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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!
CG-1691 Response Question # 44. Hyak Collision 09-13-2013
On September 13, 2013 while traveling from Lopez island to Orcas Island the
M/V Hyak was in a collision with a sailboat. The sailboat was under power and
not under sail at the time. At control of the helm at the time was a Second Mate
who was in training. As the M/V backed out of the Lopez dock,, I gave
instructions to the Second Mate to set a course of 315 degrees. This course was
a normal and safe course for the vessel traffic at the time. We were building
speed at full-ahead. The tug and tow Rosario was on an easterly course in
Harney Channel approximately abeam Hudson Point. I made passing
arrangements to go port to port with the Rosario. There was also a sailboat, (later
to be known and identified with the vessel name Norma Rae) under sail tacking
toward Orcas southeasterly of the Tug Rosario at a distance of approximately a
mile and a quarter form the Hyak that was heading 325 degrees nearly the same
direction as my vessel on the port hand side. The vessel on my starboard side
(Incident Vessel) was a sailboat of smaller length approximately 25 feet under
power (no sails visible) that was also heading towards Orcas Island. The vessel
was one-half mile west of Foster Point at the entrance of Harney Channel.
heading approximately 315 degrees at a distance of approximately one and an
eight mile to shoal water no its' current northwest heading, prevented passing this
vessel on anything but the port side. WE had clear passage through both the
two small vessels, leaving one to port and the other to starboard on opposite
sides of the channel. This was communicated to the second mate (helms man).
At the time we left the dock I had no concerns as we had clear passage through
these vessels. The small vessels were staggered, one forward to port and one
forward to starboard. The incident vessel under power to starboard was more
southeasterly than the sailboat Norma Rae under sail, still going the same
direction as my vessel. This left my vessel and the two same vessels to the
Rosario's port hand side. The way that the boats were configured and traveling at
this time still posed no hazards to any of the vessels. As we were starting to
overtake the small vessel on the Hyak's starboard side, the helmsman (second
mate) said the small boat was getting closer. I gave the order to "Come Left, and blow
the whistle if you feel it is necessary." I was training the Second Mate as helmsman,
and as such, provided her direction in how to deal with this scenario.
the helmsman did not blow the whistle as this time. I looked over to check the
Second Mate (Helmsman) to ensure that she had followed my directions and
saw that she had hard right rudder on. I immediately, in a raised voice said,
Hard Left rudder, you;re on hard right rudder!" She responded "Oh, you mean
my other left." She then went full left rudder.
Given the lack of the whistle and the fact that I saw she had not followed my
direction regarding the rudder direction, I immediately took action to attempt to
avoid the impending collision and minimize any damage. I ran between the radar
and steering console and saw the small boat turning to port to cross out bow.
I knocked the second mate (helmsman) out of the way and went full astern. I
sheered the rudders to veer away from the vessel. I looked to see where the small
boat was and saw it disappear un out starboard rub rail. The regular
quartermaster was watching the small boat and I heard it hit.
The M/V Hyak did no appear to have any significant damage. the incident
vessel was towed towards shore and subsequently sunk. To my knowledge the
captain of the incident vessel sustained a bruise.
All involved crew members were drug and alcohol tested. All crew members
passed the breathalyzer test and none of the involved crew members appeared
impaired by other substances.
This incident appears to have been caused by a combination of the incident
vessel's captain being distracted by his pet on board his vessel combined with
the human error of the mate turning the rudder starboard instead of to port as
commanded. I suggest further training of the second mate.