Pilots’ limited local knowledge and the effect of a tidal set led to the groundings of the UK-registered bulk carrier Ocean Prefect in early June 2017.
On June 10, 2017, the bulker grounded when approaching Ahmed Bin Rashid Port, in Umm Al Qaywayn, United Arab Emirates.
The vessel was not damaged and was re-floated 12 hours later. During a second attempted entry into the port the following day, Ocean Prefect again grounded but continued to its berth despite the breaching of three ballast tanks.
The incidents did not result in any injuries or pollution. At the time, there were two harbour pilots on board the vessel.
An investigation undertaken by UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) revealed that the pilots’ limited local knowledge and the effect of a tidal set led to the incidents.
Additionally, very limited tidal stream data for the port approaches, potentially misleading positions of the navigation marks used to indicate the limits of the port’s approach channel, as well as Umm Al Qaywayn port’s lack of resource and marine expertise contributed to the groundings.
MAIB said that the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents presented the safety issues identified in the investigation to the United Arab Emirates’ Federal Transport Authority in December 2017.
The Federal Transport Authority has liaised with the Ahmed Bin Rashid Port and Free Zone Authority to introduce measures to improve the safety of navigation in Umm Al Qaywayn.
In addition, Ocean Prefect’s manager, V. Ships (Asia) Pte Ltd, has promulgated the lessons learned from the vessel’s groundings to its fleet.