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Container Ship cuts Minesweeper in two

Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Off Athens Greece. In the Saronic TSS. I’ve crossed that TSS dozens of times and it’s always an adventure. Man it’s hard to judge the speed of these huge monolithic hulks. Always take the transom.
0432C429-A5A6-4B5A-835A-F8D619A73E25.jpeg


happily no fatalities. Back part sunk. This is what the traffic looks like now.

777B5FA5-E86A-469B-8BA0-469FDB6C2F4B.png
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,458
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
That is going put a real crimp in the Greek Navy's capabilities.

It is true. " Man it’s hard to judge the speed of these huge monolithic hulks."

The reason I installed an AIS system. It gives me information that allows me to know the distance, speed and direction of the other vessels in my cruising area. Big ships come flying through the Puget Sound heading for the ocean. You can look at them and try to guess but you are likely to be wrong. And even if you are nearly correct, you can get tossed about when the wake rolls on top of you.

Even when you "wisely" choose to cross their transom, you need to be sure they are not towing something.

That said, it appears there was a failure on the Quarter deck of the Minesweeper. A failure of command and control. Perhaps a belief that they were seen and being a Military Ship they were safe. You can never be "sure" what is happening on the Quarter deck of the other ship.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
The reason I installed an AIS system. It gives me information that allows me to know the distance, speed and direction of the other vessels in my cruising area. Big ships come flying through the Puget Sound heading for the ocean. You can look at them and try to guess but you are likely to be wrong. And even if you are nearly correct, you can get tossed about when the wake rolls on top of you.

Even when you "wisely" choose to cross their transom, you need to be sure they are not towing something.
AIS is great of course. Even without it, you can assume these things are doing 16 knots.

The trick is being able to judge a cross. The monolithic shape makes it very have to judge TSD.
 
Feb 3, 2015
290
Marlow Hunter 37 Reefpoint Marina Racine, WI
Man it’s hard to judge the speed of these huge monolithic hulks. Always take the transom.
Been there done that and I totally agree! It’s even difficult to determine if they are anchored or under way at times. It often looks like sailing into the 7th fleet! Since sailing is a non-contact sport, I give them as much leeway as possible!
 
Aug 16, 2016
30
Pacific Dolphin 24 Phoenix, Arizona
Recent article reports the captain of the container ship was arrested. Seems strange? Someone forgot the rule that says" Stay out of the way of really BIG ships"!
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Recent article reports the captain of the container ship was arrested. Seems strange? Someone forgot the rule that says" Stay out of the way of really BIG ships"!
Often in European countries the term 'arrested' means not 'free to leave' (technically that's what it means in the USA too), or formally address questions. It is not necessarily suspicion of a crime. I know the boat was ordered to stay
 
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Jan 11, 2014
6,330
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Often in European countries the term 'arrested' means not 'free to leave' (technically that's what it means in the USA too), or formally address questions. It is not necessarily suspicion of a crime. I know the boat was ordered to stay
Under maritime law, a vessel can be arrested and not allowed to leave port.
 
Jan 1, 2006
5,292
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
When sailing into Newport we would see the car carriers coming down from Providence and I presume they were empty. From the time I would see the bridge superstructure over the headland until I was making a decision to tack seemed like seconds. The first one that came down I didn't even know it was a ship until I saw the hull emerge from behind Conaticut Island. That was a Holy Sh#t moment.
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,711
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
It's difficult to know who is at fault without having the details of the incident at hand. It's possible the minesweeper had broadcasted a restricted Zone, and the container ship ignored it, or missed it completely. If the minesweeper was testing equipment and had displayed a "Restricted in Ability to Maneuver " signal, the bridge of the container ship could have been unaware of it's meaning.
A language barrier could have been part of the problem. I have never been able to successfully communicate with the bridge of a ship while at sea, so I find it best to let the big boys go their own way, and avoid them at all costs.
 
Jun 21, 2004
1,610
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Interesting that we were just conversing about formal sail training vs self taught, learn as you go. Lake Shark mentioned that it would be an interesting to start a thread about the mistakes of professionally trained mariners.... well this is one for the books. May take some time for the Greek Coast Guard and maritime lawyers to determine cause and liability. You would think with high tech electronics present on commercial vessels, that mishaps such as this would be rare; however, it still takes a skilled mariner on watch to analyze the data, make the correct decision, and evasive action to avoid accidents. No one is perfect 100% of the time.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,240
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It's difficult to know who is at fault without having the details of the incident at hand. It's possible the minesweeper had broadcasted a restricted Zone, and the container ship ignored it, or missed it completely. If the minesweeper was testing equipment and had displayed a "Restricted in Ability to Maneuver " signal, the bridge of the container ship could have been unaware of it's meaning.
A language barrier could have been part of the problem. I have never been able to successfully communicate with the bridge of a ship while at sea, so I find it best to let the big boys go their own way, and avoid them at all costs.
My understanding is that they were in a TSS Lane. All of those things are extremely unlikely, if not impossible or illegal.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
6,330
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
My understanding is that they were in a TS S Lane. All of those things are extremely unlikely, if not impossible or illegal.
Sooner or later the AIS tracks will be posted. If someone has a MarineTraffic.com account they could look it up.
 
Oct 22, 2014
13,458
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
If someone has a MarineTraffic.com account they could look it up.
Not sure it helps a lot.
Maersk Launceston.JPG


This looks to be the track when stuff hit the fan. This first event of course changes happened about 09:30 UTC

Maersk Launceston2.JPG


This second event of course changes occurred between 19:03 and 19:31 UTC
Maersk Launceston3.JPG
 
Apr 28, 2005
253
Oday 302 Lake Perry, KS
My first sailing course...day one...motoring down Government Cut in Miami. When someone asked who had the right away, the instructor reminded us of the biggest right of way rule: The "Big Boat - Little Boat" rule.

The curious thing about all of this for me: the news story said there were only 27 sailors on board the minesweeper? Can you really run a modern (or semi-modern given the likely precarious state of the Greek navy) minesweeper with only 27 crew members?
 
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