MCIB reports the investigation into the grounding of the Panamanian registered motor vessel, MV Asian Parade off the Codling bank, Dublin bay on 2nd February, 2000.
Asian Parade went aground
The Panamanian registered car carrier, MV “Asian Parade”, sailed from the port
of Dublin for Rotterdam on the evening of the 2nd February 2000 with a part
cargo of 1802 cars and 22 items of machinery.
The vessel went aground on the northwest part of the Codling Bank.
There were no injuries sustained in this incident.
Timeline of events
- The vessel sailed from Dublin at approximately 19:30 on the evening of the 2nd
- On departure the vessel’s cargo consisted of 1802 cars and 22 items of machinery. In addition the vessel had fuel oil bunkers as follows, 590.7 tonnes of heavy fuel oil, 66.9 tonnes of Diesel Oil. The maximum draft was 8.0 Metres.
- The Master, Third Mate ‘A’, Third Mate ‘B’, the quartermaster (helmsman) and the pilot were present on the bridge at the time of departure. The pilot was disembarked at approximately 2005. The vessel set course to leave Dublin Bay in the southeast bound traffic lane.
- All bridge navigational equipment, steering gear and engines were reported to be in good working order.
- The Master joined the vessel on October 9th 1999. He has approximately two years experience as Master. The Master carries a Korean Certificate of competency as Master without limitations. It was his first call to Dublin as Master of a vessel but he had called to Dublin on many occasions as Chief Mate. He has nineteen years sea-going experience.
- On the voyage plan submitted by the second officer the waypoints indicated that the vessel would track to the south of the Burford bank and then alter course to pass north of the Kish bank. On sailing the Master modified the voyage plan to proceed in a south southeasterly direction.
- The Master of the MV “Asian Parade” rang up his engines to “full away” at 2048. The gyro course at this time was approximately 152˚.
- The Master stated that he changed to autopilot at approximately 2038. The quartermaster who had been manually steering the vessel up to this point was sent down shortly after “full away” to collect documentation from the car decks.
- According to the Master, Third Mate ‘A’ was sent to compile the departure report e-mail from the ship’s office. Third Mate ‘B’ was not taking any active part in the navigation and was working at the Satcom C station.
- According to the engine data logger the engine revolutions were increased to 96 RPM at 2035 and were further increased to full sea speed engine revolutions of 101 RPM at 2047.
- The echo sounder was turned off at approximately 2048.
- After clearing the Burford bank two positions were charted, one at 2034 and another at 2048. The 2034 position indicated that the vessel was approximately 0.4 of a mile to the west of the course line and the 2048 position indicated that the vessel was approximately 0.4 of a mile to the east of the course line.
- The Master stated that between 2034 and 2048 there was one north bound vessel and that he adjusted course a little to port to increase the passing distance off this north bound vessel. The course recorder was functioning on departure from Dublin but the time and course setting were incorrect. Allowing for corrections to the settings it would appear that the Master altered course to port from 159˚ gyro to 151˚ gyro.
- The weather conditions were good at the time with good visibility and moderate winds.
- The vessel went aground just before 2100 doing full sea speed of approximately 19 knots.
- The vessel went aground on the Codling Bank in position 53˚ 07.9’N, 005˚ 54.4’W
approximately six miles east of Greystones off the County Wicklow coast at approximately 2100 on the 2nd February 2000. The time of High Water Dublin Bar was 2216 hours.
- The Codling Bank has varying depths of water from 2.7 metres to 9.1 metres. The
MV “Asian Parade” went aground in approximately 4 metres of water.
- The ‘bottom’ on the Codling Bank is a mixture of gravel, shale and boulders.
Events following the incident
- The Master tried until 2322, with the aid of the engines to refloat the vessel.
- When this did not succeed he informed the Coast Guard.
- Over the next four days a number of attempts were made to refloat the vessel
with the aid of salvage tugs. A large quantity of fuel oil was pumped from the
vessel to alleviate the risk of pollution.
- On the evening of the 6th February the vessel was successfully refloated and
towed into Dublin the next day.
- An assessment of bottom damage was carried out and the vessel departed to
- During a ten day stay in drydock in Rotterdam permanent repairs to damage
caused by the grounding were effected.
- At the time of grounding the Master was effectively alone in navigating the
vessel. Third Mate ‘B’ was on the bridge but was not taking any part in the
navigation of the vessel. Third Mate ‘B’ though signed on as a third mate was
acting as a radio officer and did not take part in the day-to-day navigation of the
vessel. Third Mate ‘A’ was sending emails from the ships office. The
quartermaster was engaged in collecting cargo logbooks from the car decks.
- Proper bridge procedures were not adhered to. The Master took too much
responsibility on himself by navigating the vessel alone in confined waters.
- Passage planning was haphazard. The original plan to go south of Burford bank
and then north of Kish Bank involved a large (87˚) alteration to port and was
modified shortly before or on sailing. The safer option for a large vessel would be
to leave Dublin Bay by the east bound traffic lane to the North of the Burford
Bank and proceed southwards to east of the various banks along our east coast.
- There was a strong emphasis on communications to the detriment of the safe
navigation of the vessel. Both Third Mate ‘A’ and Third Mate ‘B’ were involved
in operational communications at the time the vessel went aground.
- The Master was apparently unaware of the danger the vessel was in prior the
grounding. No evasive action was taken by helm or engine. The fact that the
vessel was in autopilot at the time of grounding and at full sea speed indicates
the extent to which the Master was unaware of the danger his vessel was in.
- Despite this being his first call to the port of Dublin as Master the Master chose
to take the inner route inside the Burford, Kish, Bray and Codling Banks instead
of the safer route to the east of these banks.
- The grounding was not due to any fault of equipment or onboard machinery. The
vessel is excellently equipped with modern navigation equipment.
- The Master was of the opinion that the weather may have been a factor in the
grounding. Whilst the direction and speed of the wind may have had some
influence on the course made good by the vessel it appears that the Master did
not allow for this windage prior to going aground and was not aware that it posed
any danger to the vessel.
- Under the MARPOL Convention the Master of any vessel is required to inform the
nearest coastal state as soon as practical if there is a danger or a possibility of
pollution from his vessel. The Master of the MV “Asian Parade” did not inform the
Coast Guard until several hours after the grounding.
- The Master indicated that northbound vessels obliged him to alert course a little
to port. Under the International Regulation for Preventing Collisions at Sea
vessels meeting on reciprocal or near reciprocal courses shall alter their courses
so that each shall pass on the port side of the other. An alteration of course to
starboard for these northbound vessels would have resulted in a safe passing
distance of the Codling Bank. In any event there is plenty of sea room between
Codling Bank and the Breaches Shoal to the west.
- There was no loss of life, injury or pollution of the marine environment during
the grounding of the MV “Asian Parade”.
- All of the officers on board the vessel were Korean. All possessed Korean
Certificates of competency. All conventions and required trading certificates
were in order.
- All the aids to navigation in the area were functioning properly with the
exception of the south Codling buoy which was unlit. This unlit buoy was not a
factor in the vessel going aground.
- All vessels using our ports should adhere to proper passage planning. Evidence of
proper voyage planning should be inspected during port state control inspections.
- Vessels of more than, say 6 metres in draft and vessels with high windage area
should avoid navigating inshore of the off lying banks along the east coast of
Ireland. The British Admiralty Hydrographer should be advised to amend charts
and publications accordingly.
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