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28 Jul 2015

Category   Navigation
Vessel type Offshore
Issue date 28/07/2015
Case number 50636

The incident

On 23 September 2006, whilst transiting between two rigs as part of its supply duties, an AHTSV came into contact with an oil well. The weather was calm and visibility was good. Both radars were in operation and reportedly in good working condition at the time of the incident. The vessel suffered minimal damage however, the oil well was damaged beyond repair.


At the time of the incident, the night bridge watch was manned by a single watchkeeper. An effective lookout was not being maintained as the Master who arrived on the bridge a few minutes before the incident visually sighted the oil well right ahead and immediately started taking evasive action.

This incident reinforces the necessity of ensuring the bridge is manned at all times in accordance with industry requirements. The lookout must concentrate solely on keeping a proper lookout and should not be distracted by any other unrelated tasks. In the event that he would be required to leave the bridge, he should be properly relieved to ensure that the lookout duties are not interrupted.

Members should ensure that their navigational policy clearly states the adequate bridge manning requirement and the Masters and watchkeepers are fully familiar with this policy. This should also be verified periodically by the shore management whenever the opportunity arises e.g. during internal audits or the superintendent’s regular visits on board.

Financial cost The total claims costs were US$ 4,559,150.27