MOL is coming clean on the Wakashio grounding:

MOL is coming clean on the Wakashio grounding:

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Wow, they fessed up.

Japan’s largest shipping line also warned in the unveiling of new safety measures that from now on it would become far more involved in the selection of all senior crew on ships it charters.

Interesting that a company that has a “checklist of about 500 items” for chartering a ship never thought to include competent crew on that list before now.

(Might be cheaper to just provide crew wifi/phone service…)


I suspect that deviations seeking cell signal is a very common practice on smaller vessels.

I’m sure it is, but that was not a small vessel.

It is in the iron ore trade from Brazil to China.

Yes, it’s a huge vessel. But as a Jones Act small boat sailor, I’m not in a position to knowledgeably comment about cell, or should I say “mobile”, phone signal seeking behavior on large ships, particularly large foreign flag ships.

I can say that with slow, high cost, poor quality, satellite service, if any, small Jones Act sailors do deviate from customary routes and anchorages to seek cell service.

While I do not know of an incidents caused by such cell signal seeking behavior, I’m assume that some incidents have happened. I’m sure that this has resulted in many near misses. I’m sure that it will result in future incidents.

There are many good safety and commercial economic reasons for owners to provide high quality, low cost, fast satellite service to their vessels and crews. Avoiding incidents such as what happened with the MOL ship - is one of those reasons.

Nagashiki Shipping said on Friday the grounding of one of its large bulk carriers that caused an ecological disaster in Mauritius was due to a lack of safety awareness and a failure to follow rules as it pledged better training and oversight.

MOL pledges better training and oversight. Have there been a high-profile incidents in the U.S where the company said anything like that? TOTE? The owners of the dive boat?

Cruising along with the ECDIS zoomed way out, not looking at radar, not looking out the window, apparently disinterested in the upcoming landfall… these are all signs of a watch standing officer who truly doesn’t give a fuck. Nothing really helps against that, not even a carefully validated passage plan with the XTE limits in bold type.


A couple of year ago there was a similar accident not far from Mauritius.
OK difference in scale, since that was a racing yacht, but similar in the sense that the ECDIS was zoomed out and nobody paying attention to all the signs available that they were heading towards a reef. (especially on a small boat under sail)

As the ship was in ballast with low draft running up on a reef, they could probably have gotten off by filling no. 9 hold with water (using fire/deck lines and hoses) trimming on stern lifting the bow off the reef and then full astern backing off. If it didn’t work, the fuel could have been transferred to a forward hold. I always wondered why the ship suddenly split just fwd of the ER bulkhead. Bad design/welding/workmanship? Or insurance fraud? Using a stupid crew? I have seen it before.

I sort of see your point. Bad practice to rely on the ECDIS alone. But there had to be some basis for the bridge crew’s belief that the ship was in safe water.