B8/2004M Passengercarferry MS ALANDIA, Grounding near Uumaja on 9.12.2004
RG Line had chartered M/S ALANDIA in order to ply on route Vaasa–Umeå. Alandia arrived to Umeå from Stockholm where she was dry-docked. She was loading trailers and Ro-lux cassettes for Vaasa in Finland. Arrival in Vaasa was planned for the next day. A large safety drill was planned in Vaasa under supervision of maritime administration and after approval the passenger service would be possible.
ALANDIA arrived in Umeå on 9th of December 2004 at 18.20. Loading of the ship was ongoing from 20.00 to 22.00. Pilot arrived at 22.05 and ALANDIA departed Umeå at 22.10. In the harbor maneuvers and in the beginning of the trip the hand steering was used. When the course was 180° the speed was increased to 11–12 knots. At 22.17 the course was altered to 170° and autopilot was activated with rudder limit 20 degrees.
At 22.18 a course change to 154° was started with the autopilot. Turn radius 0.3’ and the compass course was 169.2° at that moment. The turn was not conducted as planned and several steering attempts were tried in a short time period such as decreasing of turning radius to 0.2’, use of override tiller, unsuccessful changeovers between steering modes an finally hand steering and none of these attempts was successful. Steering of the vessel might have been affected by the stern trim of 75 cm, 1 degree of starboard list and possible the bank effect from the shallow water beside the fairway. The ship was grounded in position 63° 40.20’ N 020° 21.03’ E. Starboard rudder and propeller were damages.
There were several causes for the accident:
1. Rudder limit in the autopilot.
2. Decreasing of turn radius during the turn.
3. Steering possibilities with the override tiller and the rudder limit which affects the override tiller.
4. Unsuccessful changeovers between steering modes and the switch technology.
5. Early changeover to the autopilot
6. Only one rudder pump in use.