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Ineffective Mitigating Actions

Richmond, British Columbia, 31 March 2014 – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) today released its investigation report (M13W0057) into the accident involving the American fishing vessel American Dynasty, a 272-foot factory trawler run by a crew of up to 150 crewmen, that struck the HMCS Winnipeg in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

At 0818 Pacific Daylight Time on 23 April 2013, the American fishing vessel American Dynasty experienced a complete loss of electrical power (blackout) while approaching the graving dock in Esquimalt, British Columbia. The vessel was under the conduct of a docking pilot and was being assisted by 2 tugs at the time. Following the blackout, the American Dynasty gained speed to an estimated 5 knots, veered to starboard, and struck the port side of the HMCS Winnipeg, berthed at the Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt. There was extensive damage to both vessels and 6 shipyard workers on the HMCS Winnipeg sustained minor injuries.

The exact reason for the blackout and cause of the vessel’s turn to starboard could not be determined. However, the investigation did determine that following the blackout, the emergency generator did not start automatically because the selector switch was set to the “OFF” position. The chief engineer’s attempts to restore electrical power were unsuccessful and the auxiliary generator engine shut down shortly after. Electrical power could not be restored in a timely manner. Furthermore, the bridge did not make contact with the engine room after the blackout and, as a result, in the limited time available, the chief engineer was unaware of the need to take urgent action to avoid the striking.

The investigation found that, without procedures and comprehensive emergency drills, crews may not be proficient in taking mitigating action during an emergency. Effective management of safety requires individuals at all level of an organization to identify and manage risks. In this occurrence, there were indications that aspects of safety associated with emergency preparedness and crew familiarization were not managed effectively.

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