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Listing, flooding and grounding of vehicle carrier Hoegh Osaka

The MAIB has published Accident Investigation Report 6/2016 regarding the recent listing, flooding and grounding of vehicle carrier Hoegh Osaka.

The cargo ship Hoegh Osaka lies on its side after being deliberately ran aground on the Bramble Bank in the Solent estuary, near Southampton in southern England January 5, 2015. The vessel was deliberately run aground on Saturday evening after it began to list, according to its owners Hoegh Autoliners. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls (REUTERS – Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER ENVIRONMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

In summary, the report notes that the vessel developed a significant starboard list when turning to port, not long after it was departing Southampton, UK. As the list increased in excess of 40°, the vessel lost steerage and propulsion, and subsequently drifted aground. A cargo shift, as the vessel listed, resulted in a breach of the hull and consequent flooding. All crew were safely evacuated from the ship and surrounding waters. There was no resulting pollution, and the vessel was later successfully salvaged.

It was shown through subsequent stability modelling and analysis that the vessel listed heavily to starboard while turning as a result of having inadequate stability, which had not been identified prior to departure.

The MAIB raised the following safety issues:

  • Assessing a ship has adequate stability for its intended voyage on completion of cargo operations and before it sails is a fundamental principle of seamanship that must not be neglected;
  • A loading computer is an effective and useful tool for the safe running of a ship. However, its output can only be as accurate as the information entered into it;
  • It is imperative that working practices enable correct information to be provided and that sufficient time is made available before departure for an accurate stability calculation to be completed;
  • An accurate stability calculation before departure is fundamental to safety.

The full report from the MAIB can be found at

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