Marine Safety Investigation Unit
The Merchant Shipping
(Accident and Incident Safety
Investigation) Regulations,
2011 prescribe that the sole
objective of marine safety
investigations carried out in
accordance with the
regulations, including analysis,
conclusions, and
recommendations, which either
result from them or are part of
the process thereof, shall be
the prevention of future marine
accidents and incidents
through the ascertainment of
causes, contributing factors
and circumstances.
Moreover, it is not the purpose
of marine safety investigations
carried out in accordance with
these regulations to apportion
blame or determine civil and
criminal liabilities.
This report is not written with
litigation in mind and pursuant
to Regulation 13(7) of the
Merchant Shipping (Accident
and Incident Safety
Investigation) Regulations,
2011, shall be inadmissible in
any judicial proceedings whose
purpose or one of whose
purposes is to attribute or
apportion liability or blame,
unless, under prescribed
conditions, a Court determines
The report may therefore be
misleading if used for purposes
other than the promulgation of
safety lessons.
REPORT NO.: 07/2015
March 2015
Collision between the Maltese bulk carrier CN Jumbos
and the Liberian registered bulk carrier Anton Topic
two nautical miles Northwest of Ko Lin, Thailand
30 March 2014
On 30 March 2014 at 2214, the
Malta registered bulk carrier
CN Jumbos and the Liberian bulk
carrier Anton Topic collided two
nautical miles Northwest of
Ko Lin, Thailand.
CN Jumbos reported hull damage
and water ingress in the double
bottom tanks and cargo holds.
Anton Topic also sustained
structural damage on the port
bow. No pollution and injuries
were reported.
only had access to limited data
from CN Jumbos and therefore
the safety investigation focused
on the events which happened on
board the Maltese ship. The
MSIU identified that a complex
and dynamic situation was not
fully recognised, leading to the
The MSIU has issued one
recommendation to the ship
preservation of voyage data
recorder data.
During the analytical stage of the
safety investigation, the MSIU
© Copyright TM, 2015.
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copyright holders concerned.
CN Jumbos
MV CN Jumbos
single, fixed pitch propeller.
service speed is 14.0 knots.
CN Jumbos is a 16418gt Maltese registered
bulk carrier, fitted with five cargo holds
She is owned by
CN Madison Inc., managed by Franco
Compania Naviera S.A., of Greece and
classed with Nippon Kaiji Kyokai. The
vessel was built by Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Ltd., Japan in 1995.
The vessel’s
The master and the navigational officer of
the watch on CN Jumbos
CN Jumbos had a crew complement of 23
from Ukraine, Romania, and Myanmar. All
qualifications in accordance with the relevant
requirements of the STCW Convention.
The Ukrainian master was 57 years old and
held command of similar sized ships for 17
years. Prior to the accident, he has been in
employment as master with the present
company for about seven years. He joined
CN Jumbos on 12 December 2013. His
master’s Certificate of Competency was
issued by Ukraine.
CN Jumbos has a length overall of
165.50 m. Her loaded draught is 9.525 m.
Propulsive power is provided by a fivecylinder B&W 5L50MC, two-stroke slow
speed direct drive diesel engine, producing
5370 kW at 125 rpm. The engine drives a
single, fixed pitch propeller, reaching
manoeuvring speed of 10.8 knots and a
full sea speed of 15.0 knots in ballast
The third mate was 29 years old at the time
of the accident and was also from Ukraine.
In 2011, he qualified as an OOW on ships of
500gt or more, in accordance with regulation
II/1 of the STCW Convention. He was
initially employed by the Company as an
AB. He joined CN Jumbos as third mate on
12 December 2013.
CN Jumbos is equipped with a range of
navigational equipment, including a gyro
compass, two radar sets (one fitted with
automatic radar plotting aid), and two
receivers for global navigation satellite
system (GPS). The vessel is also fitted with
an AIS, VHF radio, course recorder, echo
sounder, and a NW4000-series simplified
The capsule (HSS) has about
12 hours of storage space after which the
voyage data is overwritten with new data.
Bridge organisation and safe navigation
procedures on CN Jumbos
The Company’s SMS Manuals specified that
prior to sailing, the master was to determine
the composition of the bridge watches for
open seas, entering/leaving port, restricted
visibility/dense traffic, anchoring, transiting
straits and special areas where limitations on
manoeuvring apply. The master’s bridge
manning order, which was posted on the
bridge, also explained who should be called
for duty.
Anton Topic, a 26,250gt bulk carrier, was
built in 1996 and is registered in Monrovia.
She is owned by Marlona Navigation Co.
Inc., managed by Marfin Management SA
of Monaco and is classed with Lloyd’s
Register of Shipping. The vessel’s overall
length is 185.74 m and her loaded draught
is 11.62 m.
The SMS manual inter alia stated that:
Propulsive power is provided by a sixcylinder B&W 6S50MC, two-stroke slow
speed direct drive diesel engine, producing
8561 kW at 127 rpm. The engine drives a
MV CN Jumbos
“...the Master is personally responsible for the
safety of navigation and his primary
consideration is the safety of the ship and its
personnel. The Master is to be present on the
bridge when entering or leaving a port,
crossing channels, etc., in restricted
visibility, in bad weather and whenever he
considers it necessary.
the keeping of a good lookout, using all
available means and strict observance of
international regulations for preventing
collisions at sea.
...The OOW shall be guided by the contents
of international regulations and guidelines,
but paying particular attention to the
Paramount Clause – The safety of the ship
and its personnel is always to be the prime
consideration, taking precedence over any
No consideration of program,
convenience or previous instructions
justifies taking any risk which may place the
ship in danger.”
The night orders for 30 March 2014 directed
the watch keepers to follow the master’s and
Company’s standing orders, and to keep a
sharp lookout. The master’s standing orders
are signed by the navigational officers of the
watch at the commencement of each voyage.
Environmental conditions
The weather on the evening of 30 March
2014 was overcast. Visibility was reported
to be up to 12 nautical miles. The wind was
Beaufort Force 2 with a low swell of about
0.50 m from the Southeast.
With reference to lookout duties, it was
required in the SMS Manual that:
“…[i]n maintaining a proper lookout, the
following are observed at all times:
the lookouts are to pay full attention to
their assignment and no other duties are
to be undertaken by or assigned to them,
which could interfere with their task; and
Internal audits
The last scheduled quality and SMS internal
audit prior to the accident was carried out by
the master and the Company’s auditor on 13
June 2013. The audit report indicated that
the officers and crew demonstrated a good
level of understanding of the Company’s
requirements and procedures.
No nonconformities with respect to the ISM Code
and the safety management system were
the duties of the lookout and of the
consequently, the helmsman is not
considered to act also as a lookout while
The matter is also addressed in Rule 5 of
the Collision Regulations (COLREGs).
Drug and alcohol policy
The Company has a drug and alcohol abuse
policy, which is enforced on board to
ensure a safe working environment on
board. The use or possession of drugs is
strictly prohibited and any crew member
found in contravention of this policy is
Consumption of alcohol is only allowed in
limited quantities and its consumption is
permitted neither during hours of work nor
four hours before any scheduled work.
Events on CN Jumbos leading up to the
CN Jumbos departed Anggrek, Indonesia on
25 March 2014. The vessel was in ballast,
bound for Ko Si Chang in Thailand. The
drafts were 3.72 m forward and 5.78 m aft,
thus a 2.06 m trim by the stern. The voyage
was uneventful.
Master’s standing and night orders
The master’s orders specified that watch
keepers are responsible for the safety of the
ship and their first and foremost duty was
MV CN Jumbos
Unless otherwise stated, all times are ship’s time
On 30 March 2014, at 1955, the third mate
came on the bridge for his 2000-2400
watch, taking over the navigation watch
from the chief mate. At handover, the third
mate reportedly found the bridge in order.
The vessel was on auto-pilot. The charted
course was 000°(T) and speed was about
12.5 knots. BA Chart 1046 was in use.
The vessel was expected at waypoint 20 at
about 2200 for her final approach to Ko Si
Chang pilot station.
(provided that both vessels maintained their
respective course and speed).
A GPS position (12° 47.6’ N 100° 40.4’ E)
plotted at 2200 placed CN Jumbos about six
cables South Southeast of waypoint 20. The
vessel’s speed was gradually dropping after
2202 and the next charted course 026.4°(T)
was shortly due. The master judged that after
the course alteration, CN Jumbos would
safely pass on the port side of Anton Topic.
The master recalled that at about 2210, the
small cargo ship on CN Jumbos’ starboard
quarter had been overtaken and well clear.
At 2100, the master came on the bridge. At
the time, CN Jumbos was overtaking a
small cargo ship about one nautical mile
slightly forward of the starboard beam.
There were no other vessels in sight. After
familiarising himself with the situation, the
master called Ko Si Chang Port authorities
and exchanged arrival information.
The master instructed the third mate to
change over to hand steering and steer 026°.
The third mate recalled that when the
heading was on 026°, the steering was
changed to auto-pilot again. He stated that
another course alteration was required by the
master to 031° because of a fishing vessel
which was ahead of CN Jumbos.
At 2150, when the vessel was just off
waypoint 20 (12° 48’ N 100° 40’ E), the
master acquired a radar target. In the
meantime, end of sea passage (EOP) was
declared at 2200, when the vessel was about
14 nautical miles from the pilotage
embarking area.
The master recalled that shortly after
reaching course 026°, Anton Topic, which
was now less than one nautical mile from
CN Jumbos’ port bow, was observed rapidly
turning to port. The master stated that he
tried to contact her on the VHF radio but he
received no reply.
The master had the con and the third mate
was on hand steering. There was no
helmsman and no look-out was posted on
the bridge.
He immediately ordered a hard-over wheel to
starboard, with the engine running
manoeuvring full ahead. Notwithstanding
this manoeuvre, at 2214, CN Jumbos and
12° 49.05’ N 100° 40.86’ E. CN Jumbos’
port side was struck by Anton Topic (Figure
1) in way of cargo hold nos. 1 and 2, at an
angle of 30°.
The master visually sighted the radar target
against the back drop of shore lights. He
stated that the target was bearing 17° on the
gyro compass at a distance of 4.7 nautical
miles2. The ARPA displayed Anton Topic
on a course of 206° and making a speed of
about 13 knots. From the ARPA, the AIS
information and the visual aspect of
Anton Topic, i.e. two mast head white lights
and a red side light, the master recalled that
he had judged a crossing situation, with
CN Jumbos crossing ahead of Anton Topic
The master identified the radar target as Anton
Topic on the AIS.
MV CN Jumbos
Structural damages to CN Jumbos
A damage survey was carried out by Class
NK on behalf of the flag State
Administration. The port side shell plating,
upper deck plating, forecastle space, and
supporting structures between the collision
bulkhead and aft bulkhead of cargo hold
no. 3 were longitudinally torn, distorted, and
dented in a number of places (Figure 2).
Figure 1: Damages to Anton Topic port bow
Post collision events
Immediately following the collision, both
vessels stopped their main engines. The
starboard side of Anton Topic started
closing in on the port side of CN Jumbos
until the two vessels were almost parallel
and stopped in the water. As Anton Topic
surged across the bow of CN Jumbos, the
master ordered the engines full astern and
the two vessels moved apart.
Figure 2: Damage to the side shell plating
Anton Topic’s anchor and chain were
displaced and lodged into the CN Jumbos’
ship side (Figure 3).
CN Jumbos’ cargo holds were breached.
There was ingress of water and the vessel
started taking a list to starboard. The
master raised the general alarm, activated
the EPIRB, and issued a distress call. The
crew were mustered and the lifeboats
prepared. The two liferafts were also
tethered and launched.
soundings of ballast tanks and hold bilges
were taken by the crew members.
Figure 3: Anton Topic’s anchor (and chain), which
penetrated CN Jumbos side shell plating
Eventually, the starboard list settled at 5°
and the situation finally stabilised. The
emergency actions called by the master
were stood down. At 2230, CN Jumbos
anchored off Ko Lin in position
12° 49.01’ N 100° 40.69’ E. Anton Topic
reportedly anchored at Laem Chabang
anchorage. There was neither any pollution
nor injuries reported by the two vessels.
An underwater inspection of the hull
revealed that the shell and bottom plating
between the bulbous bow and water ballast
tank no. 4 were dented and punctured in three
locations (Figure 4). Water ingress was
reported in cargo hold nos. 1 and 2. Four
sets of bilge keel were ripped off3.
MV CN Jumbos
An internal examination of the cargo holds and
water ballast tanks could not be carried out at the
time of the damage survey.
somehow inadvertently overwritten. The
VDR data from Anton Topic was not
available to the MSIU.
The lack of VDR data from both vessels
hampered the reconstruction of events
leading to the collision.
Analysis of the documents submitted to the
MSIU did not reveal any evidence that the
master or the third mate on board
CN Jumbos were suffering from fatigue. To
this effect, fatigue was not considered to be a
contributing factor.
Figure 4: Damage to the bottom shell plating
The purpose of a marine safety
investigation is to determine the
circumstances and safety factors of the
accident as a basis for making
recommendations, and to prevent further
marine casualties or incidents from
occurring in the future.
Drug and alcohol test
The last schedule drug and alcohol test on the
crew of CN Jumbos was carried out on 31
March 2014. The MSIU was not aware that
drug and alcohol tests were carried out
following the collision. However, during the
course of the analysis of the crew actions,
there were no indications that drug and
alcohol could have contributed to the
Voyage data recovery
Voyage data is valuable (factual)
information, crucial to help understand the
dynamics of events leading to the accident.
It gives insight into the conversations
amongst the bridge team members and
between other ships.
AIS and VHF communication
Information extracted from the AIS included
the destination of Anton Topic, which was
Pasir Gudang, Malaysia. Given the close
proximity of her position to Ko Lin, an
alteration of course to port (to execute her
own voyage plan) should have been
CN Jumbos.
The process for saving VDR data is simple
and straight forward although it may vary
from one ship to another. The voyage data
on CN Jumbos covering the period leading
to the collision was reportedly to have been
irretrievably lost by the crew members. It
could not be established whether the crew
members failed to save the data (as initially
reported), or if the data was saved but
Alternately, there were advantages in using
VHF radio to determine the approaching
vessel’s intended action or to communicate
one’s action to avoid misunderstanding or
close quarter situations.
However, no
attempt was made to either communicate or
alert Anton Topic until it was too late to avert
the collision.
During the course of the safety investigation, the
MSIU did not have sufficient information on the
unfolding events on board Anton Topic. To this
extent, the safety investigation report focuses
only on the accident dynamics happening on
board the Maltese vessel.
In this respect, the MSIU was unable to fully
determine the direct causes and underlying
factors of this collision.
MV CN Jumbos
Standards of bridge manning and watch
The duties of, inter alia, the master,
navigational officer of the watch and the
look-out were specified in the Company’s
SMS manuals as follows:
Overall control
Certified deck officer
Manual steering
Able seaman
Able seaman
Radar & ARPA
Certified deck officer
Assessment of the situation
The master arrived on the bridge at 2100.
After he acquainted himself with the
situation, he did not consider it necessary to
complement the bridge team with a look-out
and/or helmsman. Meanwhile, the third mate
remained responsible for the navigational
watch duties until the con was taken over by
the master at about 2210.
Soon after, he instructed the third mate to go
and switch over to hand steering. The vital
function of tracking Anton Topic and other
vessels was thus abruptly disrupted with the
third mate now stationed at the steering
console. Inevitably, the workload was now
on the master at a time when continuous
monitoring of the relative movements of
CN Jumbos and Anton Topic had become
critical due to sudden drop in speed and
alteration of course to starboard.
Although CN Jumbos was approaching the
restricted waters of Ko Si Chang during that
evening, the master’s night orders did not
contain any specific instructions to the
watch keepers to call additional crew for
helm or lookout duties. Although the
master was not constrained by the Company
to call additional crew members on the
bridge, he deemed that it was adequately
manned with the navigational officer of the
watch and himself.
Consequently, this changed the CPA, TCPA
of Anton Topic and own vessel’s aspect. The
appearance of a fishing vessel at close
quarter at this critical moment augmented the
mental workload. With the sudden turn of
interpretation of the situation became critical;
considering also the dynamic situation and
the significant amount of information which
the master had to look for, interpret, and act
upon. Without any additional support, the
master’s accuracy of the situation awareness
was compromised and inaccurate.
Since the master and the third mate had
joined CN Jumbos on 12 December 2013,
i.e. well after the Company’s internal SMS
audit of 13 June 2013, it could not be
determined whether the master was familiar
with the Company’s procedures on bridge
organisation and safe navigation. However,
managers confirmed that the master had
undergone familiarisation training at their
and the manning agents’ offices, through
the Company’s standard pre-joining
familiarisation material.
Interpretation and action
The available evidence suggested that the
master may not have readily anticipated the
developing situation.
It appeared that the master’s understanding
of the prevailing situation was such that it
did not pose any particular risk which
would have warranted the implementation
of the SMS procedures and to follow the
standing orders. In doing so, however, the
navigational watch fell short of the
standards on watchkeeping arrangements,
prescribed in Chapter VIII of the STCW
MV CN Jumbos
At 2200, the master rang EOP and visually
sighted Anton Topic. He claimed that at the
time, she was 4.7 nautical miles on
CN Jumbos’ starboard bow5. The master
During the consultation period, when the draft
safety investigation report was forwarded to the
substantially interested parties and States, the
managers of Anton Topic submitted a series of
stated that she was displaying two white
mast head lights and a red side light and
that if both vessels maintained course and
speed CN Jumbos would cross clear ahead
of Anton Topic with a CPA margin of 0.8
nautical miles.
Conflicting Evidence
There were three discrepancies noted in the
evidence made available to the MSIU:
Both the master and the third mate
visually sighted Anton Topic at 2200,
which was an acquired target on ARPA
at 2150. The master stated that if both
vessels maintained course and speed,
CN Jumbos would cross clear ahead of
Anton Topic. The third mate, however,
reported that Anton Topic was crossing
well ahead of CN Jumbos.
interpretation given by the master was at
variance with that of the third mate;
However, the master seemed to have taken
no account of the rapidly falling rpm to
manoeuvring full speed and the alteration of
course of 026°. Both variables changed the
CPA and TCPA of Anton Topic6. It is also
possible that the accuracy of a radar plot
may be lost while altering course and
reducing speed. Therefore, the fresh CPA
and TCPA may not be immediately
detected or readily available to both vessels.
The master stated that he ordered the
third mate to change to hand steering at
2210. The third mate, however, reported
that it was shortly after 2200 that the
master had ordered him to engage hand
steering and bring the vessel from 000º
to 026º. The auto-pilot was re-engaged
and at 2206, a GPS position was plotted
on the chart.
This event was not
recorded in the master’s statement; and
Once the course alteration was completed
with Anton Topic less than one nautical
mile from CN Jumbos, the master relied on
his experience and he reportedly judged that
Anton Topic would pass very close on the
port side of CN Jumbos, which assessment
may not have been readily perceived on
Anton Topic.
Shortly after plotting the GPS position at
2206, the master ordered the third mate
to take over the wheel a second time and
steer 031º. The third mate stated that it
was when he was steering 031º to clear a
fishing vessel that Anton Topic struck
CN Jumbos.
This event was not
recorded in the master’s statement.
Indeed, Anton Topic’s turning to her port
(perhaps to execute her own voyage plan)
alarmed the master who at the time was
reportedly preoccupied to steer clear of the
fishing vessel. His immediate reaction was
to order the wheel hard over to starboard,
with the engine full ahead to avert the
collision with Anton Topic.
In the absence of data from VDR the MSIU
could not verify which of the versions
recorded in the two statements was more
one-minute interval AIS screenshots, covering
the time between 2155 and 2205. According to
these AIS screenshots, the distance between the
two ships at 2200, was 5.88 nautical miles. It
was also indicative that the bearing of
CN Jumbos had not appreciably changed during
that period.
No new CPA and TCPA for Anton Topic were
reported by the master.
MV CN Jumbos
It was decided that:
Additional focus will be made on
COLREGs and the Company’s
navigational procedures;
A close quarter situation was
allowed to develop, eventually
resulting into a collision.
The master on board CN Jumbos did
not anticipate that Anton Topic
would alter course to port before
passing clear of his ship.
The Company will analyse the
seafarer’s history in more detail before
an approval is issued for the
embarkation and signing on;
The fishing vessel ahead of
CN Jumbos added to the complexity
and mental workload of the master
at a time when the situation with
Anton Topic was critical.
The importance of a proper lookout
performed by all available means will
be highlighted to all OOWs;
Internal audits and on board visits by
Company personnel will specifically
focus on familiarisation of crew
members with Company’s navigational
and emergency procedures;
On sighting Anton Topic turning to
port, CN Jumbos neither reduced her
speed nor stopped / reversed her
main engine.
The OOW was at the helm and took
no further part in navigation or
lookout by sight, hearing or by other
means available to him on the
The master deemed the bridge was
adequately manned and did not
consider calling additional crew
members for assistance.
No VHF communication was
exchanged between the two vessels
with respect to course and speed
alterations after CN Jumbos’ EOP.
navigational practices will be provided
to crew members to ensure that risky
situations are addressed in a timely
manner to avoid an escalation to an
emergency situation;
Issues identified during emergency
situations are reviewed by Company’s
personnel in order to determine
whether the Company’s emergency
procedures need to be amended; and
The safety lessons identified in this
particular accident will be disseminated
among vessels under the Company’s
Franco Compania Naviera S.A. reported
that following the accident, an internal
investigation was carried out.
Taking into consideration the conclusions
reached and the actions taken by the
managers of CN Jumbos, Franco Compania
Naviera S.A. is recommended to:
07/2015_R1 ensure that crew members are
thoroughly familiar with the procedures
to save data from VDR and sVDR units
fitted on board ships under its
Safety actions and recommendations should not
create a presumption of blame and / or liability.
MV CN Jumbos
Vessel Name:
CN Jumbos
Anton Topic
Classification Society:
Nippon Kaiji Kyokai
Lloyd’s Register of Shipping
IMO Number:
Bulk carrier
Bulk carrier
Registered Owner:
CN Madison Inc.
Marlona Navigation Co. Inc.
Franco Compania Naviera S.A.
Marfin Management S.A.M.
Length Overall:
165.5 m
185.74 m
Registered Length:
158.60 m
177.08 m
Gross Tonnage:
Minimum Safe Manning:
Authorised Cargo:
Dry bulk
Dry bulk
Port of Departure:
Anggrek, Indonesia
Ko Si Chang, Thailand
Port of Arrival:
Ko Si Chang, Thailand
Pasir Gudang, Malaysia
Type of Voyage:
Cargo Information:
In ballast
Dry bulk
Date and Time:
30 March 2014 at 2214
Classification of Occurrence:
Serious Marine Casualty
Location of Occurrence:
12° 49.05’N 100° 40.86’E
Place on Board
Cargo hold; Freeboard deck;
Forecastle deck; Overside
Injuries / Fatalities:
Damage / Environmental Impact:
Hull damage
Hull damage
No environmental damage
Ship Operation:
On passage
On passage
Voyage Segment:
External & Internal Environment:
Overcast. Visibility was reported to be up to 12 nautical miles.
The wind was Beaufort Force 2 with a low swell of about
0.50 m from the Southeast.
Persons on board:
MV CN Jumbos