Both cruise ship and fishing vessel violated ColRegs before collision, Coast Guard says

The U.S. Coast Guard said operators of both vessels erred in the June 25, 2007 collision between a cruise ship and a salmon seiner in Alaska's Chatham Strait.

Both the master of MV Spirit of Yorktown and the operator of FV Adirondack violated the rules of the road specified by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (ColRegs), the investigators said.

The 257-foot cruise ship was southbound and the fishing boat northbound when they hit in clear weather at about 0100 (PM #108). The 58-foot Adirondack had damage to its pilothouse and starboard side and lost its steering.

On Spirit of Yorktown, the second mate serving as the deck watch officer "failed to make radio communications and to discover the intentions of the FV Adirondack," according to a Coast Guard enforcement summary obtained by Professional Mariner through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Coast Guard charged Adirondack's operator because "during a head-on situation, he turned the vessel to port instead of turning the vessel to starboard."

The owner of Adirondack previously said his vessel would have run aground on rocks along Catherine Island if it had turned to starboard.
Spirit of Yorktown's owner, Cruise West Inc., was charged with not completing chemical testing properly. "Cruise West failed to fill out a chain of custody and donor identifications for the drug and alcohol tests that were performed."

No one was fined in the case. The operators of both vessels and the cruise company all received warnings. •

Dom Yanchunas

By Professional Mariner Staff