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28 Jul 2015

Category   Navigation
Vessel type Offshore
Issue date 28/07/2015
Case number 47007

The incident

On 6 July 2005, a supply vessel was discharging pipes to a rig off the Brazilian coast. After discharging the pipes on the port side of the vessel’s main deck, the position of the vessel was changed in order to discharge the pipes on the starboard side. This resulted in the vessel’s bow moving closer to one of the rig’s legs.

Unfortunately due to a loss of GPS signal and despite manual controls being engaged, the vessel was unable to maintain its position in the prevailing heavy swells and came into contact with one of the rig’s legs.


This incident highlights the importance of ensuring the ship’s crew are fully familiarised with all operating modes of the vessel’s Dynamic Positioning System (DPS) so, if there is a failure in one mode, swift and effective action can be taken to continue the safe navigation of the vessel.

The vessel’s crew should also be fully appraised of the DPS’s operating envelope as laid down in the DPS operating manual, including the weather limits such as wind speed and direction, currents and tides so to be able to assess when the thresholds are being approached.

Additionally, full awareness of the prevailing circumstances of the operation which is being undertaken should be maintained to ensure that the vessel is operating within the company’s procedural limits for the intended operation.

Financial cost

 The cost of this claim was US$ 1,200,000.