Report on the investigation of the collision between Paula C and Darya Gayatri, in the south-west lane of the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme, England on 11 December 2013.
The investigation found that, when deciding the bridge manning, Paula C’s master had not taken into account the inexperience of the newly qualified second officer, the busy shipping area or the requirement for the second officer to have a lookout. Unsupported and without experience to draw upon, the second officer quickly became overloaded.
Paula C’s recently qualified officer of the watch did not effectively use radar ARPA or AIS data available to maintain a proper lookout. As a result, after taking action to avoid the fishing vessel, the second officer lost his situational awareness.
Paula C’s officer of the watch was inexperienced and had not yet developed sufficient competency to keep a safe navigational watch alone and at night in the Dover Strait.
The intervention on the radio by Dover Coastguard was timely and well-intended. However, Paula C’s officer of the watch was almost certainly inadvertedly influenced by the call into turning towards Darya Gayatri.
Despite it being dark, an additional lookout was not posted on board Paula C.
Paula C’s master’s decision to allow an inexperienced officer to keep the bridge watch alone in the Dover Strait at night was ill-judged.
Actions have taken as a result of this accident by Carisbrooke Shipping, Merchant Navy Training Board and Anglo Eastern Ship Management.