NEGLIGENCE DURING MODIFYING THE PASSAGE PLAN (NEAR MISS) :


Capt A Majumder , 010308

The vessel : handy max bulk carrier – year built 1986

Location : Malacca Straits - west bound

Weather – V.good, slight ea, no swell, good visibility

Vessel sailed from Kosh-shi-ching, enroute to Dubai, developed crack on two cylinder heads and eventually stopped and started drifting. After about 14 to 16 hours vessel resumed her voyage at slow speed until Singapore. With the help of workshop required parts were replaced for M/E and the vessel resumed her voyage with full speed.Since the vessel was on a voyage charter, time lost was constantly thriving the Master to cut short the total distance, hence he decided to modify the passage plan.Eventually passage plan was modified and alteration was made much early through Selat Benkala ( an area not transited by normal merchant navy vessels) The chart was modified only for the chart in use but not for further charts.

The required course was not transferred to the next chart.Chief officer took over the watch at 1845 hrs and at that time he was mentioned of the change in ;passage plant. At 1910 hrs when he wanted to plot the position of the ship in the next chart, he found, no course had been laid up in the new chart (fathom chart).At the same time, when he just had a look outside, not iced a patch of low lying shade right ahead, about ¾ nautical miles off the ship.

There was no ARPA and radars were used only for optimum requirement. After having repeated look, he noticed them to be small group of islands very close on the bow.Vessel was changed over to hand steering, and changed the course and steered the vessel clear of the danger.On consulting the chart subsequently, it was noticed that there were group of islands (one can easily overlook, being at the very end of the chart limit), over which the amended course was laid.

Lesson learnt :

Any change in voyage plan should be properly planned, and all the charts should be updated (atleast 3 subsequent charts)