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Friday, January 25, 2019 

In its incident report in to the grounding in 2018 of cargo ship 'Celtica Hav', the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has drawn attention to shortcomings in pilotage planning and exchange of information between master and pilot, highlighting recent P&I Club statistics showing that in over half of grounding incidents there was a pilot on board.

At 1438 on 27 March 2018, the Bahamas registered general cargo vessel Celtica Hav grounded on a stone training wall in the approach channel to the River Neath, Wales. The vessel had a harbour pilot on board at the time who had control of the steering and speed. Celtica Hav was quickly re-floated and manoeuvred clear of the training wall. It suffered extensive shell plate damage to the bottom of its hull, which resulted in water ingress to several ballast tanks and flooding in the engine room.

The flooding was contained using the vessel’s bilge and ballast pumps, and submersible salvage pumps provided by the harbour authority. There were no injuries to personnel and no damage to the environment.

MAIB says that:

  • a detailed pilotage plan had not been made by either the ship or the pilot, and the master/pilot exchange did not cover all hazards, including that posed by the training walls;
  • the pilot did not have full positional awareness when Celtica Hav left the dredged channel and did not fully appreciate the risk of grounding on the training wall; and
  • the vessel’s electronic navigation equipment was not adequately utilised to monitor the vessel’s position and assess its progress.

Recommendations have been made to the Port Authority and Ship Manager involved to improve the planning of pilotage and the quality of the master/pilot exchange of pilotage information.

A recent P&I Club perspective was reported here:

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