Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Human Error

Human Error

This is a fictional story.
At 05:45LT-AHTS “Ecstasy” let go from standby buoy mooring line, proceeding to FPSO “Nice Morning” true course NE - 045 Deg , Autopilot connected with Gyro and set to NE - 045 Deg, weather and sea conditions were good to moderate with wind WNW 5, tidal stream about 255 Deg, predicted passage time about one hour fifteen minutes, in the way to location the OOW the Mate alone on the bridge, (the AB night watch-keeper went down after twilight), use the sun rise azimuth to check the gyro and magnetic compass errors, errors found to be 2 deg. West on the gyro and 20 deg. West on the magnetic, courses corrected accordingly and proceed the passage.
At 06:45 all on board felt a big bang and a very heavy knock followed by small knocks on the bow, general alarm sounds all crew mustered as should be and for general amazing the ship had hit one Offshore Platform on her away under full speed, the vessel and platform alarms kept ringing. Master on the “Ecstasy” managed to maneuver the vessel away to a safe position to check for damages on the vessel and if possible on the Platform leg where the collision had take place, after a cursory check found the vessel bow very damaged but no “holes” apparently below water line, on the Platform a big hole above water line on the Portside aft leg.
First question in a big list of questions to be explained, where was the OOW at the moment of collision, it was obvious that the safe procedures for safe navigation of a vessel were grossly neglected.
I wrote this short “story” just as a start for the ones that want to comment and discuss the human error, you know the old “story”, “this can happen to all”, I hope that this story will not happen to anyone, and the ones that are at sea to jeopardise their lives and the lives of the others please stay ashore and leave the way to the ones that are trying hard to keep the sea a safe place to work.

Please see the pictures below as a complement for this “story”.




Malheiro do Vale said...

The images of this post speak for themselves...
Although there is not enough information regarding the causes of such an accident, there is evidence of major navigational error combined with breaching of basic watch procedures.
As with the vast majority of the accidents there isn't one single error but a chain of errors that combine towards disaster.
Most of the times, by removing one of the links on the error chain, the accident will not take place. In this particular case, and bearing in mind the lack of further information, if the lookout had been on the bridge, then maybe, just maybe... it would have been a near miss...

Malheiro do Vale said...

The following comment was sent by e-mail:

Just to say I enjoy your website and keep up the good work. I like reading about offshore topics and seeing photos. Your story of human error reminds me of an incident that happened some 18 years ago. I was mate on a maintenance / repair vessel offshore Nigeria. Every night we would anchor until the next morning. At 0500hrs the duty mate would get up and check all bridge functions, ready the vessel for action, heave the anchor and hand over the bridge to the captain. After the handover, the mate would go to the deck office and check with the charterers the workload and schedule for the day. This particular day I was duty mate and had gone down to the deck office. While talking with the charterer there was a sudden loud bang and the vessel lurched to one side. All conversation stopped as we looked to the bow to see us bouncing off the leg of a platform. The vessel was holed for some 2m above the waterline in way of the galley store. The captain had forgotten the engines were clutched in and she had merrily made her way towards the platform. Needless to say no platform maintenance work was done that day as all hands were required to repair the bow damage.

Another incident happened on a supply boat operating out of Lowestoft, UK. I was regular 2nd mate but was taking 2 weeks leave. The captain told me that he had faith in my ability to navigate the approach channels without him supervising me. While I was on leave, my relief was navigating the channels and ran the vessel aground outside the buoyed channel. The captain and chief engineer arrived on the bridge due to the excessive vibration to find my relief calmly sat in the bridge chair not even aware that the vessel was aground!

Best regards