Accident Investigation Report 1/2021
On 25 May 2019 at 8:52pm, the Gibraltar registered motor yacht Vision collided with the UK registered motor yacht Minx, which was anchored near Île Sainte-Marguerite, near Cannes, France.
Minx’s crewman was on the foredeck and there was nothing he could have done to prevent being fatally struck by Vision’s bow. The accident happened because Vision’s skipper underestimated the risk associated with attempting a fast, close pass by the anchored Minx, a manoeuvre intended to provide an opportunity for the guests to wave goodbye, as the charterer had asked. Vision’s skipper had also consumed cannabis, which is likely to have impaired his judgement.
Following the accident, an investigation was conducted by the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) as a means to ascertain the cause and to prevent future accidents.
To read the full accident report here.
This includes all the details of what happened, actions taken, and recommendations.
Safety issues uncovered in the investigation:
It is vital for the safe operation of a commercial motor yacht, that the skipper prioritised the safety of the crew, passengers and the vessel
Vision’s surface-drive propulsion system was complex to operate and there were insufficient margins for error in the skipper’s plan to allow for any misjudgement, loss of control or failure.
The use of recreational drugs, even in a ‘tolerant’ individual can impair decision-making and responses, which are vital for the safe operation of vessels.
The accident took place in an anchorage with a 5-knot speed limit applicable to all vessels; however, Vision was proceeding at over six times that limit. Speed limits exist for a reason and it was unsafe to proceed at high speed in the anchorage.
A safety recommendation (2021/101) has been made to the Royal Yachting Association and the Professional Yachting Association to promulgate the safety lessons from this accident to owners and operators of commercial motor yachts.