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Information on tanker navigational aids in the early 1990's.

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  • Information on tanker navigational aids in the early 1990's.

    I wonder if one of you professionals might be able to help. I am researching the loss of the Aegean Sea (114,000 tons length overall 260 metres) on the night of 3rd December 1992 in Corunna, Spain. She went aground at the foot of the Torre de Hercules lighthouse, broke her back and the cargo, Brent Crude ignited. The pilot makes (in court proceedings) these statements. "The captain admitted that the compass was broken" And "the ship was on autopilot until she began the 180 degree turn to come onto the leading lights" These statements seem contradictory as the autopilot would have been connected to the (gyro?) compass. Is that right? It also appears that the approach, in a force 8 gale, 6 metre waves, in the middle of the night, was purely visual. The pilot, again, refers to "two tugs stationed so as to help the captain identify the leading lights". Does that make sense?. (I am trying to get a feel for a) what navigational aids a tanker of that period would have and b) what is involved in turning a tanker, presumably at slow speed, broadside to a 6 metre swell. The captain asserts that she failed to respond to the helm. I hope I am in the right place for these questions and would be grateful for any enlightenment.
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