The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published an accident report on the 2019 collision between motoryachts Vision and Minx that resulted in the death of a crewmember. The tragic incident occurred at Ile Sainte-Marguerite, near Cannes, France on 25 May 2019 when the 28m Vision collided with the anchored 27m Minx, fatally injuring a crewmember on Minx’s foredeck.
The report reveals that Vision and Minx’s guests had spent the afternoon and evening drinking and partying together and, on departure from the anchorage, Vision’s skipper attempted a high-speed close pass of the anchored Minx. The aim of the close pass was, at the suggestion of Vision’s charterer, to provide an opportunity for the guests to wave goodbye to their friends on board Minx. However, during the manoeuvre, Vision’s skipper lost control of the yacht and it collided with the anchored Minx.
AIS data shows that Vision’s speed immediately prior to collision was just under 33 knots. “The accident happened because Vision’s skipper underestimated the risks associated with the close pass manoeuvre, and prioritised his perception of the charterer’s wishes over the safe navigation of the vessel,” the report concludes. “Blood sample tests conducted the day after the accident indicated that Vision’s skipper was under the influence of cannabis, which was likely to have impaired his judgement.”
The report also concludes that Vision’s skipper was not suitably qualified to take charge of the yacht, as his RYA Yachtmaster certificate had not been commercially endorsed. As such, MAIB includes a recommendation to the Royal Yachting Association and the Professional Yachting Association to promulgate the safety lessons from this investigation to owners and operators of commercial motoryachts.
The sole objective of the investigation of an accident under the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 is the prevention of future accidents through the ascertainment of its causes and circumstances. In this case, the report acts as a somber reminder of the importance of a captain's safety management in a commercial environment.
The full report can be read here.
Images provided by MAIB
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