UK P&I Club has commented on the apparent rising trend in claims for collisions with fishing vessels, stating that the primary reason appeared to be a failure of bridge teams involved to maintain a proper lookout, in particular a proper radar look-out. The Club said in its annual report for 2016/17 that “given the high-standard of modern day radars and the fact that in all the above cases the vessels involved were fitted with state-of-the-art high specification radar sets, Members are reminded of the importance of on board navigation audits and regular and effective bridge resource management training”.
UK P&I said that it was continuing to see “a high volume of collisions in the crowded waters off Singapore”, many of which are low impact and often coincide with anchoring operations. However, the club noted that larger scale collisions in this area could be extremely disruptive, “particularly if accompanied by the release of pollutants”. The club noted that one incident in early January 2017 resulted in the release of a large quantity of oil.
The Club said that “masters and their bridge teams should be reminded that the navigation of fishing vessels tends to be less predictable than that of larger merchant ships. This is not such an issue for larger fishing vessels but the navigational behaviour of smaller fishing vessels can be more erratic.”