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Summary

Summary

Early on 12 January 1984, Flinders Range was proceeding south off the east coast of South Korea. The weather was fine, with clear visibility and light airs. At about 0125, the Officer of the Watch (OOW) observed a target on the radar, about one point to port at a distance of between four and five miles. He then saw the lights of a vessel, a single red light above and well clear of a row of small "accommodation" lights.

The OOW kept an eye on the other vessel from a position on the centre line in the wheelhouse, and observed the relative bearing to be increasing. At about 0133, he saw a green sidelight and assumed that the other vessel had altered course to pass under the stern of Flinders Range. However, he suddenly realised that the other vessel had altered course to port, to cross ahead. He put the wheel hard over to starboard and stopped the engines, but the two vessels collided.

Contact was made with the other vessel, which was the Korean fishing vessel Han Gil No 105, which was returning to its home port from fishing grounds, on a course of 350º. One of the deckhands was alone on watch. The red light was an all round light.

Flinders Range suffered a puncture on the starboard side of the bulbous bow, at the 4m draught level, while the fishing vessel suffered a 20cm split in the hull plating, 5m from the stern on the starboard side. Both vessels were able to proceed without assistance.

Conclusions

The fishing vessel was not showing the correct navigational lights and, as the give way vessel, did not take appropriate action to avoid collision.

The OOW did not take action to avoid a close quarters situation and did not make use of the navigation equipment available to him, to determine the course and speed of the other vessel and to ascertain if risk of collision existed.

 
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