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The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) examines and investigates all types of marine accidents to or on board UK ships worldwide, and other ships in UK territorial waters.

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Millennium Diamond

Millennium Diamond Accident Investigation Report

Published 5 March 2015

On 4 June 2014 the passenger vessel Millennium Diamond made contact with Tower Bridge, London while on passage from Greenwich to Tower Pier, with 126 passengers and 6 crew on board. Ten passengers and crew were injured and the vessel’s hull was damaged.

The safety issues identified are:

  • The mate became distracted while replaying an unexpected VHF message about the closure of Tower Pier.
  • The layout of wheelhouse equipment resulted in the mate not maintaining a proper lookout while replaying the VHF message.
  • No Public Address announcement was made as activating the microphone did not automatically take priority over pre-recorded broadcasts.
  • The vessel’s proximity to Tower Bridge and the speed of encounter was such that there was insufficient time in which to prevent the contact once the vessel had veered off course.
  • There was no agreed holding area for the vessel to use when Tower Pier was temporarily closed.
  • The syllabus for the Boatmaster’s licence examination did not test a candidate’s understanding of the risks arising from distraction and the proximity of hazards and the speed of encounter of vessels in the confined waters of the river.
  • The Honourable Artillery Company did not inform the PLA that the time of the gun salute had been changed.
  • Unsecured storage equipment and drinks cans caused injuries to crew members when they became dislodged as a result of the contact.

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Wanderer II Accident Investigation Report

Published 12 February 2015

The safety issues identified are:

  • During scallop dredge tipping there was no dedicated operator at the winch control.
  • The casualty was untrained and inexperienced in using the winch whipping drums.
  • When operating the whipping drums the winch control was beyond operator reach and there was no other emergency stop.
  • The relief skipper had not been specifically told that the junior deckhand was not experienced in using the whipping drum.
  • A lack of communication and exchange of information between the crew caused assumptions to be made.

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