Chinese maritime authorities have haeavily criticised
the navigation on a Bocimar bulker
during an accidental collision with a fishing vessel
that resulted in the loss of at least two lives.
The claims have been made in a hard hitting report
by China's Martime safety Agency (MSA)
into the collision between 53,500 dwt handymax CMB Biwa
and a Chinese fishing vessel 77 gt Lu Ri Yu 1608 inMay.
The accident left two fisherman dead, three missing
and two injured
According to the report, the CMB Biwa
collided with the Lu Ri Yu 1608
in clear and calm conditions with six to seven miles visibility
on 5 may at 00:56 near the No 5 anchorage at Rizhao port.
The CMB Biwa was heading for Rizhao port anchorage No 1
at 14 knots from indonesia,
where it had picked up a cargo of coal.
The master, second officer amd an AB were on the bridge.
The vessel changed to hand steeering
and speed was reduced to 11.1 knots
when it encountered an area heavily congested with fishing boats.
Speed was further reduced to 10.5 knots
with the Lu Ri Yu 1608 and its sister boat Lu Ri Yu 1607
just one nautical mile away.
When the fishing vessels came to closer quarters,
the Lu Ri Yu 1607 overtook the CMB Biwa on the starboard side.
The Lu Ri Yu 1608, ahead of the CMB Biwa,
manoeuvred to the port side and,
in order to avoid a collision, the master of the bulker
ordered the vessel hard to starboard.
The result was that the starboard bow of the Lu Ri Yu 1608
hit the starboard bow of the CMB Biwa
at an angle of between 30 and 50 degrees.
While the CMB BIwa suffered a few scratches,
the Lu Ri Yu 1608
was severely damaged with only two survivors
found by Shandong search and rescue.
The MSA says the CMB Biwa did not follow its obligations
as a give-way vessel under collision regulations.
"When facing the close quarters situation,
it turned to starboard trying to pass through
the two fishing vessels is [sic] the direct cause of the accident."
The NSA says the ship should have taken earlier action
to steer clear of the fishing vessels.
The failure of the fishing vessels
to react correctly is given as an "indirect reason"
for the collision.