Grounding of a bulk carrier

Casualty Circular No. 5 of 2004


F.No.11- NT(40)/2003                                                            Dated 24th August 2004


Sub: Grounding of a Bulk Carrier



1.1 At about 1900 hrs during the month of August, bulk carrier of 27997 GRT sailed from the port of Paradip after having loaded 39,080 MT of thermal coal. The vessel was under the pilotage. However, considering the choppy conditions outside, the Master permitted the pilot to disembark inside the breakwater. The pilot disembarked at 1938 hrs after instructing the master to proceed on 120 (T) course with full speed ahead. Soon thereafter, the vessel touched bottom. Harbour tugs were engaged to assist the vessel. At 2105hrs, the vessel was pulled out and piloted to a safe anchorage. The tanks and bilges were sounded and no damage to the vessel hull was reported.


2.1 The Master of the vessel, being a regular visitor to this port was probably over confidence of his knowledge about navigating in the channel.

2.2 The pilot with his long acquaintance with the Master probably thought that the Master could handle the vessel safely in the channel and therefore left the vessel at an early stage.

2.3 Both the Master and pilot failed to appreciate the southerly current which is not a very common phenomenon in monsoon months.


1) Masters are advised to navigate with extreme caution while maneuvering in the approach channel of any port.

2) Masters should use professional prudence before dispensing with the services of a pilot inside the breakwater.

4. This issues with the approval of the Nautical Adviser to the Govt. of India.

Nautical Surveyor -cum- Dy. Director General of Shipping [Tech]

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