Australian Transport Safety Bureau report into grounding of cargo ship BOSPHORUS October 2013

Please see attached link to Australian Transport Safety Bureau report into the grounding of cargo ship BOSPHORUS in the approaches to Brisbane, 29th October 2013

Whilst we are aware that our address list is predominantly populated by readers working with large yachts (in addition to Masters of our managed vessels who receive these as fleet letters), anyone with an interest in shiphandling in general may have an interest. The section on ‘attentional disengagement' may equally be applied to any if not all crewmembers at some time in their working lives.

This report contains a useful insight into attentional disengagement (mind wandering) when seeking to explain the actions of the helmsman putting the wheel the wrong way. He isn't the first and won't be the last. It is perhaps arguable that pilotage is such a rare event with large yachts that complacency is - one hopes - less likely. Nonetheless, the failure of the Officer of the Watch to monitor his actions, a rather vague handover and a general view of his (and his relief's) actions in ‘assisting the Master' rather than the specific duties contained in their safety management system and given to the pilot as an undertaking, did not provide any viable means of monitoring.

I've been taken to task before for criticising such reports – and rightly so in most cases - but am surprised that no mention has been made of speed. Thirty five seconds between picnic and panic seems a little short to me.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all watchkeepers and deckhands are given an opportunity to read this - in addition to any other crew member who may be interested - and confirm so in your next HESS meeting minutes. I can be contacted at any time if anyone has any questions. We would welcome any feedback of course, and would be pleased to circulate any comments.