Environmental factors and ineffective avoidance manoeuvres led to 2020 berth striking involving a bulk carrier in the Port of Québec
Québec, Quebec, 9 February 2022 — In its investigation report (M20C0145) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that a combination of environmental factors and ineffective avoidance manoeuvres led to the bulk carrier CSL Tadoussac striking the berth in the Port of Québec in 2020.
On 10 June 2020, the CSL Tadoussac was berthing under the conduct of a pilot in the Port of Québec, Quebec, when the vessel struck the berth and was subsequently damaged. There were no injuries or pollution.
The investigation found that, as the vessel approached the berth, the pivoting moment created by the current acted against the turning moment created by the vessel’s rudder and bow thruster, reducing the vessel’s rate of turn. Consequently, the vessel was unable to complete its port turn and was not parallel as it approached the berth. The combination of vessel position from the incomplete turn, combined with the current and wind and the vessel’s speed of 3 knots, limited the time available for effective corrective actions. The master set the propeller to the full astern position in an attempt to avoid striking the berth, further reducing the vessel’s rate of turn. This resulted in the vessel approaching the berth at an angle of 30 degrees and striking it.
It was determined that in this occurrence, the master and pilot did not complete the required Master / Pilot Exchange of Essential Information checklist, which is an important tool for helping both parties share all necessary and critical information for safe navigation. As such, essential information was not shared, and as the vessel approached the berth, there was no discussion of a contingency plan.
The CSL Tadoussac did not have a voyage data recorder (VDR) on board, nor was one required by regulation. Consequently, investigators could not confirm engine orders nor response times. In the absence of VDR bridge audio recordings, the investigation was unable to objectively confirm some of the events leading up to the striking.
Following the occurrence, the Laurentian Pilotage Authority conducted a case study of this occurrence and sent letters to the pilot and the master informing them of the study’s conclusions. A detailed policy on master/pilot information exchanges that came into effect shortly after the occurrence was sent to both parties at the same time.
See the investigation page for more information.
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.
For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada