B5/2004M M/S GLOBAL FREIGHTER, Grounding at Kalvholmsgrundet on 21.9.2004

The Finnish flagged ro-ro vessel M/S GLOBAL FREIGHTER, grounded on September 21, 2004 at Kalvholmsgrundet, on the north side of Nauvo island in Turku Archipelago, South-Western Finland. After the grounding the vessel was steered to the shore between the islands of Lövskär and Vanrock.

GLOBAL FREIGHTER was on her way from Turku to Stockholm and she had changed to the seldom used parallel fairway due to traffic situation. This part of the fairway has a S-curve, in which the vessel drifted outside of the fairway and grounded. She started to take in water. The Master estimated the damages so extensive that he decided to steer the vessel to the shore. There were neither person injuries nor environmental damages. After refloating the damaged vessel had to be towed to dry dock for reparations.

The investigation revealed that the co-operation on the bridge, the bridge equipment and the owner’s safety management procedures were not suitable for this kind of operation. In addition it was discovered that the regulations for VTS did not support the estimation and the management of risks resulting from an unscheduled change of the fairway. Due to this, communication between GLOBAL FREIGHTER and the VTS-center was not clear.

The observation from the rescue operation was that the sending of the distress call relay was left to the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre. Otherwise the actions of the authorities as well as both the vessel’s rescue operation and inboard evacuation led by the Master succeeded well.

The investigation commission recommends that the authorities clarify the regulations for the distress traffic and the guidelines for the VTS in terms of communication.

B5/2004M Report (pdf, 2.16 Mt)

Published 13.5.2004