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Recent UK MAIB investigations (shifting of cargo and loss of cargo)

The UK MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) has released two reports recently relating to incidents involving the shifting of and loss of cargo.

Cargo shift and damage to vehicles on board ro-ro passenger ferry European Causeway

A roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) passenger ferry rolled heavily in very rough seas and very high winds during its voyage from Larne, Northern Ireland to Cairnryan, Scotland. The violent motion caused several freight vehicles to shift and nine to topple over. This resulted in damage to 22 vehicles, some damaged severely. At least six freight vehicle drivers had remained in their cabs on the vehicle decks during the crossing and four were found in cabs of vehicles that had toppled over. One driver was trapped and had to be freed by the emergency services when the ship arrived in Cairnryan.

What went wrong?

  • The route being followed had not been adjusted sufficiently to mitigate the effects of the sea conditions and reduce the likelihood of severe rolling;
  • The sea fastenings for the vehicles were insufficient for the forecasted weather conditions;
  • The vessel’s approved cargo securing manual provided limited guidance to crew;
  • Drivers remaining in their vehicles during the ferry’s passage, in contravention of international regulations and company policy.

See here for full Accident Investigation Report 3/2020.

Loss of cargo containers overboard from container ship CMA CGM G. Washington

A container ship unexpectedly rolled 20° to starboard, paused for several seconds, then rolled 20° to port. The ship was experiencing very heavy seas in the North Pacific Ocean while on passage from Xiamen, China to Los Angeles, USA. In daylight the following morning, the crew found that three container bays had collapsed, with 137 containers lost overboard and a further 85 damaged.

What went wrong?

  • There were non-standard 53ft containers with reduced structural strength;
  • There were inaccurate container weight declarations, mis-stowed containers and loose lashings.

See here for full Accident Investigation Report 2/2020

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