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Random maritime accidents.

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    OMG!! It almost look like they are doing it in purpouse. Unbelievable
    "I may not be able to control the wind, but I can adjust my sails."

    Enthusiastically regards
    Torbjørn Nybø


      What strikes me in that last one is that nobody seems to be trying to do anything... just staying on their course and doing nothing to avoid collision.

      I don't know what REALLY happen though, but it does look kind of .... ummm... intentional.
      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
      Main page:

      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


        5 days late but I finally saw the video of the yachts colliding. I wonder if both boats were on autopilot? I am surprised that some passenger did not grab the wheel and try steering away.

        Fiberglass makes an interesting "crunchy" sound.


          update of the msc nikita

          she is towed to the drydock of keppel-verolme in Rotterdam,
          where she get the necessary repairs.

          she ain`t gooing back on duty and shall be sold to a shipbreaker.

          they still don`t know what has happend in that night
          the nirint pride was from south to north sailing and the nikita from east to west,and would have right of way (correct?).
          why the 2 kaptains don`t see each other???
          40 miles offshore is to far, for the dutch rules of law and both ships ant`t dutch,so holland has nothing to do with this case,
          or the must be asked by the country`s of the ships

          pictures enough over here

          best regards Thijs


            I think this guy was lucky not to get cut into pieces. I wonder if in future he will use the kill-cord and maybe wear a life jacket?

            Mind you, having said that, im guilty of not using the kill-cord in the past myself, I think this video clearly shows why you really should use it!

            Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


              This one looks awful, not being a mariner I would guess that the momentum of the larger heavier vessel had something to do with it.

              Infamy, Infamy.... They've got it in for me! Said The Laughing Assassin.


                WAOW... that happened fast! Really fast... I agree with you there, the momentum would definitely have been too large as the barge wants to continue forwards.
                With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                Main page:

                Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.


                  WOW! I have never really thought about the hazards of operating a tug.


                    That's rather shocking to watch. That is called 'girding', the tug was towed broadside by her own tow line. The camera operator missed the important part of that incident, namely what caused the girding. Looking at the first shot i can only assume that the tug hit a sandbank - a worst case scenario when towing. If the tug did hit a bank then she would either come to a halt, or at the very least loose steerage, in that situation disaster in the shape of a 2000 ton dumb barge soon catches up with you. I would guess that in this case the tug could have touched bottom just enough for her to loose steering control, looks like she sheered off to port whilst the tow carried on in the original direction. Within a few seconds the tow would have overtaken the tug resulting in the girding. That is just my theory anyway, with the vital part of the film missing it's hard to say for certain.

                    Having done a fair bit of towing whilst i worked on Datchet, this is one type of accident that my skipper always warned me about. Whenever we were towing in shallow waters, rivers estuaries etc, we were always very aware that girding could easily arise from any mishap - steering failure or grounding etc. When towing in such conditions we would always be ready to slip the tow in an instance.
                    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                      Steve B, you got that right; " always be ready to slip the tow in an instance". That is the first thing I learnt when getting involved in Towage.
                      It is my pet subject when I'm inspecting tugs these days. I frequently find that the Tow Hook quick release is either not working or not rigged up at all.

                      On a lot of larger tugs, where there is a Towing Winch with worn out breaks, it is normal routine to engage the "Dog" (a mechanical stopper) when they are towing. They are thus unable to release the towline under tension if and when they get in a situation like this, or if they have a black-out. Unfortunately few Tug Skippers appears to understand the danger.

                      In this case they made a sharp turn at what appears to be full throttle. With a short towline it was fairly inevitable that the tow would gird and eventually overtake the tug. The Skipper should have slowed down going into the turn to have something to "give" when the barge started to come abreast, forcing the barge to turn quicker.

                      This little tug appears to be towing on the hook and should have been able to free himself, even at 45 degr. or more list, if somebody was alert and the quick release was functioning. A small tug assisting the QE2 when leaving Aalesund one time was listing at least that much, but righted itself when the line was released.


                        Ombugge: That answered my question before I asked. I recall the quick release in some of your tug pictures. It seems like such an obvious piece of safety equipment to have in working order.


                          Since we are on the subject of tugs girding.


                            Originally posted by pilotdane View Post
                            Since we are on the subject of tugs girding.

                            That was proof positive that a tug can right itself from quite an acute angel of list. Another thing that was obvious is that all water tight doors and hatches must be closed when towing, especially when assisting on the stern. There is a good reason why modern Harbour tugs tow over the bow.

                            I was the Investigator on behalf of the an Oil Company and the Tug Owner after an Anchor Handling Tug capsized off East Coast of India in 1998, with the loss of four lives. In that case the tug was assisting at the stern of a 90,000 Dwt. tanker when mooring at an SPM belonging to an Oil Company.

                            The tug was towing directly on his winch, which had a quick release. The 3rd. Eng. was standing next to the winch, but he did NOT function the quick release because he was "waiting for the Captain to tell him". He survived by "walking the roll" and ended up on the upturned hull without even getting wet.

                            On the Tanker they could do nothing as the end Rope was on a bollard and no axe was on the ready. The Bosun said he sent someone to the Galley to get a meat cleaver and eventually managed to cut the rope, but too late.

                            The Captain and Ch. Engineer in the Wheel House died, as did the 2nd Eng. who was in the Engine room and the 2nd. Off., who was eating in the mess room, while the Cook, who was sleeping below, escaped through the mess room and actually survived. (We later found that the 2.Off. had been crushed by a falling fridge as the tug turned over)

                            Why didn't the 3.Eng. just release the towline on his own initiative??
                            Well, he was afraid that if he had done so he would get fired for losing an expensive tow wire. (There wouldn't have been an accident to "justify" his action)

                            The Indian tanker was allowed to leave the scene of the accident shortly after, while the survivors from the all Indonesian crew of the tug was arrested until it was proven that they had not caused the accident deliberately, or by negligence. (It is always nice to be able to blame "foreigners" when something goes wrong)

                            When I eventually got to question the Mooring Master, Master and Officers of the tanker some days later, they all had prepared statements ready, all with the speed at time of accident as 2.68 kts., as was written down in the Deck Log as well.
                            I asked for the manoeuvre log from the Engine Room and 3rd. Officer notebook (first notes) to find out what engine orders had been given and duration on each setting. From that we could calculate the speed the tanker had actually had through the water at time of accident. Found to be at least 6.0 kts. We also calculated what it would take for that particular tug to capsize under the circumstances as described; 6.2 kts.

                            Conclusion: The Mooring Master used too much speed on approach, making up for lost time earlier, causing the Tug Master to lose control and the tug to broach/gird. With the towline at 45 degr. angle the tug was pulled over and capsized in a matter of seconds. (Just like in this video, only they didn't release)

                            No blame was apportioned, since my job was to establish facts only and to recommend change in routines to avoid similar accident in the future.


                              Very interesting report Ombugge. I guess that the fact the guy did not release the tow line comes down to inexperience and poor communication with the skipper? I'm trying to put myself in the guys shoes, seeing that i myself was always the one in charge of the tow line on Datchet. I always had good communication with the skipper, he would always let me know what he was about to do. For example if he was going to position us in such a way that it meant the tow line riding up the bulwarks, he would warn me of the fact. With time, experience taught me what was normal, and what was not normal. It's hard to explain, just lots of senses coming together at once. If i ever felt that things were not going to plan i would not hesitate to take some action myself, be that shouting a warning to my skipper or slipping more line out. I would often quickly assess situations and slip out more line in order to give my skipper more room to manoeuvre without waiting for an order to do so. With time my skipper and i developed a mutual trust in each others judgement and abilities. Aboard Datchet the set up worked well and we would often get ourselves out of trouble before we even got into it.

                              I must say though that 95% of my experience involved non-powered tows, barges etc, very different to handling powered vessels - especially when you are dealing with large vessels such as tankers and bulkers etc. A completely different ball game. I should imagine that then you have a much larger team that you have to trust - other tug masters involved, and the pilot or master of the ship. Even more reason to expect the unexpected and be ready to let go that line.
                              Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                                Well Steve, the answer to your first question; No he was reasonably experienced by not able to make such decisions by himself because he had grown up in a different culture to yours.

                                More to the point; why didn't the Skipper tell the Mooring Master (Pilot) that he was going too fast?
                                He was a very experienced, but a well mannered Indonesian whom I had known for years and had done several Rig Moves with in the past, were he had been the Tug Master and I was the Rig Mover, overseeing the operation and giving all the orders. It is not in their nature to question "Superiors".

                                But he actually shouted "STOP, you are going too fast", just before he lost control. Too late to do any good, unfortunately.

                                If your Skipper on the Datchet had been there he would have told the Mooring Master in no uncertain words much earlier I suspect?
                                If you were there, and the situation developed like above, you would no doubt have released the brake without waiting for order?

                                The big difference is that you are NOT Indonesian and neither am I.
                                For an Indonesian (or Malay, Filipino or Thai for that matter) it is VERY impolite to question authority, or to say NO to a Superior.