NTSB: Lack of effective communication led to collision of bulk carrier, cutter

Hollyhock D607a091

The following is text from a marine accident brief issued by the National Transportation Safety Board:

Executive summary

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock was breaking through ice west of the Straits of Mackinac on the morning of Jan. 5, 2014, to establish a path for six merchant vessels heading west into Lake Michigan when it ran into thicker ice and had difficulty continuing ahead. The 1,004-foot-long Mesabi Miner, the first merchant vessel in the convoy, was unable to slow quickly enough to avoid striking the stern of the Hollyhock at 1042. No injuries or pollution resulted from the accident. Both vessels sustained significant damage but remained operational.

Probable cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause of the collision between the United States Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock and the bulk carrier Mesabi Miner was the lack of effective communications between the two vessels’ bridge teams during icebreaking operations, which resulted in an insufficient amount of time to take action to avoid a collision.

Click here to view the complete document.

By Professional Mariner Staff