C11/1998M Ms GARDWIND, grounding off Kotka, December 5, 1998
The Norwegian freighter ms GARDWIND got a bottom contact shortly after departure from the port of Halla in Finland. The accident took place on a new fairway at 18:35 the 5th of December 1998. The fairway was a short cut to the Ruotsinsalmi straight. A similar accident happened within a month on the same fairway. The visibility deteriorated rapidly shortly before the accident. The master, the pilot and the helmsman were on the bridge when the accident took place. The forepeak was found tom be leaking. The maritime safety inspector ordered the vessel to sail to Kotka for repairs. The Vestland shipping company owned the vessel.
The simultaneous loss of visual and radar visibility in a critical situation contributed to the accident. Latent errors were found in the prevailing practice to introduce new fairways for pilotage and the tradition to emphasize individualistic pilotage practice, which ignores monitoring.