Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
Vessel was 7 month old handy max bulk carrier carrying logs from Japan to New Calcedonia (Australia). It was to load on the return voyage Nickel ore from there.
Sufficient warnings were received regarding the cyclonic weather expected on the way. Master and the chief engineer decided to go on half ahead speed to avoid the cyclone and to increase the speed after cyclonic storm had crossed. This was discussed and the charterer was informed accordingly. After a day’s voyage, message was received from the agent that the ship had to proceed at full speed and the ship is supposed to berth on so on so date and time.
Without reconfirming from the agent or without discussing with him regarding the weather conditions, Master ordered the vessel to proceed at full speed.
The result was that the ship was caught right in the eye of cyclone and the ship was tossed and could not move ahead, rather the ship lost time. After a delay of two days, the ship made to the port, after the cyclone subdued. The entire team was put into discomfort for this period.
Lesson learnt :
as a Master, when it is made known that weather is really bad, it is better to talk to the agent or charterers to avoid such situations.