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KOOMBANA BAY Bulk Carrier Major Marine Occurrence

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Type of Casualty
Type of Ship
Bulk Carrier
Kaohsiung no.1 port entrance


On 9th December, 2022, at about 0750 local time (UTC 2350), a Hongkong flag Bulk Carrier, KOOMBANA BAY, IMO NO. 9515735, was sailing outbound from Kaohsiung no.1 port entrance, vessel made contact with the pier’s underwater construction extension. There was no crew injured and environmental pollution involved at present in this event.


At about 0750 local time on 9th December, 2022, a Hong Kong flag bulk carrier, KOOMBANA BAY, IMO No. 9515735, was sailing outbound from Kaohsiung Port first entrance, the vessel made contact with the pier’s underwater construction extension. There was no crew injured and environmental pollution was involved in this event.

Investigation Found

    About Possible Causes
    1. When the pilot was performing the duties of pilotage for the departure of KOOMBANA BAY from the port, the vessel was not navigated to a safe position. Despite objections from the ship's captain, the pilot disembarked within the narrow channel of the port, violating port compulsory pilotage regulations and international practices regarding the disembarkation of pilots. After the pilot disembarked, the KOOMBANA BAY was unfavorably positioned within the narrow channel that was not conducive to safe passage through the narrow channel. The captain of KOOMBANA BAY did not promptly correct the ship’s heading and adjusted its position to the middle of the narrow channel, resulting in the KOOMBANA BAY's hull under the waterline making contact with the south breakwater of the narrow channel.

    About Risk
    1. During the pilotage process for the departure of the KOOMBANA BAY, the captain of KOOMBANA BAY failed to promptly remind the pilot that the ship's position had deviated from the channel, as per the voyage plan in the port.
    2. The nautical chart of Kaohsiung Port does not indicate the pilot's disembarkation point within the port, resulting in a lack of transparency in the information regarding pilotage regulations on the chart. Additionally, the locations of disembarkation points for different pilots within the first entrance are inconsistent.
    3. The Kaohsiung Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) was unable to effectively utilize its equipment before the incident to monitor vessel dynamics and identify potential risks, and promptly offer suggestions or warnings.

    1. The pilot regarded Article 39 of the Regulations for administrating pilots as a valid basis for disembarking within the port, resulting in the captain of KOOMBANA BAY taking over the navigation within the port independently. This increased the risk of traffic accidents in the port area.
    2. If the pilot disembarks from the vessel early within the compulsory pilotage area of the port, except with the consent of the captain, for the sake of overall vessel traffic safety in the port, they should apply for early disembarkation from the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). If the pilot disembarks early within the port's compulsory pilotage area without reporting to VTS permission. The VTS must have an appropriate traffic management mechanism.
    3. Our country’s pilots have not yet established and implemented a safety management system. The maritime authority should consider establishing an independent safety management and supervision system. This system is fundamental to port internationalization and can effectively mitigate risks and accidents associated with pilotage.