MAIB report into loss of small bulker ’Carrier’ North Wales April 2012

Please find attached MAIB report published today on the investigation of the grounding of the imaginatively named cargo ship CARRIER at Raynes Jetty in Llanddulas, North Wales on 3 April 2012. 

As ever little in common between a fairly mundane cargo ship loading rocks with the large yacht sector until one considers:

  • possibility for commercial pressure to override common sense in worsening weather conditions or ‘trying to wing it'.
  • shore personnel at remote locations having little or no ability to advise the Captain of dangers and peculiarities of the berth,
  • (I've done this, I'm ashamed to say) the assumption that as weather conditions are not as bad as forecast, then the forward forecast can be subconsciously downgraded or disregarded
  • misjudged manoeuvre in a tight situation including relying on astern power to avoid hitting the putty from a standing start in strong winds, when the measured response time from standing start to full astern is 8 minutes.

It is easy for the armchair reader to suggest that the Captain should have taken a pilot and the MAIB have been generous in not hitting the Captain too hard on that, but it is a reality albeit an unpopular one with the professional seaman at a non-compulsory berth.

The general crappiness of the British Isles (a group of islands surrounded by very busy waters with frequent foul weather) to provide adequate aerial maritime rescue facilities is beyond comprehension albeit well publicised and it is reassuring that this will be reinstated in March 2015. So, we'll all stay at home until March 2015 then.

These are personal comments only. I'm not handing down judgement and if any reader has additional or differing views, please let me know and I shall circulate to all.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all crewmembers are given an opportunity to read this and confirm so in your next HESS meeting minutes. I can be contacted at any time if anyone has any questions.