Grounding of general cargo vessel Midland 2

Location: Approaches to Plymouth, England.

Completed PE Summary: Midland 2

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Flag:   Russian
Type:   River class general 4 966gt cargo ship
Date & Time   10/08/06
Location of incident:   Plymouth
Incident Type:   Grounding
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   None

Synopsis

On the arrival of Midland 2, an ex-Russian river-class general 4, 966gt cargo ship, at Plymouth at about 2325, the pilot gave the master his passage plan but the master did not reciprocate with a pilot card. The master/ pilot exchange consisted mostly about the ship’s speed and the bow thruster. The ship was twin screw, around which were steerable nozzles, linked to one central rudder. As the ship made progress towards her berth at about 4.5 knots, she was set to starboard by the ebb tide, to such an extent that a larger turn had to be made into a narrow channel. The ship’s head did not turn fast enough, and, despite use of the two engines, the bow thruster and the pilot boat, she grounded. After being refloated, no damage was found to the ship’s hull.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the following:

Cattewater Harbour Commission’s harbour master to consider a review of the navigational light at Fisher’s Nose; moving the pilot boarding area to seaward, if a ship needs more time for the master/ pilot exchange; the process of pilot training and a review of the guidelines on the use of tug assistance.

Midland 2’s managers to ensure that their navigating officers prepare passage plans from berth to berth; a navigating officer is designated to monitor the ship’s position while a pilot is on board; the ship’s pilot card is given to a pilot; and tasks on checklists are actually carried out and not just signed off.

A Flyer has been produced for the benefit of the Port Marine Industry, which identifies the safety issues raised by this incident. Further to this, a recommendation has been made to the Port Marine Safety Code Steering Group to consider the safety issues identified in the Flyer when discussing best practice for master/ pilot information exchange, and pilot familiarization for ships with unusual propulsion and manoeuvring systems.


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