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Pride of Kent, Heavy contact in Calais.

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Update from Tarbyonline on the situation with Pride of Kent - copied from his post on the DFE forum with his permission:

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She definitely won't be written off, though the damage was very severe. Pretty much the whole driveline on the starboard side from the gearbox back was damaged I believe (wouldn't like to be paying THAT bill). Things like the prop shaft will have to be cast from scratch and there is no guarantee the original moulds even exist still! I'm told it will be the end of March or April before she returns to service.

 

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The MAIB investigation into this incident is now (finally) out to consultation.  Which means publication of the report won’t be far away.  Not sure how long they give for the consultation stage but I would imagine we could see the report sometime next month.

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Over two months from the beginning of the consultation stage and still no release of the investigation report.

I wonder if some of the interested parties have raised comments / concerns around the MAIB findings?

 

 

 

Edited by Gunwharf

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I looked a couple if days ago to see if I could find out how long the consultation periods are, but couldn’t find anything.  It may vary from investigation to investigation.  But I agree, this one seems to have gone on an excessive amount of time.

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Gareth,

I'm on the Canterbury as I type this in the Club lounge and asked a friendly steward whether the investigation had finally been published in full. It's still not out yet but apparently the Master of the POK was ordered to leave the berth by Calais Port control, I assume to make it available for an incoming vessel. He will therefore be absolved of any "blame" and is still captaining.

Chris

Edited by Fine Whine
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Ah.....the rest is there now.  Thanks Chris. Interesting.  Yes, I am checking the MAIB website pretty much every day and find myself wondering how many months the consultation needs!

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On 14/02/2019 at 14:19, Fine Whine said:

Gareth,

I'm on the Canterbury as I type this in the Club lounge and asked a friendly steward whether the investigation had finally been published in full. It's still not out yet but apparently the Master of the POK was ordered to leave the berth by Calais Port control, I assume to make it available for an incoming vessel. He will therefore be absolved of any "blame" and is still captaining.

Chris

Interesting comments FW. However if this is true, I would still expect some blame to be apportioned to the Master. At the end of the day, the Master has overall responsibility for the safety of the ship, not Port Control. PC can order a vessel to leave the berth but unless the Master is 100% certain it is safe to do so he doesn't have to comply and is well within his rights to refuse. If the Master had left the berth following a PC order in what was considered adverse conditions which then led to the incident, I would expect he/she would also be open to blame.

Like Gareth, I too am checking the MAIB site most days. The delay of publication is unusual and beyond the norm in my opinion. I wonder if new evidence has come to light or whether an interested party or stakeholder has disagreed with or pointed out inaccuracies in the investigation report; both of which they are encouraged to and able to do.

I guess all will become apparant in good time....

 

 

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Yes, we can’t speculate too much until the report comes out, and I am inclined to agree there may be some dispute about some wording.

Regarding the captain, we may well find, for example, that the company (P&O) was involved in the order to the captain to leave the berth.  (Port of Calais may, for instance, have given P&O an ultimatum coupled with threat of a financial penalty).

One thing for sure is that, even if there is an element of responsibility on the part of the captain, it must have been severely mitigated by something for him to still be in post.  Something that would have been strong enough to go in the captain’s favour in an employment tribunal.

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Like all these accidents, there is usually a long chain of events which lead up to and eventually cause the incident in question. Some foreseen and others unforeseen, however once in motion it's impossible to stop.

it could be a combination of issues which led to this. However I agree with Gareth that if the Master is still in post then there must be some strongly mitigating rationale in his favour.

I must admit, I'm quite looking forward to reading the finished report.....

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There doesn't seem to have been any order to leave the berth, as suggested. It was the master's decision to leave, but they were behind schedule apparently. The mitigating factors might be the lack of a third tug and the tripping of one bow thruster (as well as the lack of experience on the part of the helmsman with that particular rudder configuration). Ed. 

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The change to a cheaper type of fuel to save money appears to have been a significant factor. The ship is back on Marine Gas Oil at the moment.

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I presume that in future the MAIB would have no authority to investigate such an incident but involving a Cypriot-registered vessel in French waters ?

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1 hour ago, Pegpilot said:

I presume that in future the MAIB would have no authority to investigate such an incident but involving a Cypriot-registered vessel in French waters ?

Yes funny that isnt it???

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Thanks Paully.  A shame really. The AAIB has a global reputation for the thoroughness of its work and I presume that the MAIB is similarly well respected  Still, I'm sure that the Cypriot authorities would investigate with the same attention to detail...

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I suspect that a future incident in Calais involving a P&O ship would be investigated by the French equivalent of the MAIB.  The MAIB will stiil investigate any incident in UK waters.

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How is jurisdiction decided in cases like this?  For example, why was the Epsilon incident investigated by the MCIB?  Epsilon was/is an Italian flagged ship and the incident occurred in UK territorial waters (Barnstaple Bay).

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I think the UK, Irish, French etc organisations have a lot of cooperation and mutual respect between each other.  They will decide between them who will take the lead, and then assist each other as interested parties.

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Might the country with the biggest insurance liability as a consequence of the incident request overall control to simplify the legal and regulatory implications? Ed. 

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I find this report unusually superficial for the MAIB.  For what they’ve come up with, I’m surprised it took so long to put together and to consult.

It leaves a glaring question unanswered.  A question that MAIB investigations of years gone by would have addressed full-on:

It is clear, reading the report, that the master would have taken a tug to assist with the departure if one had been available.  But the two Calais tugs were both attending to Spirit of France.  It was on the basis that they were not available that the master proceded with the departure without one (and confirmed to Calais Port Control that a tug was not required).  So.....faced with the situation in which he knew he needed a tug (the bridge dialogue makes it clear that he knew that), why did he just depart without one rather than wait for one to become available?

It was the motivations behind that thought process that the MAIB did not explore but should have.  The reasons why the master made that decision are the key to why the incident happened, but were not examined.  Was the pressure to get away from the berth a self-imposed perception, or did it come from the company management?

Without delving into that crucial thought process, all the report does is tell us how the grounding happened.  It does not tell us why.

 

 

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On 22/02/2019 at 21:52, Gareth said:

I find this report unusually superficial for the MAIB.  For what they’ve come up with, I’m surprised it took so long to put together and to consult.

It leaves a glaring question unanswered.  A question that MAIB investigations of years gone by would have addressed full-on:

It is clear, reading the report, that the master would have taken a tug to assist with the departure if one had been available.  But the two Calais tugs were both attending to Spirit of France.  It was on the basis that they were not available that the master proceded with the departure without one (and confirmed to Calais Port Control that a tug was not required).  So.....faced with the situation in which he knew he needed a tug (the bridge dialogue makes it clear that he knew that), why did he just depart without one rather than wait for one to become available?

It was the motivations behind that thought process that the MAIB did not explore but should have.  The reasons why the master made that decision are the key to why the incident happened, but were not examined.  Was the pressure to get away from the berth a self-imposed perception, or did it come from the company management?

Without delving into that crucial thought process, all the report does is tell us how the grounding happened.  It does not tell us why.

 

 

Exactly, it's the missing tug that explains the lack of full control the ship experienced within the port and yet there was no obligation to leave the berth until one became available. My reading of the report is that the incoming Spirt of France was not intending to take PofK's place so there was no need to move her until the conditions were better or a tug available. To me that therefore suggests management pressure and as such blame can't be apportioned to the captain. Ed. 

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