Marine safety issues and actions

Failure to keep a proper lookout

Issue number: MO-2012-006-SI-01
Who it affects: Watchkeepers
Issue owner: Fukujin Kisen and all other operators
Transport function: Marine: Shipboard operations
Background: Investigation Report 295-MO-2012-006
Issue release date: 12 December 2013
Current issue status: Adequately addressed

Safety issue description

In the past 25 years the ATSB and its predecessor have investigated 39 collisions between trading ships and smaller vessels on the Australian coast. These investigations have all concluded that there was a failure of the watchkeepers on board one or both vessels to keep a proper lookout and that there was an absence of early and appropriate action to avoid the collision.

Proactive Action

Action number: MO-2012-006-NSA-016
Action organisation: Fukujin Kisen
Date: 12 December 2013
Action status: Closed

Following this incident, Fukujin Kisen issued a safety instruction to all ships in its fleet highlighting the need for watchkeepers to keep a proper lookout. They have also advised that, as a result of the ATSB investigation, they will issue a further safety instruction prohibiting activities such as playing music during a navigational watch.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the combination of actions taken and proposed by Fukujin Kisen should adequately address this safety issue.

Safety Advisory Notice

Action number: MO-2012-006-SAN-015
Action organisation: All persons charged with navigating a vessel at sea
Date: 12 December 2013
Action status: Closed

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau advises all persons charged with navigating vessels at sea to always maintain a proper lookout so as to identify other vessels early enough to make a full appraisal of the situation and to take appropriate, early and effective action to avoid a collision.

Last update 08 January 2014