At 0505 hours local time on 21 February 1990 the Australian flag
bulk carrier 'IRON KEMBLA', whilst on passage from Newcastle NSW to
Tobata, Japan, collided with the Japanese fishing vessel 'KASUGA
MARU' in a position approximately 4 miles WSW of Hino Misaki
lighthouse in Kii Suido.
The fishing vessel capsized and one of the crew members lost his
- Had both ships maintained their course and speed as those for
the period 0452-0459, the collision would not have occurred.
- The collision is considered to have been brought about by the
KASUGA MARU altering back onto an easterly course after having
first altered onto a northerly course, parallel to that of the IRON
KEMBLA. This second alteration occurred almost simultaneously with
the alteration to starboard (towards the east) by the IRON KEMBLA.
The coincidence of the alterations made the collision
- The KASUGA MARU was not exhibiting the correct navigation
lights, either those for a power-driven vessel under way or those
for a vessel engaged in fishing, as required by the International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
- The Master of the IRON KEMBLA was correct in ordering an
alteration of course to starboard when the KASUGA MARU was observed
to alter course to port to run on a parallel course.
- The Master of the IRON KEMBLA was correct in advising the
Japanese Authorities immediately after the incident that a
collision had occurred.
- The master of IRON KEMBLA was correct in turning about in order
to offer assistance to the crew of the capsized fishing
- The Master of IRON KEMBLA is considered to have been at fault
in assuming the KASUGA MARU to be power driven and that he
therefore had the right of way, when the lights reportedly observed
were those required to be shown by a sailing vessel.
- The master of IRON KEMBLA could have prevented the situation
developing by making an early, small alteration of course to port,
to assist the small vessel to cross his bow.
- The Master of IRON KEMBLA is considered to have been negligent
in that he did not make use of all of the navigational equipment
available to him in conning the ship.
- The Master of the IRON KEMBLA is considered to have been remiss
in not reducing speed immediately the capsized fishing vessel was
- The Bridge Procedure aboard the IRON KEMBLA were deficient in
that the Officer of the Watch did not, as a matter of course,
monitor shipping on the radar so as to assist the Master by keeping
him informed of the distances of other ships, or by targetting
other ships on the ARPA.