Lack of Detailed Pilotage Plan Led to Celtica Hav Grounding

The Bahamas-registered cargo vessel Celtica Hav grounded on a stone training wall in Wales due to a lack of detailed pilotage plan.

Image Courtesy: UK MAIB

The 1984-built vessel ran into trouble in the approach channel to the River Neath with a harbour pilot on board at the time who had control of the steering and speed.

According to the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), a detailed pilotage plan had not been made by either the ship or the pilot, and the master/pilot exchange did not cover all hazards, including that posed by the training walls.

Additionally, the pilot did not have full positional awareness when Celtica Hav left the dredged channel and did not fully appreciate the risk of grounding on the training wall. The report also showed that the vessel’s electronic navigation equipment was not adequately utilised to monitor the vessel’s position and assess its progress.

Following the incident, Celtica Hav was quickly re-floated and manoeuvred clear of the training wall. It suffered extensive shell plate damage to the bottom of its hull, which resulted in water ingress to several ballast tanks and flooding in the engine room.

The flooding was contained using the vessel’s bilge and ballast pumps, and submersible salvage pumps provided by the harbour authority.

There were no injuries to personnel and no damage to the environment.

MAIB said that recommendations have been made to the Neath Port Authority (2019/101 and 2019/102) and HAV Ship Management NorRus AS (2019/103 and 2019/104) to improve the planning of pilotage and the quality of the master/pilot exchange of pilotage information.