MAIB report into grounding of NAVIGATOR SCORPIO, Haisborough Sand 3 Jan 2014

The UK MAIB has published a report into the grounding of the LPG tanker NAVIGATOR SCORPIO on Haisborough Sand, 3rd January 2014

Late changes in schedule due to anticipated adverse weather meant that the Second Mate was still planning the passage as it was being executed, thus had not been approved by the Master ergo the bridge team had not been briefed. Ships navigating without an appropriate passage plan in place have been ruled as unseaworthy in similar cases.

Environmental conditions in the Haisborough Gat were clearly not fully appreciated by the Master and the navigator, thus wind and tide were having a significant impact, which was not fully appreciated by either of them. The situation was exacerbated by the Second Mate apparently forgetting or missing a 77 degree course alteration, which was unfortunate when the difference between picnic and panic on the new heading was less than a mile. The Master had recognised the dangers of this leg and instructed the Second Officer to fix positions every five minutes, however a gap of some 12 minutes passed at a critical point when situational awareness was probably at its most essential. At some point, an experienced officer should have summoned the Master for assistance. Flogging positions post-grounding was a pointless exercise but - according to the MAIB – not an unusual one. This again highlights the need for effective navigation audits.

For those on board Watkins' managed boats, please ensure that all navigating officers are given an opportunity to read this. Please 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.