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Summary

Summary

Shortly after 1700 hours on 2 March 1992 the Philippine registered bulk carrier Longevity, on passage from Kimitsu, Japan to Newcastle NSW, was in collision with the British yacht Blue Goose of Arne some 50 miles to the east of Sandy Cape. The Blue Goose of Arne was dismasted and also holed on the starboard hull.

The Longevity turned about and provided assistance to the lone yachtsman in effecting repairs to the yacht's hull, after which both vessels continued on their voyages.

Some time later the Blue Goose of Arne suffered further damage when it plunged off a wave crest, as a result of which it flooded and sank. The yachtsman, supported only by his lifejacket and clutching his emergency radio beacon, was eventually rescued by helicopter.

Conclusions

It is considered that:

  1. While on the 225 degrees course the Longevity was proceeding in a safe crossing situation and would have crossed about two miles ahead of the Blue Goose of Arne.
  2. By altering course to port at 1658 the Master precipitated the collision.
  3. The master failed to properly ascertain the situation with respect to the Blue Goose of Arne and whether it was safe to alter course to 180 degrees.
  4. The Master also failed, having altered course to 180 degrees, to ascertain whether a safe situation existed, before handing over the watch to the Second Mate.
  5. In taking over the watch from the Master, the Second Mate accepted an unknown situation, which rapidly developed into the collision.
  6. The Second Mate's actions were directed by the recommendations of the Master, not as a result of a correct assessment of the situation.
  7. After the collision, in turning and providing assistance to the yacht and in reporting the incident, the Master fully fulfilled his obligations.
  8. The yachtsman failed to maintain a lookout and, in particular, a watch on the Longevity. As a result, he was unaware of the course alteration by the Longevity and the developing situation.
  9. Although the time the yatchsman spent clinging to the raft and in the water was a feat of physical endurance, his rescue and ultimate survival were due to the fact that he had an EPIRB.
 
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