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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Cercal KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source LMIU
type C
volume Y
material
dead
link

Touched rocky bottom on entering port of Leixoes 02 Oct 1994 and holed one tank, causing oil spillage Towed back out to sea and leakage stopped Oil transferred to another tanker 14 Oct Drydocked Lisbon 18 Oct for repairs Sld prev 26 Oct Port was closed and reopened 03 Oct.


source ETC
type D
volume 9254B
material
dead
link


source FSI 4/5 Annex 2
type A
volume 2360T
material Arabian light crude
dead 0
link

Master checked the position and advised the pilot that the vessel was dangerously close to shore and that a change of course to 170/180 was necessary to clear the shoal. The Pilot did not agree with the Master's assessment of the situation and indicated the echo sounder which was recording a depth of seven meters to confirm his opinion. The seven meters must be a typo. A loaded 54,000 tonner needs more than that. The course was altered to starboard but only to 149. At 1000 LT the ship grounded.

Failure of pilot to appreciate the vessel was East of the approach course.

Failure of pilot to take the necessary action as allegedly requested by the Master and his own assitant pilot to alter course to 170/180 as the situation demanded.

Some blame will attach to the Master for failure to override the Pilot's courses. In strong mitigation of this conclusion, it is appreciated that the Master was faced with a very difficult and sensitive situation. His vessel had the services of two experienced pilots and four harbor tugs werein attendance and made fast.

There were no communication difficulties as all concerned were Portuguese.


source CTX
type D
volume 9254B
material
dead
link

Cedre says 3000T.

We need info on weather, but it seems pretty clear GPS would have prevented this spill with even the most stubborn pilot. So calling it a nav error, but bullheadedness is probably the real cause.

The move of taking a ship back out to sea and ballasting her down is a very good idea if and only if weather is good. It would probably have made better sense to transfer enough oil from the damaged tank to an undamaged tank (even if ballast) rather than wait for a lighter. As soon as damaged tank is at a level such that you have positive HBL positive at the harbor draft, the ship could return to protected waters. But current regs effectively prohibit this.