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MAIB REPORT HIGHLIGHTS ECDIS PROCEDURE SHORTCOMINGS

MAIB REPORT HIGHLIGHTS ECDIS PROCEDURE SHORTCOMINGS

Monday, June 7, 2021 

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its report into the grounding in March 2020 of a general cargo vessel off the Scottish coast.

When the general cargo vessel Kaami ran aground on Sgeir Graidach shoal in the Little Minch, on the west coast of Scotland, the crew were safely evacuated by coastguard helicopter and the vessel was subsequently refloated by salvors. There were no injuries or pollution but Kaami was declared a constructive total loss and was later scrapped.

The report finds that the crew’s voyage planning procedures and passage monitoring did not identify the grounding hazard presented by the Sgeir Graidach shoal, even after verbal warning from a local fishing boat. The mandatory generic and type specific training for the electronic chart display and information (ECDIS) system were not successful in providing the crew of Kaami with the skills and knowledge necessary to use the vessel’s ECDIS safely.

Although manned in accordance with the flag state requirements, the on board operation did not allow adequate opportunity for the chief officer to plan the voyage and for his plan to be checked and verified by a second member of the bridge team as required by the vessel’s safety management system. Additionally, the safety management system did not provide adequate safeguards for voyage planning and ECDIS use, and the vessel operator’s internal auditing programme did not identify shortfalls in voyage planning and ECDIS use.

MAIB has recommended to operator Misje Rederi that it reviews the number of watchkeepers on its vessels with the aim of minimising the hazards associated with fatigue, improve the guidance given in its safety management systems on the effective use of ECDIS and of bridge lookouts, and to enhance its ability to conduct internal navigation audits.

MAIB points out that it has been collaborating with the Danish Marine Accident Investigation Branch (DMAIB) in a study of ECDIS use to generate an understanding of the practical application and usability of ECDIS and support future ECDIS design, training strategies and the development of best practices. The draft report consultation has just ended and the final report of the study is expected to be published soon. MAIB draws attention to the World Maritime University, 2020 publication: A culture of adjustment, evaluating the implementation of the current maritime regulations on rest and work hours.

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