Master’s blog. COLREGS 72

Collision of mega-vessels in the Malacca Strait, 29 Dec 2013

On Dec 29, 2013, Liberian-Flagged 349 metres long container vessel "Hanjin Italy" collided with 314 metres long LNG tanker "Al Gharrafa" early Monday in the Malacca Strait, off Singapore. "Al Gharaffa", which had sailed from Ras Laffan Port on Dec 19 to Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Futtsu LNG terminal in Japan, hit starboard side of container carrier. "Hanjin Italy" sustained relatively slight damage to her midship shell plating just beneath main deck. "Al Gharaffa" appears to have suffered more serious damage to her bow.

From reconstructions of collision based on AIS data available from the internet it is unclear what was a reason of sharp course alteration of Al Gharaffa to portwhile both vessels were on almost parallel courses and quite close to each other.

It is also difficult to see at what stage of reconstruction vessels collided (see another one here), so it is only remaining to guess until some more data will be available from open sources.

But whatever reason, Al Gharaffa’s manoeuvring can hardly be called an exemplar of good seamanship, at least on the part of complying with Rule 6 and Rule 13.

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