On 11 May 2015, the Bahamas registered passenger vessel Hamburg grounded on charted rocks near the New Rocks buoy in the Sound of Mull, Scotland with 461 persons on board.
There were no injuries but the accident caused considerable raking damage to the hull and rendered the port propeller, shaft and rudder unserviceable. The visit to Tobermory was ultimately abandoned and the vessel was taken back out to the open sea with unknown damage to its structure, before diverting to Belfast where a dive survey revealed the extent of the damage. The vessel was withdrawn from service for 3 months for repairs.
Hamburg’s bridge team failed to apply Bridge Team Management tools effectively, either before or after the grounding, despite the requirements of the Safety Management System and the master and navigator having received Bridge Resource Management training. Specifically:
The individuals on the bridge were working in isolation, with no recognition of their individual responsibilities and therefore unable to provide the master with the assistance he required to maintain his situational awareness.
No actions or decisions taken at any stage on Hamburg’s bridge, before or following the grounding, were questioned by any member of the bridge team.
As a result of poor communication, the bridge team were unable to respond effectively to the challenges resulting from the developing traffic situation in their approach to the New Rocks shoal.
The decision to sail for Belfast without first developing a plan with the vessel’s senior officers, technical managers and the relevant authorities ashore was inappropriate and incurred additional unnecessary risks.
In view of the actions already taken, no recommendations have been made.