Collision between general cargo vessel Walzberg and potter Corona

Location: Near the Little Minch off west coast Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Walzberg/Corona

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel Name   Corona
Registered Owner & Manager:   Mr M Campbell
Port of registry:   Kirkwall
Flag:   UK
Type:   Fish Catching/Processing
Built:   1971
Construction:   Wood
Gross tonnage:   8.36
Date & Time   18/07/06 07:42
Location of incident:   Details
Incident Type:   Scottish Coastal Waters 5743.7N 00647.9W
Persons onboard:   2 crew
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   Minor Damage/No Pollution
Vessel name   Walzberg
Registered Owner & Manager:   Reederei Erwin Strahlmann
Port of registry:   Emden
Flag:   Antigua & Barbuda
Type:   Dry/General cargo
Built:   1991
Classification society:   Germanischer Lloyd
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   88.3
Gross tonnage:   1961.00
Date & Time   18/07/06 07:42
Location of incident:   Scottish Coastal waters
Persons onboard:   7 crew
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   None

Synopsis

Whilst navigating in an area of restricted visibility in the vicinity of the Little Minch off the west coast of Scotland, a collision occurred between the Antigua and Barbuda registered 1961 GT general cargo vessel Walzberg, and the fishing vessel Corona. After a last minute alteration of course by the Walzberg, the collision resulted in the port shoulder of Corona receiving a glancing blow from the starboard bow of the Walzberg. Corona sustained minor damage to the rubbing strake and shock damage to the forward deck area.

Corona was engaged in fishing, having just commenced hauling a fleet of prawn pots. Although the vessel’s navigation lights had been turned on, there was no proper lookout being maintained, no fog signal being sounded, and no radar reflector fitted.

Walzberg was transiting south, using the recommended route through the Minches. The master was the officer of the watch and a dedicated fog lookout was on the bridge. However, the fog signal was only sounded when the master deemed it necessary, and the radar display was not tuned properly. Furthermore the hydraulically elevated wheelhouse that was designed to be lowered to pass under river bridges had been left for some considerable time in the lowered position. This substantially increased the blind sector from the wheelhouse.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to:

The owners of the Walzberg recommending that they:

  • Review and amend the company’s safety management system to incorporate:

  • Operating procedures that address when the vessel should be operated with the wheelhouse in the raised or lowered position.

  • Procedures to ensure that watchkeeping officers are fully acquainted with bridge equipment prior to taking a watch. This should include training and familiarisation with new equipment.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency recommending they:

  • Amend the proposed Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels, to reflect the mandatory requirement to fit radar reflectors.

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