One person has been disciplined after human error was cited as the cause of an incident that saw the MV Blue Putttees run aground in thick fog near Port aux Basques, N.L. earlier this summer.
© Chantelle MacIsaac photo
Firefighters with the Port aux Basques Volunteer Fire Department stand beside the MV Blue PUttees, which ran aground in the town's harbour this morning.
The findings come after Marine Atlantic, the RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board initiated investigations shortly after the July 31 crash, which sent the vessel to dry dock in Halifax for repairs.
According to the Transportation Safety Board, the accident occurred as the Blue Puttees was departing its berth when the master ordered a 10 degree port rudder and applied a 50 per cent ahead propeller pitch.
The quartermaster incorrectly applied 10 degree starboard rudder. After about 42 seconds, the master observed that the vessel heading line on the centre starboard radar was altering to starboard and realized that the rudder order had been applied the wrong way.
The master applied full astern pitch, but the vessel’s speed had already reached 9.6 knots, and the vessel grounded before it could be stopped.
When the accident occurred there were 398 passengers and 91 crew on board. There were no injuries or pollution reported, but the vessel, which was bound for North Sydney, sustained damage to its bulbous bow and a hole in ballast tank No. 1. The vessel was first refloated during the next high tide and returned to the ferry dock for further assessment before being sent to Halifax.
After the crash, Marine Atlantic initiated an internal investigation to determine the cause and to work towards preventing a similar incident in the future.
The Transportation Safety Board has also outlined recommendations for consideration and Marine Atlantic is now reviewing them to determine next steps. Recommendations suggest Marine Atlantic conduct a review of Bridge Resource Management, as well as the vessel speeds used when vessels are entering and leaving port.
The Crown corporation has already started reviewing this information with its captains and making any necessary updates and improvements that may be required.
The National Research Council has also been engaged to assist with research regarding the speed at which to enter and exit ports.