The UK MAIB has published the report into the VTS-assisted collision between the UK registered container ship EVER SMART and the Marshall Islands registered tanker ALEXANDRA 1 in Jebel Ali, UAE on 11 February 2015.
The superyacht Officer is unlikely to find him or herself handling ships of this size, and Jebel Ali is thankfully yet to become a destination of choice, but there are factors here which the prudent navigator would be wise to consider.
Monitoring between the vessels navigating a narrow channel was cursory and inadequate, resulting in late appreciation of collision risk.
The inbound vessel was unnecessarily close to the entrance to the port’s approach channel but its movement was not challenged by the port’s vessel traffic service.
The inbound vessel was navigated on the basis of scanty VHF radio information.
A passing agreement was not agreed and promulgated to all parties.
There is criticism of inoperative AIS. Personally, I’d unplug the bloody thing permanently and have the bridge team look out of the window instead. If I can’t see who or what is coming, then I need to navigate with caution – but I will pass the comments on to you all who are wiser and smarter.