ASC Settles American Dynasty Lawsuit

Image courtesy Transportation Safety Board of Canada

By MarEx 2016-08-24 21:18:05

Seattle-based American Seafoods Company has settled a suit from a 2013 incident involving the trawler American Dynasty and the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

ASC will pay the Canadian government $3 million to end a legal action stemming from the casualty. Canada has not released a figure for the cost of the damage to the frigate, but the repairs to her hull, deck and frame took five weeks.

The ice-classed trawler Dynasty was bound for the graving dock in Esquimalt on April 23, 2013 when she lost electrical power and the control of her controllable pitch propulsion system. 

Following a chain of human errors relating to the transfer of propulsion control from the bridge to the engine room, she lost electrical power, taking down her CPP control system. With her main engines still running and hydraulic pumps off, the CPP shifted to forward thrust. The Dynasty gained speed; her master did not strike the emergency stop buttons to shut down the main engines.

Two assist tugs were not able to restrain the trawler, and she veered off course and struck the Winnipeg, which was moored at a naval pier southwest of the graving dock. At the time of impact, Dynasty was making 5.0 knots, up from 1.7 knots at the time of the loss of electrical power. 

Both vessels were badly damaged: the Winnipeg had buckled deck plating and damage to shell plating on both sides of the hull. Her transom was also damaged from contact with the pier, which itself required repairs. The Dynasty suffered a deep gash in her bow. 

Investigators with the NTSB and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada found that the Dynasty's emergency generator was not set to start automatically and that the backup batteries to power her CPP system were inoperable. In addition, they determined that a leak in the CPP's hydraulic system caused it to default to the forward position in the event of the loss of electrical power.