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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

vessel collision at Bosphorus strait !

The Bosphorus is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.  The Bosphorus is also known as "Strait of Constantinople", or as "Istanbul Strait".

Read a news that a 60-foot yacht collided with a 25-foot boat off the coast of southern Rhode Island causing the smaller vessel to capsize and leaving its sole occupant dead, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Although only a small percentage of the world's total tonnage is involved, the number of collisions which take place at sea each year is large. There must also be a fairly large number of ‘near misses’, and, daily, officers have to consider the implications of situations which could give rise to collision.

Collision is the act of colliding; a coming violently into contact; crash. A collision is an isolated event in which two or more bodies (colliding bodies) exert relatively strong forces on each other for a relatively short time. Collisions involve forces and there is a change in velocity. In traffic such a collision can be between two vehicles, a vehicle and a person, a vehicle and an object, two persons or a person and an object (and more if an animal is involved). It is an accident or even a disaster.

As we travel on any highway, quite often we see ghastly signs of trucks colliding with  another, against platforms, trees -  causing damages and injuries. These are attributed to :- uncontrolled heavy traffic, mechanical failures especially of the breaking system, driver fatigue, poor visibility, judgmental errors, supremacy attitude of the driver, lack of patience, driving by persons not authorised and a host of other reasons.  For an Insurer, the collision hurts – the injuries / fatality would result in a claim (PA / MACT). There would be own damage claim for the vehicle and there would be claims for damages to the cargo carried in the vehicles. At sea it is much more serious – primarily due to the accumulated values of Hull, thousands of containerised cargo and freight not to speak of marine pollution, oil slicks…….

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (Colregs) are published by the International Maritime Organization(the IMO) and set out, among other things, the "rules of the road" or navigation rules to be followed by ships and other vessels at sea to prevent collisions between two or more vessels. Although rules for navigating vessels inland may differ, the international rules specify that they should be as closely in line with the international rules as possible.   It, inter-alia, states :  7. Risk of collision  :  Vessels must use all available means to determine the risk of a collision, including the use of radar (if available) to get early warning of the risk of collision by radar plotting or equivalent systematic observation of detected objects. If the distance of any vessel is reducing and her compass bearing is not changing much or it is a large vessel or towing vessel at close distance, or if there is any doubt, then a risk of collision shall be deemed to exist.

Media sources state that Product tanker Paros Wind and the bulk carrier CS Jaden suffered after they collided on 31.8.2015  near the northern entrance to the Bosphorus Strait. The images show extensive damage to the bow of the 1988-built, 17,060 dwt Paros Wind, which apparently rammed into the port side of the 2013-built CS Jaden, causing a significant indentation. The hull of the 38,101 dwt bulker was reportedly not breached by the hit.

As World Maritime News reported earlier, Paros Wind was carrying fuel oil from Tuapse to a location yet to be disclosed when it collided with CS Jaden, which was reportedly carrying wheat to Port Said, in the Black Sea, some eight nautical miles off the northern entrance to the Bosphorus.

No injuries to both crews and no pollution have been reported thus far. The authorities sent ten tugboats to aid the vessels and tow them to Kumkoy road where they still lay at anchor, some 2 nautical miles apart, according to the latest AIS data.

PS : A two-year time-limit applies for collision claims under English law, although the Court has a discretion to extend time.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Sept. 2015.

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