Barry Young – as Expert witness (governed by a Code of Conduct covered in Post 15th Jan’14) is being questioned by Mark Davies, Crown Lawyer, as to the incident depicted in Photos 1,2 & 3 …
“This has been described as something other than a crossing or end-on situation, do you have any comment to make about that ?”
B Young – “There is no other possibility. When ever 2 power driven vessels are meeting there are only 3 possibilities that fall with in the Collision Regulations – a head-on, a crossing & an overtaking situation – what we are dealing with here is clearly a crossing situation. Once there is Risk of Collision established Rule 22.15 says that the vessel which has the other on its starboard side shall give way – Looking at Photo 1, Classique is the Give-way vessel & the ferry is the Stand-on vessel – there was Risk of Collision because the Relative Bearings were not appreciably changing between the vessels. Rule 22.16 determines that the Give-way vessel must take early & substantial action to keep well clear.”
M Davies -“Re Photo 2, which is the Give-way & Stand-on vessel ?
B Young – “The situation hasn’t changed – the ferry has Classique fine on its port bow … Classique is the Give-way vessel … She has already left it late to start carrying out its obligations.”
M Davies – “What is Photo 3 of ?”
B Young – “Classique has crossed ahead of the bow to the starboard side of the ferry … the end phase of a crossing situation … she has failed to comply with Rule 22.15 & crossed ahead of the ferry … & Rule 22.16 by failing to take early & substantial action or any action during that situation, putting both vessels at risk.”
M Davies – “There has been some suggestion that the ferry should have or could have altered course to port.”
B Young – “The rules say that the Stand-on vessel must not alter course to port to avoid a close quarters situation as the Give-way vessel may at any time to turn to starboard which could cause a collision with a port turning Stand-on vessel.”
M Davies – “Rule 22.17 applies to the Stand-on vessel, what is the obligation of the ferry as seen in Photos 1,2 & 3 ?”
B Young – “Rule 22.17 says – 1: Keep course & speed. 2: If the other vessel is not taking appropriate action it must take action to avoid collision itself but not turn to port for a vessel on its port side”
M Davies – “You’ve heard that Seaway reduced speed & attempted to stop – can you comment on those actions of the ferry ?”
B Young – “Taking into account the size of the ferry & the angle of approach, the ferry had no other option … it was fortunate to have 4 large engines & is very efficient at stopping in a short distance … it would be difficult for the Give-way vessel to argue that the Stand-on vessel was in some way at fault & to use that as an excuse for not taking the action it should have”
M Davies asks as to how B Young calculated the distance between the vessels at aprox 25 mtrs & whether the zoom factor made Classique look closer than it was. As the measurements were made with the ferry stationary at her dock in Half Moon Bay, in an unladen state, against a rising shore, with a wrong assumtion as to where Classique’s water line was – they need not be covered here.
Bolton has been informed by the Judge that he can ask B Young as the Expert Witness, technical questions & put matters regarding methodology to him in the next session.
This was the right angled approach as shown in the Coastguard Page 9 exhibit
to depict the situation between the ferry & Classique but it was misleading to the Court
considering that Rule 22.15 didn’t apply to the actual approach prior to the incident.
Photo 2 shows Classique actually ahead of the port bow which is in line with the wheelhouse of the ferry although the ferry has turned starboard by the distance between the vertical red lines & Classique has moved from under the arrow by the cliffs. Classique is now where the ferry was in Photo 1.
Photo 3: The increased width of the ramp compared with that in Photos 1 & 2 indicates the zoom effect which distorts the apparent clearance between the vessels reduced further by the additional distance the ferry turned towards Classique after Photo 2, shown between the red vertical lines.