Calamity of human errors cited in high profile Corsican ship prang

Multiple human errors, including a distracting phone call, caused the high profile collision between a Tunisian ropax and a Cypriot boxship off Corsica last October, investigators have revealed.

The bow of the North African ship became lodged in the anchored container vessel leading to a significant bunker spill in the Mediterranean.

The watch officer onboard the Tunisian vessel Ulysse was chatting on his phone, while his counterpart on the Cypriot containership Virginia did not attend to radar alarms, Tunisian, French and Cypriot investigators said in a report presented in Tunis this week. The Virginia was anchored in the middle of a sealane, the investigators said.

The two ships had the same insurer, which estimated damage to both vessels to be at least $15.5m, while cleaning coastal waters was provisionally estimated at $12m.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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