NTSB Report - Collision between Containerships Marcliff and U.S. Flag APL Guam

Executive Summary

​At 2327 local time on March 21, 2019, the containership Marcliff was outbound from the Port of Yokohama, Japan, when it collided with the containership APL Guam , which was inbound to an anchorage at the port. After the initial collision, the Marcliff then collided with the containership Hansa Steinburg , which was anchored nearby. No pollution or injuries were reported. Damages to the three vessels were estimated at $1,178,200.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between the containerships Marcliff and APL Guam was the Marcliff master’s attempt to pass between the APL Guam and the anchored Hansa Steinburg with insufficient safe maneuvering room. Contributing to the accident was a lack of communication between the Marcliff bridge team and the APL Guam pilot and bridge team to establish their maneuvering intentions.

Full report is here: Collision between Containerships Marcliff and APL Guam


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1 Like

Things that always worried me when I sailed master: The azzhole that would turn to PORT when turning to STBD was required. . . both on the ship I was on, or the other one!!

Happily retired now, just shaking my head in wonderment. . .

Seasmaster, happily retired Master as well. I can steer from my couch and second guess all day long with no repercussions… Good for you sir.

My favorite part of that report is the APL Guam Master’s “expression of bewilderment” at what was happening. That is the most churched up way of describing someone saying “what the fuck is this asshole doing?” into the VDR. :laughing:

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Nice chuckle.

This section caught my attention.I wonder if the relaxation of pilotage requirements had anything to do with a pilot shortage in Japan?

I’ve been to Yokohama and other ports in Tokyo Bay many times and have noticed a changes in the pilotage over time.

When I first started calling in Tokyo Bay ports the pilots were all former ship masters and over a period of 20+ years the average age of the pilots started getting older and older. Last few years there was a change and the pilots started training people with little or no experience at sea.

In my view pilots like this are just as good on the technical side in a narrow sense but lack depth of experience the pilots had under the old system.