Sound Signals Used By Seaway ll (Julian Joy Report)
Mr Pigneyguy’s evidence states that “When Classique was approximately 80 mtrs away, I sounded 5 short blasts on Seaway’s whistle. This action was repeated 2 or 3 more times …”
Mr Sweetman’s evidence repeats this distance for the first 5 blasts as being given at 80 mtrs, as does the Opening Address for Informant.
Each of the blasts would take 10 seconds to emit or even 7 seconds if rushed. It would take Seaway & Classique about 7 seconds to cover the distance of 80 mtrs until the 2 vessels met – clearly an insufficient time for even the first set of blasts. Two further sets could not be accomplished. In addition, the ship’s whistle was not working on the day, so a small aerosol handheld can was used. This was tested in September 2010 by Mr Howden & found to be below specification, by my interpretation of his results.
An aerosol handheld horn By comparison with the appearance of a complying similar to the one used by M Pigneyguy commercial ships whistle
Mr Lees of Sealink advised me that the ferry’s horn had a water ingress problem which was repaired subsequently.
Therefore overlooking any compliance debates that were raised in evidence, the distances & times given in evidence do not fit – they are in my opinion, impossible – therefore Mr Pigneyguy must be mistaken about his actions & times or of the distances. His answering of questions on this was evasive & vague.
Mr Pigneyguy is correct in stating that giving of 5 blasts is required under Part 22.34(4) if he was in doubt of Classique’s actions but his evidence is too inconsistent for me to reach a conclusion on when he actually did this.
Audibility & frequency of ships whistle for the length of commercial vessel is dictated by Appendix 3.
Posted 24th Jan’14 – Regarding the sound signals
Those sound signals are – 1: mandatory. 2: to be sounded IMMEDIATELY one vessel has concern as to the intentions of the other. 3: to be made on a whistle or horn complying with Appendix 3 of Maritime Rules.
Mandatory means there is no option, not discretional – it’s legally required & in time for the other vessel to respond. Immediately means straight away at the 1st instance with no delay – a camera is not a substitute.
The ferry was not held to account for its failure to have a complying whistle/horn, used appropriately. The ferry in its original claim said its 1st sound signal was at 80 mtrs off. The consequences of this failure to sound at an appropriate distance with sufficient audibility, was that Bolton didn’t get any indication from the ferry that M Pigneyguy had any concern regarding his approach