Bridge team chatted about movie Cat Woman as HSV sliced through fishing vessel

beamerA high speed catamaran ferry that sliced through a fishing vessel while en route to the Channel Islands from France did so as the ferry's bridge team was chatting about the 2004 movie Cat Woman and about how long substances in the blood remained detectable by drug testing kits.

The collision took place on March 28, 2011 and involved the high-speed cat Condor Vitesse and the fishing vessel, Les Marquises. The 42-year-old fishing vessel skipper died in the incident.

A report released by France's BEAmer (Bureau d’enquëtes sur les évênements de mer) says Condor Vitesse sailed from Saint-Malo in thick fog conditions; the fog horn had been inactivated very early and the visual lookout had not been strengthened. Its speed had progressively reached 37 knots.

"In the wheelhouse almost continuous talks without any link with the watchkeeping, maintained an atmosphere not compatible with the necessary concentration to conduct a HSC in the fog.

"This behavior, as well as the visibility are the causal factors of the accident," according to the report.

The BEAmer report contains transcripts of the conversations on the bridge and reveals that the first indication on the bridge that the ferry had been in a collision was when a leak was detected. At that stage, the transcript shows, a crew member told the bridge that a passenger had seen the collision with the fishing vessel.

Read the BEAmer report, which is in English as well as French, HERE

October 24, 2011

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