TIN news: The Swedish P&I Club has issued its Monthly Safety Scenario for May, presenting an incident of a vessel contacting another vessel, while approaching the berth, in South America.
It was early morning and the general cargo vessel was sailing up a long river in South America to berth at a port. The vessel had a speed of about 2 knots over the ground in the river as there were strong currents and some wind.
Before entering the port, the river pilot disembarked and the port pilot embarked. The Master and Pilot had a briefing and the pilot presented the plan for berthing. The vessel would be berthed between two vessels which were already alongside the berth. The Master asked the Pilot if any tugboats would be necessary. The Pilot said it would not be necessary as the vessel would have a 200m clearance between the berthed vessels.
During the final manoeuvring of the berthing, the vessel passed one of the berthed vessels on the portside with only 20m clearance, as the current set the vessel towards the berthed vessel. At that moment the Master, who was on the port bridge wing, operating the main engine and bow thruster, followed the advice and instructions of the Pilot. Having noticed the proximity of the vessel the Master set the bow thruster to starboard side at full power.
Despite the Master’s efforts to turn the bow to starboard the vessel continued turning to port and the bow made contact with the berthed vessel. The vessel’s superstructure was forward so the bridge wing also caused some damage to the berthed vessel. The Master finally managed to get control of
the vessel and berth it. Upon berthing the vessel, the Master noted that the distance between the two berthed vessels was only 10m forward and 20m aft.