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Grounding Of The Passenger Ship Royal Majesty On Rose And Crown Shoal Near Nantucket, Massachusetts June 10, 1995

521 words - 3 pages

On June 10, 1995, the passenger ship Royal Majesty grounded on a shoal about 10 miles east of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, whilst on passage from Bermuda to Boston.The report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB/MAR-97/01http://www.ntsb.gov/ publictn/1997/mar9701.pdf) focuses on determining how this vessel could travel, unknown to the crew, more than 17 miles off course.The immediate cause of the grounding was clear - the failure of the officer of the watch to take corrective action, despite these warning signs - but it is the root causes, and the human element connotations, that are of interest.The ship's Master and watchkeeping officers were competent and experienced in ...view middle of the document...

Shortly after the Royal Majesty left Bermuda, the GPS receiver antenna cable - which had been re-sited some months previously and was openly routed across the deck - had separated, which caused the receiver to default to the 'Dead Reckoning' mode.For the next 34 hours no one detected the ship's errant navigation, despite a number of warning signs that the vessel was off course.The Navigation and Command System (NACOS) autopilot was not configured to compare position data from other position receivers.The officers of the watch failed to recognize the warning signs on the GPS unit, which indicated that GPS position data was not reliable; the GPS receiver's brief aural alarm, the remoteness of the receiver's location (from the main console), and the fact that the GPS external alarm was not connected, all contributed towards this failure.The officers of the watch were relying almost solely on the GPS and the ARPA display to provide them with information about the vessel's position.This affected their situational awareness to the extent that they failed to properly identify buoys and other visual (and aural) warning signs immediately before the grounding.The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the grounding was:1) The over-reliance of the watchkeeping officers on the automated features of the integrated bridge system.2) The failure of the Company to ensure that its officers were adequately trained in the automated features of the integrated bridge system and in the implications of this automation for bridge resource management.3) Deficiencies in the design and implementation of the integrated bridge system, and in the procedures for its operation.

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