MAIB Report on the investigation into the collision between the container vessel CMA CGM Florida and the bulk carrier Chou Shan in open water 140 miles east of Shanghai on 19 March 2013. At 0033 on 19 March 2013, CMA CGM Florida and Chou Shan collided in the East China Sea resulting in both vessels sustaining serious damage, and approximately 610 tonnes of heavy fuel oil being spilled from CMA CGM Florida. CMA CGM Florida had left Yang Shan, China, the previous day and was heading towards Pusan, Korea. Chou Shan was heading from Qinhuangdao, China, towards the east coast of Australia.
The key safety issues identified were:
VHF radio was inappropriately used by both vessels for collision avoidance to negotiate a manoeuvre that was contrary to the COLREGS.
VHF radio communications were conducted in Mandarin and were not fully translated into English to enable the OOW on one vessel to understand what had been tacitly agreed.
Standing orders on both vessels lacked specific metrics for when the master was to be called.
Use of AIS priority and the multiple AIS target list encouraged the OOW on one vessel to focus on those vessels with the smallest CPA or range at the expense of maintaining a more strategic overview of the traffic situation.