It is said things happen in 'threes' and there in the NAUTICAL LOG Press Release folder this morning was number three. A Greek tanker and a Cypriot container ship have collided 19 miles off Scheveningen, Holland. First reports are no injuries and since the tanker was loaded with kerosene any cargo that escaped has evaporated. The tanker Mindoro has a crew of 25, and the Cypriot Jork Ranger has a crew of 12. Perhaps they should rename it Jerk Ranger as from the photo she hit the tanker on the tankers port side forward. This was clearly a crossing situation under Rule #15 of the International Rules of the Road. Rule #15 is straightforward, clear and it states:
"When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel".
Looking at this incident from the perspective of over 60 years as a seafarer NAUTICAL LOG gets the sense that this last sentence of Rule #15 may have been violated. Looking further at this incident the Cypriot container ship also violated Rule #8 (a)
The Cypriot container ship is returning to the Port of Rotterdam with non-serious damage. The Greek tanker remains at sea with its cargo being pumped to another tanker, there remains risk of explosion from the kerosene.
For the AIS plot of this incident from its development to actual impact go to OLD SALT BLOG, (there is a direct link in 'My Blog List' or go to the 'YouTube' link), which clearly shows the lack of action by the Cypriot container ship, eventual action too little too late leading to impact. This will be a useful instruction tool for 'Rules of the Road' classes in nautical training facilities around the world. With three incidents in recent days two of which were caused by improper application of the 'Rules of the Road' it would seem additional time needs to be spent on the basics of Watchkeeping and acquiring the skills to be a truly qualified OOW.