In the early hours of 3 December 2016, the bulk carrier Muros ran aground on Haisborough Sand, 8 miles off the Norfolk coast and the master’s attempts to manoeuvre the vessel clear were unsuccessful due to a falling tide. The vessel was re-floated 6 days later and was towed to Rotterdam for repair.
When Muros grounded, the vessel was following a passage plan shown on its electronic chart and display information system (ECDIS). The plan had recently been revised on the ECDIS by the officer of the watch (OOW) who then used the system to monitor the vessel’s position.
The revised passage plan was unsafe
The visual check of the revised route was not conducted on the ECDIS at an appropriate scale
The master directed the OOW to revise the route but he did not see or approve it
ECDIS safeguards were ignored, overlooked or disabled
The OOW’s performance was probably adversely affected by a low state of alertness
ECDIS use on board Muros was not as envisaged by regulators or equipment manufacturers
No recommendations have been made but MAIB has started a safety study to characterise and understand the way ECDIS is currently being used on board ships.