To whom it may concern!
I write to you before the journalists get a hold of this unfortunate report. We had just approached the inner separation of the Dina channel and were awaiting our pilot, at the inner pilot point with moderate speed 5 knots as usual. Due to regulations I had posted the second officer at anchor watch on the forecastle. A few minutes earlier I ordered the deck-boy to set the pilot flag at the signal mast on the monkey Island. Minutes went by and I started to wonder what could possible take the deck-boy so long to set a pilot flag? I went out on the port bridge wing and looked up. There he was, the deck-boy fumbling with the lines to the flag and the pilot already approaching the gangway, so I grabbed my hand-held radio and yelled, let go, let go for crying out loud, I meant of course for the deck-boy to let go of the flag, however the second officer heard the same chosen words in he´s radio and thought the order was ment for him.With a thunder-like sound the port anchor were away, I rushed with the speed of summer lightning to the control console and pulled full astern on all and sounded the collision alarm. Little effect did it have, we were coming hard to port in 5 knots and were on collision course with the only turning bridge in the channel. Whoever the bridge control quickly realized what was going to happen in less than a few minutes time, in panic they maneuver the bridge to an open position. Unfortunate for us our anchor ripped of the power cord to the bridge so that the nearby traffic signals, warning oncoming car traffic that the bridge was open didn’t work. When we finally came to a complete stop, two bicyclists and one milk truck joined the second officer at the forecastle. I am happy to add that I proudly entered in the ships log – no personal injuries noted but schock.