MOL: Wakashio grounding caused by crew’s overconfidence and unsafe behaviors

by 18, Dec, 2020Market News

To remind, the giant bulk carrier, Wakashio ran aground on the coral reef on Pointe d’esny off Mauritius and leaked a major bunker oil spill.

Based on the information the shipowner obtained from the crewmembers, two days before the grounding of Wakashio, on July 23, the vessel changed its passage plan-the distance from the coast, when sailing off the island of Mauritius-from 22 nautical miles (Note 1) to 5 nautical miles.

On the day of grounding (July 25), cremembers tried to further reduce the distance from the coast from 5 nautical miles to 2 nautical miles, to enter an area within the communication range of mobile phones and used a nautical chart without sufficient scale to confirm the accurate distance from the coast and water depth.

…as MOL explained.

In addition, a crewmember neglected appropriate watch-keeping (visually and by radar), even though the ship was trying to sail 2 nautical miles off the coast.

Therefore, it ran aground in shallow water (10m deep) 0.9 nautical miles off the coast of Mauritius.

According to MOL’s point of view:

“Because of not only the above-mentioned background, but also the fact that the vessel had approached to other coasts several times even before the incident, they may have taken unsafe behaviors due to overconfidence that stems from complacency.Such behavior on a large vessel reflects a lack of safety awareness.

What is more, another reason behind the cause is that the crewmembers lacked awareness of the guidelines on performing navigation in a safe manner and their efforts to conform were insufficient, because they did not prepare an appropriate passage plan that would have ensured appropriate performance, did not own and use the correct nautical map, and neglected visual and radar watchkeeping”.

Overall, MOL announced that will further invest the equivalent of about JPY 500 million in measures to prevent reoccurrence of probable causes of the grounding.

Among others, these measures will include: addressing the lack of safety awareness and lack of regulations on safe navigation and insufficient performance, while focus on the enhancement of ship operation quality.

December 2020