200216 Anchorage Manoeuvring

16 Jan 2002

Achorage Manoeuvring
Report No. 200216

A cape size bulk carrier in light ballast condition was approaching anchorage with a strong SW currents. As she approached one of the buoys marking the anchorage she experienced a strong set and lost effective steerage. She made contact with the buoy, causing damage to the buoy.

The Following guidance is issued to Masters

  1. All vessels approaching anchorages are to be aware of the above incidents and take all appropriate precautions.
  2. All Masters should take the opportunity to manoeuvre their vessels whenever possible - approaching anchorages is a good opportunity to practice their ship handling skills and familiarise themselves with the characteristics of their vessels.
  3. Masters are reminded to exercise caution when navigating in channels with strong currents either across or with the intended track. The control of the vessel and their ability to maintain their intended track can be effected. The safety of the crew and vessel comes first - proceed at a safe speed - slow down to a minimum steering speed before you enter the channel - check the response of engine movements if you are at unusual draft or trim - if you experience difficulties steering, use the engine with large rudder movements for short periods, if in doubt or if the situation is getting worse, stop the vessel and be prepared to anchor.
  4. Be prepared - know as much about the anchorage as you can before arrival - do not underestimate tide and current.
  5. Anchoring large vessels has many dangers. It is strongly recommended that large vessels only walk out the anchor. All vessels should walk out the anchor when anchoring in deep water.
  6. When at anchor, the notice you require for main engine to be ready, must be appropriate to the circumstances - where the risk is greater - a crowded anchorage, poor holding ground, bad weather / strong wind (at the time or forecast for later) or strong tides and current such as this case - the main engine must be available for use at short notice.
  7. You will not need to be reminded of the usual practice of good seamanship and know that it is always advisable to cross astern of other anchored vessels - not cross ahead.