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Inefficient use of ECDIS and a pilot portable unit (PPU) were factors in the grounding of a CMA CGM container ship near Southampton, UK. A report into the accident that occurred on 22 August 2016, listed issues linked to the ineffective use of e-navigation equipment on the ship.

The UK Government’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said that the bridge team on CMA CGM Vasco de Gama did not use the ship’s ECDIS nor the pilot’s portable equipment to their full potential, which contributed to the maritime accident.

CMA CGM Vasco de Gama, a 399 m ultra-large container ship, grounded on the western side of the Thorn Channel while approaching the Port of Southampton. This was despite the presence of two of the port’s specialist container ship pilots on board. CMA CGM’s ship was refloated soon after grounding through a combination of tugs and using the vessel’s engines.

Through the investigation, the MAIB discovered that “the standards of navigation, communication and effective use of the electronic charting aids on board did not meet the expectations of the port or the shipping company”. This was despite the vessel’s bridge team and the port’s pilots having the experience, knowledge and resources available to plan and execute the passage effectively.

Other issues highlighted in the report included the fact that a detailed ship manoeuvre plan had not been produced, the bridge team’s roles and responsibilities were unclear and that the lead pilot had not briefed the team about his plan for the turn round Bramble Bank.

“There was an absence of a shared understanding of the pilot’s intentions for passing other vessels, or for making the critical turns during the passage,” the MAIB said in the report.

“Neither the ship’s ECDIS nor the PPU functionality were fully utilised and resulted in each system not providing adequate cross checks or alarms.”

In the report, the MAIB also highlighted how margins of operational safety were decreasing… (Read More) Source: Marine Electronics and Communications.