Category: Incidents

What Went Wrong? New Year Casualties….

It’s been an active beginning to 2019 in terms of maritime casualties.  The phone at the Panama Marine Accident Investigation Department was likely ringing off the hook with three major incidents on Panama-flagged vessels in the first two days.  The first three weeks of the year have produced a wide range of serious casualties…and they are likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of incidents and near misses.

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Captain, I have a concern…

Last year, I was inbound to a port-that-will-remain-nameless, with the local pilot at the conn.  As we maneuvered up a winding channel, the channel curved to port, yet the pilot ordered starboard rudder as we approached the next turn.  Our 3rd officer, who had been onboard for over two months already and well-drilled in bridge resource management theory piped up and said, “Mr. Pilot – the channel goes to port, why are you using starboard rudder?”  The pilot responded by glancing at the rudder angle indicator and out the window.  He then turned and told the helmsman, “Midships,” followed shortly by, “Port 20.”  The pilot then turned, smiled at the 3rd officer, and said, “Thanks.”

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