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Aanvaring op zee nabij Denemarken Bron: Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid
Collision off the coast of Denmark Source: Dutch Safety Board

Collision off the coast of Denmark. Lessons from the collision between the Helge and the Wild Cosmos

Status : Closed

On 9 September 2022 the Dutch vessel Helge and the Wild Cosmos sailing under the flag of the Bahamas collided near the coast of Denmark. The Helge was heavily damaged due to the collision. The Helge’s crew had to abandon the ship. Nobody got seriously injured.  

Bridge Resource Management not optimally applied

The collision between the Wild Cosmos and the Helge occurred because the chief officer of the Wild Cosmos did not see the Helge and therefore did not keep clear. The Helge’s chief officer determined from a single observation that there was no danger of collision as he was under the assumption that the Wild Cosmos would pass safely. On both vessels was only one watch officer. The second mandatory watch officer was absent. Furthermore, the available recourses on the bridge were not fully utilized.

Good seamanship

The collision between the Helge and the Wild Cosmos is comparable to previous collisions the Dutch Safety Board has investigated.

It is important for seafarers to remain aware of human limitations. Especially when there is an impression that everything is under control, there is a danger that a situation may not be accurately assessed. Factors contributing to this can include sleep deprivation, monotony, distraction, disruption of day-night rhythms, and one man watchkeeping. Recognizing these limitations is one of the key aspects of good seamanship.

Understanding that one cannot always perceive everything in a timely manner should be part of a professional attitude. This underscores the importance of proactively and correctly utilizing available technological tools and equipment on board to support seafarers.

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