Capt N V Suresh

Vessel was crude oil tanker. Loaded full cargo (90,000 MT), discharged partly at Vizag (time take 32 hours) and proceeded to Haldia for discharging the remaining cargo. Vessel was proceeding at 12 knots and at around 1700 hrs S/H man reported fishing boat right ahead. Chief officer was on watch and he checked up with radar and found the boat was at a distance of 3 nM. S/H man informed chief officer and Chief Officer told him to alter the course to stbd 10°. S/H man turned the wheel, but found rudder not responding. He informed Chief Officer, and he checked all the controls and found OK.

By the time the distance has narrowed and he suddenly realized that the steering control has not been changed over from auto to manual. Hence the steering was not responding. He avoided collision. This forgetting is mainly due to fatigue. He was awake for 32 hours and straight away came for the watch and the S/H man also went ashore and did not sleep. Enough rest was not available to both of them, their mind did not function even though both of them were in the same for the last 6 months.

Lesson learnt :

proper rest should begiven to the watch keepers so that such mistakes do not take place.