Another severe allision - Container ship YM Witness in Turkey

KC,
It would appear that she slowed down and made a significant course alteration just south of the Prince Islands so I assume that this is where the Pilot boarded and that was Sal’s feeling also. That PBG is approximately 48nm west of the Korfez berth so the Pilot had plenty of time on the bridge prior to the berthing.
At 9.5 knots and two ship lengths off the berth, even if the tugs were able to make fast, there would be little that they could do to change the outcome. At that speed, they would consume a significant percentage of their available power just getting out on a line or squaring up against the hull. I struggle to get my head around the indicated approach speeds….it is outrageous.

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Yes, I caught that assumption.

In my experience there are ports where risk is well managed and those where it’s not.

It’s not uncommon in high-risk ports the pilot boards at the breakwater or sometimes even inside.

Don’t know what the practice was here, could have been relativity closer in than assumed.

EDIT: Does seem more likely the pilot got on where assumed. - Trade Winds: “The boxship was under the supervision of a pilot at the time, the agency added.”

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I would go out on a limb here in stating that, clearly, the latter applies in this case.

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Yeah, I let a loaded tanker go ahead of me one time going for one of the Western Boarding Ground pilot stations in Singapore because they were going too fast.

When the pilot got aboard I asked about it. He told me in some cases if tankers came in too fast to get under control the pilots wouldn’t even board.

As I said previously,
I know what the issue was but it would only pour fuel onto the fire if I repeated them here.
So this knowledge will have to remain with myself and the ships officers.
Sorry

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Just watched the Sal video.
He did at least answer some of my questions.
So they did drop the starboard anchor and later the port one. He also confirmed my suspicion that the bow thruster was not operating and the shoulder tug was not made fast. I am not convinced that the wash he indicated was from the main engine as the wash would not have travelled that far forward at that speed, I had thought that the wash he indicated was from the forward tug that had recently parted it’s line but could well be mistaken.
Does make me suspect a blackout although that does not explain the excessive speed of approach.
With the introduction of Ultra Large Container Ships there was also a change in the economics of container shipping. Fuel prices had skyrocketed so there was more emphasis on economy rather than pure speed. An example I like to quote is the difference between the first 400m ULCS and the next generation approx 10 years later. The E class Maersk was 400m (sorry can’t remember the beam) and 14m draft and packed a single 109,000 shp main engine. The next generation Triple E class was also 400 and beam ,I think 59m ( quite a bit more than The E class) with max draft of 16m , altogether some 235,000t displacement but was equipped with 2 main engines of 40,000 shp each, so you have lost almost 30,000 shp with a much heavier ship.
Container Ships prior to the E Class would pull up very efficiently even from around 10kts. With the modern container ship you would not have a chance in hell of pulling them up in that small distance. I wonder if the port involved was used to handling the older types of container ships. It was quite a different mindset when the Triple E s and their likes came along. I can still distinctly remember my first simulation on The Triple E wondering what on earth I was doing wrong as I had to use full astern on both to get the speed off for the swing. It took a whole new mindset and you had to treat these ships like heavily loaded tankers with regards to speed control on the approach.

One thing Sal did get wrong is that it is not normal for a crane operator to be in the cab during a docking. In fact expressly forbidden in our SOP

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You were right about the pilot - Trade Winds reports the vessel was under the supervision of a pilot at the time. I was thinking maybe the pilot was coming out on one of the tugs.

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For Izmit , pilot is boarding before the bridge, at Darica Pilot Station , about 2 hours before berthing .I’ve been there many times , similar vessel, but in all cases approach speed was max 3 knts.

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520,
Welcome and thanks for your clarification. I am interested to know who set the maximum approach speed. Master? Pilot? Or Port Authority under an SOP?

Also expressly forbidden in our SOP.

Pilot is taking the CON , but if I’m not comfortable with , I ‘m working with him , helping , so he can understand how the ship is acting. Very big difference from 300m to 360m , 300m VLCC can be stopped from 4 knots ahead , in 1 ship’s length with Half Astern , disregard the draft .Anyway , on modern vessel with electronic engines , you can use only Half astern or Crash astern if …

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This does not get enough discussion in my opinion. I have not spoken to a pilot who is happy with the current trend in container ship design of bigger sail area, blockier hull form, WAY less power. Huge block coefficient mega ships with high efficiency power plants, high efficiency propellers, and very limited backing ability are not a recipe for long term success.

If they are going to build ever bigger in scale, with no concern for actual safety or how a vessel that size handles, then they need to come to terms that it will take decidedly more power for the vessels and more focused training for the pilots and those that wish to work on them.

There is no way a tug can make fast to a ship doing 10 knots in my experience. One wonders if there was a problem bringing extra generators on line for the bow thrusters and this distracted the command from situation awareness until it was too late. That the anchors were let go would indicate that the bridge team had given the order early on as it is doubtful that the forecastle party would have stayed on when container cranes were falling about. Me I would have beat the feet.

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It is what it is . Cannot change much now . Bridge team , including Pilot, must be aware of all limitations , their duty .I dont see any smoke from engine , water around has no signs of engine running, to many shackles in the water , should drop 2-3 and brake on , difficult to say what is going on. Even so , they should have a point of no return marked on ECDIS , which is a safe spot where you can turn around , at any given normal speed . And as Master, more than ever before , have to take decision even if it’s against schedule/ charter and comp. If you feel is not wright , abort , try later . Same happened to EverGreen , wind from behind , tide from behind, max maneuvering speed 12 Knots( not to much power for ME) resulting in steering close to zero , in that particular case ,it was better if on board Master canceled the transit , North Bound . But till is not happening , in this industry , nobody will change anything .

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Appreciate the professional comments here. As a lowly AB who spent considerable time at mooring stations during tie up, I trust the deck crew had been called back inside. Nobody in their right mind would have kept them at the mooring stations. I would have hightailed it out of there and said a lot of Hail Mary’s. Apparently no crew were injured so it seems something was done right.

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Further thoughts maybe from KP Chief and other engineers. I don’t think the engine would start astern at the speed she was doing. If there had been a total loss of generating power when was the last time the engine was tested in local control?

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As now, All crew safe , no engine issue , big problem. Wendy -welcome to Bahamas have a nice holiday?

Hogsnort,
I look forward to the incident report. No doubt there will be the usual level of CMA although some good must come out of it.
I am utterly gobsmacked as to how a bridge team can accept those approach speeds. There must be some other reason.

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My understanding is that an emergency crash astern bell will use up all the start air so if the engine doesn’t start in reverse because the ship’s speed is too fast the next attempt will have to wait till the start air gets pumped back up. Meanwhile, no engine.

This was a charterers requirement for us. The point of no return is going to have to be at a position still leaving sufficient room to make a round turn.

Having the positions where speed is reduced marked on the voyage plan is also a good idea.

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Effectively a stabilized final approach like the airlines use with speed and configuration parameters through to landing might help avoid such in the future.

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