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1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Crew feels lucky after collision with cargo ship

A Newfoundland fishing crew feels lucky to be alive following a collision between their small fishing boat and a massive cargo ship.

Transport Canada is investigating how the Turkish ship Servet-Y and the fishing boat Tip Sea managed to not see each other before they collided Wednesday night off the island's south coast.

The Tip Sea (left) was towed into Rose Blanche harbour by a Canadian Coast Guard cutter. (Colleen Herritt)

Hedley King, the owner of the Tip Sea, said he briefly assumed the worst when the 22,000-tonne steel-hulled cargo ship struck his vessel.

"I figured, 'Well, I'm going to go. This is it, this is the time,'" King told CBC News.

The Tip Sea was about 75 kilometres southwest of the French islands of St-Pierre-Miquelon at the time of the collision. Conditions were foggy at the time.

"We were taking back our trawl and, in a flash, the ship was on top of us and just rammed into us," King said.

"A big ship like that coming at you and you in a 35-foot boat — it doesn't look like there's much hope there."

Remarkably, though, none of the fishing crew was injured. The boat did not take on any water even though the collision left a crack in the Tip Sea's hull that stretched from its top to the water's edge.

A crewmember aboard the Servet-Y reached by CBC News said the larger vessel did not see the Tip Sea on its radar.

The Servet-Y is 180 metres long, or almost 17 times as long as the Tip Sea.

The two vessels made radio contact after the collision. At the time, the Tip Sea crew assumed their vessel was fine and told the Servet-Y bridge they did not need assistance.

However, their assessment was premature. The Canadian Coast Guard dispatched a cutter from Burgeo to the collision site. The cutter towed the Tip Sea to its home port of Rose Blanche, on Newfoundland's southwest coast.

Transport Canada has opened an investigation into the collision.

Christopher Fitzgerald, a search and rescue co-ordinator with the Canadian Coast Guard, said surviving a collision with a cargo ship is as close a call as a vessel can experience.

"These are not something to be trifled with," he said.

"They're normally going at anywhere from 13 to 14 knots … they were very fortunate."

As for King, he's happy to be home after a harrowing experience.

"[I feel] very, very lucky to be here, and the other guys are too. I'm thankful for that," he said.


21 Posts
Cargo ship / Trawler collision

Hi Rushi,

Nice to see you back mate, been on your hols ? (Thumb)

In the sixties when I was a Deck Officer, fishing boats could be a right pain. In the main the were just going about their business, but some were real mavericks. I was coming north up the Irish Sea one night when one suddenly cut across my course, from Port to Starboard, it was heartstopping for a moment when she disappeared below the flair of my bows, I went hard a port and she shot out under my starboard bow, going hell for leather.

Morse light from her read " Sorry, stupid thing to do ". I couldnt see her name or number, too dark and she was well gone by the time I had got back on course and stopped shaking, at least I got an apology. Still had to do some laundering though when I came off watch !!!!!


7 Posts
Fishing Boats

You echo my sentiments entirely with your comments about fishing boats. As a newly qualified 3/0 with BP in the early 60s they gave me some of my hairiest moments, especially crossing the North Sea at night. Drift nets could stretch up to 2 miles if I remember rightly. A fleet of drifters ahead of you was bad news & meant some hefty changes of course. At least we had Decca Navigator to pick up the threads once we were past & clear.
I used to find the lights displayed at night very confusing & they seemed to bear no resemblance to what was stated in the "Rule of the Road". Trawlers were not as bad to spot or avoid. I believe there was one BP tanker which went into drydock in North Shields & when the water was pumped out of the dock part of a driftnet was found wrapped around her bows......
However, my hairiest fishing boat moment of all came off the west coast of India, en route to Kandla from Abadan. It was about halfway through my watch on a very black, moonless night, 2 hours away from Kandla. There were a few lights about but nothing to worry about....or so I thought. Ahead of me were 2 white lights, one about 3 points on the port bow, the other about 4 points on the starboard bow, about 1 mile distant. We were doing about 12 knots & I had just gone in to the chartroom to put the kettle on when the secunny shouted "Sahib - come quickly!" I dashed out on to the bridge & to my horror, saw a long line of lights right across our bows, about a quarter mile distant. They were spaced about 100' apart. All I could do was aim for the largest gap I could see & order the secunny to steer straight for it, which is what we did & thankfully got through. I ran to each bridgewing to see if we were dragging any boats in our wake & again, thankfully, no & we were past & clear.
When we picked the pilot up a couple of hours later I mentioned this event to him. Apparently a small local fleet of fishing boats with very small nets take up station in line off the coast & lay a net between each boat. It is the local custom for only the first & last boats in the line to show lights for fear of scaring the fish away......until they see something approaching. At least the 2 boats had the good sense to haul their in net when they saw me coming.
Brown corduroys from then on? You bet!

John F.

1,389 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Santos,

Had a lovely week in Cornwall thanks.

Did an article on the Egremont for the regional newspaper to celebrate her 30th anniversary of her return home to South Devon. I'll post it in the Ferries section so you can have a read. Here's to her next 30 !

Cheers for now mate,

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