Safety Alert - Technical No. 10
Collision in restricted visibility
1. On 04 November 2005 at about 0600 hours, a collision occurred between one of two Scottish pair trawlers and a Norwegian supply vessel. The trawler sank after the collision, but there was no loss of life or serious injury. There was restricted visibility at the time.
2. The MAIB report states that the collision occurred because of the poor lookout being kept on the supply vessel and late action taken by the trawler. Neither the supply vessel nor the trawler took avoiding action under the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea, Rule 19, in time to avoid the collision.
3. The trawler skipper said he was used to merchant ships passing or altering course at close range. MCA discourages such near miss incidents from taking place. These should be reported to the nearest Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) with as much information as possible (weather conditions, position, vessels involved, courses, speeds and any action taken).
4. Fishermen should be aware of the contents of MGN 313 (F), KEEPING A SAFE NAVIGATIONAL WATCH ON FISHING VESSELS, particularly section 4.5. It is not always possible to rely on every give – way vessel to keep clear. It is therefore vital to monitor the movement of ALL traffic. A vessel engaged in fishing does not always have the right of way. In restricted visibility there is no “stand on” or “give way” vessel; every vessel must take action if a close quarters situation is developing or risk of collision exists.
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