Chief takes bathroom break, ship grounds

Written by Nick Blenkey

toilet signJANUARY 22, 2013 — The U.K.’s Marine and Coastguard Agency reports that the Chief Officer of a vessel that grounded July 2, 2012, has been fined after admitting that after he left the bridge to take a bathroom break he has no recollection of events until after the  grounding.

The Antigua and Barbuda registered cargo ship Coastal Isle was en route from Belfast to Greenock, Scotland, when at 0500hrs in the morning of July 2 it grounded at Garroch Point on the southern coast of the Island of Bute.

There was a crew of ten onboard the ship but fortunately there were no injuries and there was no pollution. The ship was refloated at around 09.30hours the same day and proceeded to Greenock where divers found that the ship had suffered serious damage for about one third of its length and the forepeak tank was ruptured.

The Chief Officer, Necati Izmir admitted leaving the bridge at about 03.00hrs to go to the toilet and has no recollection of events until after the collision when he was found in his cabin by the second officer who had been sent to look for him

The Captain, Bernd Radel from Germany stated that the Chief Officer had been found asleep in his bed. Mr. Izmir pleaded guilty at the Sheriff Court in Greenock on 23rd November 2012 to failing to safely navigate his ship.

Sentencing Mr Izmir today, the Sheriff Mrs Anderson fined Mr Izmir a total of £5,000.

Captain Singh Grewal, Area Operations Manager (Survey and Inspection) for the MCA stated: “This was a very serious incident. It could so easily have been a dreadful tragedy but fortunately there were no injuries or pollution.”

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