UK –Near Miss in Dover Strait TSS
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a summary of its preliminary examination of a near miss incident that occurred in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) on 10 July 2008 between a bulk carrier and a product tanker:
At 0438 UTC on 10 July 2008 a close-quarters situation occurred between the bulk carrier Barbara and the product tanker Maersk Borneo in the Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme in good visibility. The incident occurred outside UK territorial waters.
Maersk Borneo was following the south-west traffic lane on a course of 233º at a speed of 12 knots and had a cargo of ammonium nitrate. Barbara had departed Antwerp in ballast for passage to Barcarena, Brazil, and was joining the south-west traffic lane from the east on a course of 298º, also at a speed of 12 knots. As the vessels closed, the OOW on board Maersk Borneo identified that there was a risk of collision and that Barbara was the ‘give way’ vessel.
When Barabara did not take any action, the OOW on board Maersk Borneo attempted to call the approaching vessel several times on various VHF radio channels; no replies were heard. The vessel was also called by CNIS Dover, which was monitoring the situation, but again there was no response. The vessels continued to close so the OOW on board Maersk Boneo altered course broadly to starboard, eventually completing a 360º turn to avoid a collision.