Julian Joy’s Response to Decision of Judge Davis May’11
In Judge Davis’ decision, he states that “Mr Joy’s evidence is one which invites the Court to revisit its conclusion that a crossing situation existed because the facts upon which the Court made a finding could, based on Mr Joy’s analysis, be interpreted in an entirely different fashion”
Mr Joy, respectfully suggests that this statement & the reference therein regarding the effect of my findings, is incorrect in relation to my report, as in my report I stated the following facts which were found at the hearing :
1: It was agreed that a crossing situation existed but Classique argued that risk of collision did not exist, therefore the rules did not become active & she maintained course & speed.
2: Seaway argued that a risk of collision existed & that Seaway was the stand-on vessel, required to maintain course & speed.
3: Either way, they both say they maintained course & speed, albeit for different reasons. An important part of my investigation was therefore to establish whether the crossing rule was applicable ie. The vessels were clearly in a crossing situation but were they crossing with risk of collision ?
By way of additional assistance, some reiteration of background explanation of the practical interpretation of the 2 stages of the Rule seems to be necessary for the Court.
A ‘crossing situation’ does not necessarily involve a risk of collision – it merely identifies the relative tracks of the 2 vessels concerned as being in the ‘crossing’ sector, as compared to the ‘overtaking’ or ‘end-on’ sectors. Deciding that, is the first decision the vessels make, as that determines the ‘give-way’ rule that would become applicable if risk of collision was considered to exist. The second decision is then to establish whether risk of collision exists & that is the point of difference between the 2 vessels that I was referring to in the above.
Judge Davis states that “However, with the greatest of respect to Mr Joy, the question as to whether a crossing situation existed or not is a matter of fact to be determined by the Court. Mr Joy was not a witness to the events … his material is, in many respects, premised on his own attempts to reconstruct the position of Classique & Seaway based on the photos that had been tendered into evidence”
Mr Joy respectfully suggests that it is obvious that my material & also the material of all parties that “were not a witness to the events” including Mr Young, Mr Davies, Mr Howden & everyone not on the vessels, is of course clearly based solely on the evidence presented, which is the Photographs taken by Mr Pigneyguy together with the incident reports submitted by the 2 vessels. The reconstruction is a standard process to understand the development background to the event & was not assisted in this case by Seaway not submitting any record of its actual path for evidence – manual, AIS or GPS.
Judge Davis states that “However, with the greatest of respect to Mr Joy, while it is possible to draw a transit line to plot the general path that Seaway was following, it is not possible without a 2nd transit line to determine the precise position along the path Seaway was undertaking”
Mr Joy respectfully points out that para 3.1.1 in his report does exactly this. It uses 2 transit lines to obtain a position. Neither of these 2 transit lines is the actual course (or ‘general path’) along which Seaway is travelling, nor does it need to be. As a professional navigator, I am aware of the general levels of accuracy in position fixing by different methods & I invited open discussion of my accuracy. The method however is correct & I believe Judge Davis has not been advised correctly regarding these technical issues.
Judge Davis states that “Mr Bolton’s primary defence was that a crossing situation did not exist”
Mr Joy respectfully suggests again, that this indicated the difference between the agreed fact that a crossing situation did exist & the debated risk of collision situation. This was not adequately advised to the Court. Mr Bolton agreed that a crossing situation existed but that it was a crossing situation without risk of collision until Seaway incrementally turned to starboard in the final stages.
My Report states …“It was agreed therefore that a crossing situation existed but Classique argued that risk of collision did not exist, therefore the rules did not become active & she maintained course & speed”
In addition, if Seaway considered that a risk of collision existed, then Seaway was required by the Maritime rules to maintain course & speed. However it is agreed by both experts, Mr Young & myself, that the photos prove that Seaway did not maintain course & speed but rather gradually altered course to starboard in direct contravention of the rules. Seaway is therefore at the very minimum a contributing cause, in my opinion 100%, to the incident.
In my report I offered my report to independent peer review & I maintain that offer. Mr Young’s response unfortunately does not qualify as peer review – however our differences on angles do not in my view alter the clear conclusion that this scenario does not support laying criminal charges of this nature against Mr Bolton of Classique when viewed in the context of other factual scenarios where charges have been laid by MNZ.
Briefly, in my opinion, best practise would have been …
1: For MNZ to have conducted a higher professional standard of interview & investigation.
2: For Seaway to maintain course & speed, which allows also for Seaway to follow its normal curved path to port at that area & to not alter course incrementally to starboard as was actually done. As pointed out in my original report, this is the single causative factor of this event.
Julian Joy’s Response to Decision of Judge Davis May’11