At 2311 on 10 October 2017, The Netherlands registered general cargo vessel Ruyter ran aground on the north shore of Rathlin Island when the master, who was the watchkeeper left the bridge unattended. The bridge navigational watch alarm system, which could have alerted the chief officer to the fact that the bridge was unmanned, had been switched off. Consequently, no action was taken to correct a deviation from the ship’s planned track.
The master had been consuming alcohol prior to taking over the watch but the chief officer, who had previously warned the master against excessive consumption of alcohol, had been satisfied that the master was fit for watchkeeping duties.
when the sole watchkeeper left the bridge unattended and the bridge navigational watch alarm was turned off, there was no means to alert the chief officer to the fact that the bridge was unmanned
the consumption of alcohol prior to taking over the watch had an adverse effect on the master’s ability to maintain a safe navigational watch
although the chief officer had concerns about the master’s excessive alcohol consumption, he did not feel sufficiently empowered to raise the matter with the company
In view of the actions taken, no recommendations are made in this report.