Oct. 9: Language Barriers Contributed to Collision Between Vessels

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The Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its investigation report into the collision between the Heloise, a bulk carrier, and a tug in the Port of Montreal. When the Heloise entered the main channel of the St. Lawrence River, the pilot was concerned by the presence of pleasure craft and altered its course, colliding with the tug. The TSB investigation identified numerous risks that contributed to the incident, including language barriers between the Mandarin-speaking crew and the pilot, whose first language was French and so spoke English, the official maritime language, with an accent.