C1/2005M M/S PAULINE RUSS, grounding in Hanko Port 20.01.2005

The Ro-ro passenger vessel PAULINE RUSS was on her way from Tillbury (GB) to Hanko on 20.01.2005. The vessel took a pilot near Gustavsvärn island at 01:09 on 20 January 2005. The VTS notified the pilot that wind direction was 185° and wind speed 11 15 m/s. The ship passed buoy Hanko No. 8 at about 01:18 and arrived in the turning area at 01:24.

The vessel was turned through the right in the water area between the breakwater and the Meijerfelt buoy. The pilot also suggested the possibility of turning the vessel in port inside the breakwater, because there was plenty of room as the port was empty, but the master decided to use the other turning area. The pilot and the master did not discuss the use of tugboats.

After the turn, the vessel started reversing at a speed of about 2.5 knots towards pier No 1 while the propeller pitch was 25%. The stern steering propeller was full left and the vessel was steered by means of the bow steering propeller.

The vessel passed the breakwater at 01:30, at which point the pilot notified the master that the vessel was drifting north. Also the master had noticed that the vessel was drifting towards the red buoys north of the safe water area.

The master was steering the vessel with the control equipment in the left bridge wing and the pilot was on the lookout in the right bridge wing. There was no helmsman on the bridge. As the vessel was at the first red buoy, the pilot suggested that she had to go back out or increase speed. The master did not react to the suggestion and continued reversing towards the pier.

As the stern of the vessel was near the pier at 01:35, the bow thruster of the vessel was not able to lift the bow towards the pier with full power against the wind. The master decided to steer out of port. First he turned the rudder left and changed the propeller pitch to 60 % ahead to make the bow turn left. When he noticed that this movement resulted in the stern turning north towards the fist red buoy from the perspective of the port, he turned the wheel right, but this did not prevent the stern of the vessel from drifting on top of the buoy and slightly touching the bottom.

A reason contributing to the accident was a lack of bridge co-operation, which resulted in a deficient estimate of the wind conditions on the manoeuvrability of the vessel.

C1/2005M Report (pdf, 0.88 Mt)

Published 13.5.2005