Captain’s relief turned to despair in Erin Wood accident off Peterhead

An urgent need for a pee likely led to a collision between a bunker barge and a general cargo vessel last year, an investigation by UK authorities has found.

Cargo ship Daroja and the bunker barge Erin Wood collided in broad daylight in August of 2015, off the coast of Peterhead in Scotland.

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB) report outlined a catalogue of errors that led to the collision. The master of the Erin Wood was criticised for not reacting fast enough when he spotted the Daroja bearing down on his vessel while he relieved himself off the side of his tanker. The chief officer of the Daroja, meanwhile, was using his phone and reading paperwork in the moments before the collision, the report found.

Neither watchman on both ships were deemed to have been paying sufficient attention to realise they were on a collision course on August 29 last year.

The investogators also concluded the crew of Erin Wood were not “suitably qualified” to handle a small tanker and that the Buckie-based operators had put “commercial gain ahead of safety at sea”.


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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