Grounding of Bulker – ECDIS Knowledge Deficient
UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reports on 'CSL Thames' Accident
On 9 August 2011, CSL Thames, a Maltese registered self-discharging bulk carrier, grounded briefly in the Sound of Mull while on passage from Glensanda to Wilhelmshaven. The vessel sustained bottom damage to her hull, including a 3-metre fracture to one of her water ballast deep tanks, which flooded. There were no reported injuries or pollution.
The MAIB investigation found that CSL Thames ran aground after the watchkeeper altered the vessel's course to starboard of the planned track to avoid another vessel. He did not notice that the alteration would take his ship into shallow water, and the audio alarm on the electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) that should have alerted him to the impending danger was inoperative.
MAIB considered, the master's and other watchkeepers' knowledge of the vessel's ECDIS was insufficient and therefore no-one within the bridge team questioned the absence of the ECDIS audio alarm, or recognised that the system's safety contour setting was inappropriate for the planned voyage.