altered course to cross the SW bound lane she was on a collision course with Jeppesen Maersk. Sigas Centurion only became aware of a developing situation when CNIS called to advise of the danger. The collision was avoided by both vessels taking last minute action

The weather at the time was fair with good visibility.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to :-

The owners of the LPG tanker strongly advising that they should take appropriate action to strengthen bridge team procedures to, as far as possible, ensure that:

  • In areas where high traffic density may be reasonably be expected the presence of the master on the bridge should be standard procedure.

  • Bridge teams understand the dangers of using VHF to decide actions in a collision situation.

  • Company and master’s standing orders include guidance on minimum C.P.A’s that should be stringently adhered to;

  • Internal root cause investigations into this type incident should be conducted by the Company to ensure the underlying lessons are learnt from an incident like this one.

The owner of the container vessel to advise him of the issues arising from the incident and to praise the actions of their vessel’s bridge team in avoiding a collision.


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