C3/2003M General Cargo Vessel ms BIANCA (FIN), Grounding outside Gävle in the Bay of Bothnia on 31.3.2003
The general cargo vessel BIANCA run aground on March 31, 2003 at 0504 hours. The grounding took place in the Swedish territorial waters north of the Gävle fairway in the Själstenarna shallows. BIANCA hit the ground in to the eastern end of the shallow with heading 287 degrees. She got damages to her hull, leakages to bottom tanks as well a serious one in to the engine room.
The OOW fell asleep and the look out did not act, as he did not realise that the OOW was sleeping in his chair. The technical alerts were not functioning, as there was an assembly fault in the alarm system. No one had noticed that the alarm system did not work.
The fatigue of the OOW and his falling asleep follows the same scheme as numerous other groundings of Finnish cargo vessels during the last years. In all these as well as in the BIANCA case the contributing factor has been the lack of rest and lack of management of the bridge teamwork, i.e. the look out is not used effectively. The breaking of ones circadian rhythm makes it difficult to stay awake during the late night and early morning hours. This was the case also with BIANCA’s grounding.