Many circumstances influenced the accident of Annemieke. Two of them are particularly important according to the Commission. They form the basis for formulating recommendations that can help to prevent similar accidents in the future. It is the routine, in the negative sense of the word, in the behaviour of the pilot navigating the vessel and the lack of due diligence in the fulfillment of their obligations by the operators of VTS Service.
From the materials about the event collected by the Commission and data stored in audio channels in the VDR recorder it results that the pilot of Annemieke after speaking with the VTS operator during the unmooring manoeuvres from the Górnicze Wharf, he failed to maintain further radio contact with the VTS service and did not inform them (contrary to the port regulations) about unmooring and the intention to join the traffic. The pilot behaved like it was his duty not the VTS, to control traffic in the port. He failed to inform the vessel Celine navigating to the port exit, about his intention to join the traffic, believing that a distance of several cables to the approaching vessel was suitable and the maneuver would not create a hazardous situation. The Commission also found that the pilot navigating Annemieke has not used the portable computer, purchased for the purpose of the pilotage by the company Szczecin-Pilot, fitted with an appropriate electronic chart including information about the configuration of the fairway, GPS module and specialized software, but relied solely on his own experience and knowledge about the borders of the fairway.
The experience and knowledge of the pilot proved insufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel from the port. The subsequent increase of speed, when there was already a risk of collision with the ship standing at the wharf, manifests that the pilot has a bad habit of avoiding collisions by increasing the speed. In the opinion of the Commission, such behavior violates the principles of good seamanship.
Making recommendations with the aim of instructing the pilot to perform his duties in a prudent and professional way would be pointless according to the Commission. In this situation, the State Commission on Maritime Accident Investigation decided to send a recommendation to the Head Pilot of the pilot station Szczecin-Pilot, which organizes and coordinates pilot services in the port of Świnoujście, to call the station pilots’ attention to misconduct of the pilot navigating Annemieke on 19 December 2013 during the accident analyzed in the report and to encourage them to use any additional devices at their disposal that may help them manoeuvre and navigate correctly the ships under their care.
The State Commission on Maritime Accident Investigation recommends the VTS Service of the Harbour Master of Świnoujście to conduct a more thorough control of the traffic flow by VTS duty officers over the supervised area which would ensure full safety of navigation, and to react firmly to violation of the port regulations regarding speed limits on individual parts of the fairway by issuing to captains or pilots of vessels which exceed speed limits orders to limit speed and to enforce these orders consistently.