Seen off the Port of Hull, is Samskip Courier 7,852,’06 coming in from Rotterdam.
A regular shuttler of containers, 803 teu, across this section of the North Sea and one of the 12 or so strong fleet of Dutch based multi-modal logistics operation Samskip, formerly an Icelandic company.
She seemed well laden as I saw her locking in to the KGV dock and I am reminded that, in her maiden year, after her delivery from a Romanian yard, she was involved in a serious collision in fog, downstream of the Hull Docks. She crashed head on into the bow of the Ahlmark vessel Skagern, 4,451,’83, another Hull regular, bringing forest products from Sweden.
The ‘Courier’ had won this round, she was later able to continue her voyage, while Skagern was taken into dock where she sank bow down to the bottom. In the MAIB investigation, neither the two captains nor the pilots came out of it well, the former relying too much on the abilities and local knowledge of the latter when basic issues like excessive speed in poor visibility should have rung alarm bells on the bridge. Coordination and co-operation on the bridge and between the pilots was gravely wanting. This is all with the aid of some of the latest radar, satellite navigation and imaging equipment which all seemed to be functioning and would tell the story of avoidable pending disaster.
Lessons were learned then, but serious and potentially serious incidents are still happening.