MAIB reports on tug Dominigue capsize accident in Madagascar resulting in 2 fatalities
MAIB has published a report on the investigation of the girting and capsizing of tug Domingue while assisting the UK-registered container vessel CMA CGM Simba, departing from the port of Tulear, Madagascar. As a result of the accident two of Domingue’s five crew died, the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch said.
The report says the Domingue had been connected to CMA CGM Simba’s port quarter to help pull the vessel’s stern off the berth. During the manoeuvre, the prevailing tidal conditions caused CMA CGM Simba to move towards a mooring dolphin. To avoid striking the dolphin, CMA CGM Simba’s master briefly manoeuvred his vessel ahead, the pilot did not warn the tug that they would be coming ahead. As CMA CGM Simba built up ahead speed Domingue girted and capsized.
MAIB's investigation report into marine accident showed the following safety issues: the Domingue was less manoeuvrable than the port’s normal tug which was undergoing maintenance, and its crew were inexperienced in assisting ships. The tug was not fitted with a gog rope, nor did the towing point have any mechanism to release the tow in an emergency and doors and hatches on the tug were open. The extent to which a plan for CMA CGM Simba’s departure had been discussed between the pilot and Domingue’s skipper before commencement is uncertain, and during the manoeuvre no-one on board CMA CGM Simba monitored the tug’s position.
The MAIB investigates marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters. The MAIB primarily helps prevent further avoidable accidents from occurring. Marine Accident Investigation Branch receives between 1500 and 1800 reports of accidents of all types and severity each year. On average this leads to 30 separate investigations being launched.