C2/2000M Ms AURORA, Dangerous Incident and Grounding South of Helsinki Pilot Station Harmaja on 6.3.2000
Ro-ro vessel ms AURORA owned by a Norwegian shipping company Actinor, left Helsinki Sompasaari harbour for Rauma on March 6, 2000 at 14:53. On the bridge were the master, pilot, mate and helmsman. The wind was between southeast and south with speed between 18-20 m/s.
Harmaja was passed on west side and the vessel was steered east from the south side of the pilot station so that the pilot cutter had lee on the port side of the vessel. Pilot left the vessel at 15:39. The pilot cutter got stuck on AURORA’s side and could not get loose and the cutter almost capsized. The three men onboard the cutter, skipper, deckhand and pilot got into a dangerous situation. This was not noticed in AURORA before the cutter called AURORA to slow down. After being about five minutes stuck on AURORA’s side, the cutter was able to get loose. The dangerous situation was caused by AURORA’s drifting angle and that the pilot cutter was not looked after from the vessel.
The difficulties with the pilot cutter prevented AURORA to turn according to the plan and it got too far east from the fairway. The pilot and VTS Center gave instructions to AURORA to avoid grounding. However, AURORA grounded at Uusimatala at 15:53.
The vessel got loose with her own engine immediately. Master reported the accident to the VTS Center and to Helsinki MRSC. Coast guard vessel MERIKARHU arrived at the site at 16:40. AURORA was moored again to Helsinki West Harbour at 19:00. Oil pollution recovery vessel HYLJE took oil from one damaged tank and Finnish Maritime Authorities gave AURORA a permission to move to Turku dry dock on March 11, 2000.