MAIB Report on the investigation into the grounding of FRI OCEAN 14 June 2013

The MAIB has published its report into the grounding of general cargo vessel FRI OCEAN on the fine clear night of 14 June 2013, just to the south of Tobermory on the picturesque Isle of Mull.

The Second Mate fell asleep.

There are a number of synergies here with current standards on board large yachts. I have long accepted with sadness that designers of consolidated bridge systems and interior designers have won the battle to provide comfortable seats for watchkeepers. As a young watchkeeper in the years before fatigue was invented, I would have fallen asleep myself, had it not been de rigueur to remain on one's feet on watch, and the penalty for sitting in the pilot's chair being death by bollocking.

This unfortunate young man was able to navigate entirely from his seated position and, as the report states, ‘lacked essential stimulation and movement for long periods'. Unusually for the MAIB, but indicative that the reader should draw their own conclusions in part, the words ‘conflicting evidence' appear more than once, particularly when establishing if a lookout had been posted. ‘Go figure'.

The vessel was equipped with BWNAS but again ‘conflicting evidence.' It can only be a matter of speculation that it might have been switched off.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all crewmembers with navigational duties are given an opportunity to read this and confirm so in your next HESS meeting minutes. The managers of FRI OCEAN are taken to task for not providing guidance on fatigue management, and we are reviewing our own guidance and procedures. I can be contacted at any time if anyone has any questions.