C2/1998M Ms JULIA, bottom contact in the Kustaanmiekka sound 07.01.1998
The Finnish cargo vessel ms JULIA owned by Godby Shipping got a bottom contact at the Kustaanmiekka sound 7 January 1998 at 11:56 leaving Helsinki. She was bound for Rauma in western Finland and she carried a crew of nine persons. The sea was calm but the visibility was covered by dense fog.
The master and the chief officer were on the bridge. The master was piloting by radar. The speed was 6 knots when the vessel was closing the sound. The master switched to manual steering and reduced speed when the Mustasaari Island was visible on the starboard side. The master tried to turn to port with the bow and reverse with the main engine simultaneously. The vessel took a bottom contact at the Kustaanmiekka sound.
According to the master he informed the VTS centre that the vessel experienced a bottom contact but the vessel was manoeuvrable. The crew examined the damage and a leak was found in the forepeak. JULIA continued her voyage to Rauma. The diving inspection in Rauma revealed the fact that the vessel had to be docked.
Latent errors contributing to the accident were insufficient Passage Planning and vague instructions about the language in the radio traffic during VTS operation.