Collision between General Cargo and Bulk Carrier vessel flying same flagn in Indian waters

Casualty Circular No. 27 of 2009


 NO:11-NT(40)/2009                                                                     Dated: 07.09.2009


Subject: Collision between General Cargo and Bulk Carrier vessel flying same flag in Indian waters


A General Cargo ship, flag- foreign, GRT- 10444, built in 2008, sailed out from Indian port on the East coast of India and arrived at another Indian port on West coast of India on 2nd July, 2009 and anchored at 2210 local time. The vessel had arrived to discharge 5177 MT of steel product cargo. The vessel was awaiting for berthing schedule after dropping her anchor. Another Bulk Carrier, GRT- 26239 MT sailed out from the same Indian port on 03.7.2009 at 1255 hrs under pilotage where the General Cargo ship was at anchor. The bulk carrier while leaving the port for its outward voyage, the vessel approached the anchored General Cargo Vessel waiting for berth at a very close range. The prevailing sea/weather/tidal conditions were as follows:-

Wind direction - South West -B.S. 4
Swell - South West - 0.5 mtrs.
Current - Setting toward 038o at o.5 knots.


The Master of the General Cargo Vessel at around 1300 hrs. on 3rd July, 2009 made an attempt to contact the Bulk Carrier on VHF channel 16 to warn her of the dangerous approach towards her. The Master also sounded repeated short blasts on ships vessel. These efforts proved futile. The Master of general cargo vessel immediately sounded emergency alarm to muster all crew. The Master of the Bulk Carrier made an announcement on its Public address system that her vessel was unable to maneuver due to her local steering system failure. At 1314 hrs. on 03.7.2009, the Bulk Carrier made contact with General Cargo Ship on starboard quarter causing heavy damages to the ships hull. There was no loss of life or injury or incident of oil pollution.




  • The Port Signal Station failed to report this incident to Maritime Assistance Service-MAS (D.G. Shipping) within 24 hours.
  • The delayed reporting caused incomplete investigation as the bulk carrier after collision sailed out to her destination port.
  • The General Cargo Vessel sustained heavy damage and condition of class was imposed on hull by the class.
  • The damage sustained by the Bulk Carrier could not be verified.
  • The anchored General Cargo Vessel was riding to wind under the influence of ebb tide.
  • The documents submitted by the vessel shows Bulk Carrier did lose steering control.
  • The Bulk Carrier did not maintain safe distance from the anchored ship.
  • The Master of the Bulk Carrier failed to use engines or drop anchor to avert the collision. 





  • All major/non-major ports shall comply with the reporting requirements in the event of maritime shipping casualty as specified in M.S. Notice No. 18 of 2009 dated 09.04.2009The Port Control Authority should monitor the movement of traffic within its jurisdiction through efficient and effective vessel monitoring system
  • The Master of vessels underway or making way while passing anchored ships should take into account provisions of Safe Speed Rule No. 6 of COLREG 1972 with special reference to state of wind, sea, current, traffic density and proximity of navigational hazards etc
  • The Master of vessels, whether at anchor or underway or making way shall take all precautions which may be required by ordinary practice of seamen keeping in mind all dangers of navigation and limitations of vessels. 


(Capt. Deepak Kapoor)
Nautical Surveyor-cum-DDG (Tech)

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