CMA CGM Vasco De Gama

The container ship CMA CGM Vasco De Gama, 178,228gt and of 18,000 teu, ran aground in August, 2016, as she was too far north of the intended track when she started turning into the Thorn Channel off the port of Southampton.

The 399m long ship grounded on the western side of the channel in the early hours of Aug 22 with two Southampton pilots on board.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report into the grounding said: “The ship’s position at the time of the turning into the channel reduced the sea room available for the manoeuvre and, given the environmental conditions, she was unable to sustain the rate of turn required to remain in the dredged channel.

“The execution of the vessel’s turn around Bramble Bank and into the Thorn Channel by the lead pilot was not in accordance with the port’s guidance for large inbound vessels.”

The CMA CGM Vasco de Gama’s bridge team, assistant pilot and the Vessel Traffic Services, could not usefully monitor the lead pilot’s actions, or the vessel’s progress through the Precautionary Area, because “a detailed pilotage plan had not been produced; the lead pilot’s intended manoeuvre around Bramble Bank was not explained; the bridge team roles and responsibilities were unclear; and the electronic navigation aids on board were not fully utilised.”

The MAIB said the investigation identified that the bridge team and the port pilots had the experience, knowledge and resources available to effectively plan and execute the pilotage but the standards of navigation displayed during the pilotage “fell short of those expected by CMA Ships and Associated British Ports.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - January 2018 Issue
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