Contact made by general cargo vessel Fast Filip with berthed tanker

Location: Immingham Oil Terminal, England.

Completed PE Summary: Fast Filip

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel name Fast Filip
Manager Fast Baltic Sp z o o
Ship Owner Fast-Herco Investments Ltd
Port of Registry Port Vila
Flag Vanuatu
Classification Society Polish Register
Type General cargo
Built 1980
Construction Steel
Length Overall 85.81m
Gross Tonnage 1740
Date/Time 07/062008, 0003 (UTC + 1)
Location of Incident Immingham Oil Terminal
Incident Type Contact
Persons Onboard 6
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Damage to plating at port quarter/None


Fast Filip was on passage from Goole to Immingham Dock in ballast. The master and pilot discussed the passage plan, including the departure from Goole, the river passage, and the approach to Immingham Dock. The passage would start at the end of the flood tide, and the tide would be ebbing off Immingham. The bridge was small, and the pilot took the port chair, from where he could see a radar and had control of the steering and bow-thruster, while the master sat in the starboard chair, from where he could also see a radar, and had control of the main engine.

The ship left Goole, and the passage passed without incident. On passing Humber Bridge, shortly before 2300, the master was relieved by the chief mate, and went to his cabin to complete paperwork for arrival in Immingham. Half-an-hour later, the master returned to the bridge, and resumed his role as OOW. Shortly afterwards, the pilot was informed by VHF radio that a ferry inbound to the Immingham outer harbour was approaching from sea, with a similar ETA off Immingham. The pilot contacted the inbound ferry, and the ferry master agreed that the ships should pass “green to green”, with the ferry then proceeding ahead of Fast Filip. The pilot explained his intentions to Fast Filip’s master, ordered a reduction in speed and altered course towards the port side of the channel.

Once the ferry was abeam to starboard, the pilot put the helm hard-to-starboard, and asked for full ahead on the main engine. As the vessel began to turn, the ebb tide set her towards a tanker berthed at Immingham Oil Terminal. At 0003, the port quarter of Fast Filip made contact with the bulbous bow of the tanker, holing her fore peak ballast tank. Fast Filip sustained damage to her port quarter, but remained watertight.

The ebb tide pinned Fast Filip against the bow of the tanker until she had built up sufficient speed to move clear. She then proceeded into Immingham Dock without further incident.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to ABP Humber Estuary Services raising his concerns at the pilot’s lack of planning for the turn, his apparent lack of awareness of space, stream and speed when executing the turn, and the adverse effect that his decision to steer the vessel himself is likely to have had in this regard.

He has also written to Fast Baltic Sp z o o to highlight the following safety issues:

  • The need for a helmsman to be employed so that master and pilot can effectively perform their duties concerning navigation and position monitoring

  • The need for the master to be proactive in discussing any changes to the passage plan.

Published: July 2008

Published 23 January 2015