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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Mobil Vigilant KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 2
source GATES-1989
type D
volume
material
dead 0
link

Vigilant was in-bound loaded with 41,198 LT of crude after lightering. Her draft was 11.3 m, with an underkeel clearance of about a foot. Marine Duval was outbound loaded with 23,866 Lt of molten sulfur. Weather was clear, 10-15 knot breeze. Pilots were in contact and had agreed port to port passage. But Vigilant was at dead slow and could not stay on her side of channel, even tho pilot at the end went to full ahead and hard rudder. Vigilant hit Duval on her port bow at 0409. The Duval's hull was ripped open with a gash 48.8 m long and 5.5 to 6.1 m high. The port side ballast tanks, Nos 1 through 5, were flooded and the void space bulkheads damaged. The centerline cargo tanks Nos 1 and 2 sustained insulation damage. The damage was estimated at 6 million usd. Several feet of the Mobil Vigilant's bulbous bow were sheared off and the bow compartment was flooded. The forepeak tank plating sustained a 1.2 m tear on the port side. The damage was estimated at usd 200,000. No crew members were injured on either vessel. Gates does not give a speed for the Vigilant but his calculation of squat shows that he thinks it was less than 5 knots.

Gates shows that the problem was bank suction which pulled the Vigilant's stern to starboard, despite full opposite rudder. The single screw ship, with very limited low speed maneuverability, was simply too big for the channel.


source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead 0
link

The Vigilant had had a similar accident with the M/V Syra in July, 1978. The combination of the size of the ship in a very confined waterway with the limited maneuverability of single screw at low speed set up an impossible situation for the crews and pilots.

We dont have direct penetration data but the damage extended to the Duval's center tanks, so it must have been at least 5 m, probably close to 10, despite the low speeds involved.