It takes two to tango - Disabled AIS Contributes to Fishing Boat Collision off Norway

I agree, 30 minutes is way too long without a lookout particularly near the coast when fishing boats are about. F/Vs often don’t follow the rules. The mate should be and almost certainly will be held accountable.

But I don’t think a reluctance to punish mariners for accidents is a significant problem.

I kept a watch forward because I didn’t want to hit someone, not because I was worried about the legal consequences.

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I’m with Ombugge on this one. When you run into something you have some accountability. There’s not enough information here to pass judgement.

To Kennebec’s point regarding a lookout, the crews have gotten smaller (in number) and work hours quickly evaporate in port. Three docks in two days, bunkers and stores, you’re toast. I’m not saying it justifies a lapsed lookout but…

IMO a lookout is an action, not a person.

Under the STCW Code, the OOW may, be the sole lookout in daylight provided that on each such occasion: …

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Maybe that Navigator was due to be replaced in next port and was behind on his paperwork due to whatever?
Not an excuse, but maybe an explanation.

Several years ago a U.S. flagged ship collided with a fishing boat killing some crew members on the boat. The mate on the ship watched as the F/V crossed in front of the ship and then, after the F/V had crossed, the mate turned to the chart table assuming the F/V would maintain course and speed. But the boat reversed course and there was a collision.

Fishing boats sometimes behave unpredictably. I tell the mates that if there are fishing boats about they need to be monitored practically continuously unless or until there is no possibility of a collision.


All I have to say is crap like this is why I bought an AIS for my personal boat. If you aren’t showing up on the screen, too often you do not exist.

  • kind of philosophical, if a boat has no AIS, is it actually there…

This does not suggest the OOW is no longer on lookout at night.

Way back more years than I want to remember I joined a tanker in Singapore after travelling for more than 36 hours from a country other than my own. I joined as second mate replacing a guy who had a nervous breakdown who had left before I joined. My immediate task was planning the impending voyage then mercifully for those around me getting a shower after a number of hours on an unconditioned bridge.
The master had a cadet posted as a lookout for every afternoon while I corrected the worldwide outfit of charts as we sailed on a transpacific voyage. I don’t think we saw another ship once clear of Singapore but that was before satellite navigation.
The ability to provide that sort of cover is not available to mariners today.

Legally competent and actually competent are 2 different things. We all know licenced masters that shouldn’t be captains. My only information is from the report.

That’s why I’m providing my thoughts and bringing it to discussion on the forum.

That is fine, but you can do so without stating that somebody (everybody?) else are Idiots, and/or a Knucklehead.

Whether you are a mate on watch or an experienced Pilot, you can not deprioritize the safe navigation of the vessel in favor of seemingly more pressing tasks. Period.

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Agree, that is how it SHOULD be, but unfortunately it is not always HOW it is.
That is not an excuse, it is an observation and a reality in many hard pressed trades.

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