C2/2002M MS CITY OF SUNDERLAND, grounding off Hanko, January 1, 2002
The Isle of Man-flagged car ferry ms CITY OF SUNDERLAND, belonging to the Manx Car Carriers shipping company, grounded off Hanko in the evening of January 1, 2002. The vessel was on her way from Copenhagen with a crew of eleven. A storm was growing in the area with the wind gusting to a speed of 23 m/s from a heading of 108° at the time of the grounding.
The vessel picked up a pilot at Gustafsvärn near the port at 1736 hrs. The tug AJAX arrived to assist in the berthing, but the berthing failed in the strong wind. The vessel had to leave port because her propeller was at risk. Because of the strong wind, the vessel could not leave by the same channel but had to turn into the south-west channel, which the master was not familiar with. The tug AJAX was attached to the bow when the vessel left port. The tug could not be released because the towing-hook release mechanism had frozen. The situation became dangerous.
A snowstorm blew up. The waves caused sea clutter on the radar, and the markers and weak targets were no longer visible. The first grounding occurred about five minutes after the release of the tug. The CITY OF SUNDERLAND grounded several times before finally coming to rest on the Västra Tistro shore at 2029 hrs.
See also the investigation report made by the Isle of Man Government Marine Administration.