C3/2006M M/S PAMELA, Groundings on the Northwest Side of Utö, July 1, 2006 and off Uusikaupunki, December 7, 2006

M/S PAMELA, Grounding on the Northwest Side of Utö, July 1, 2006

The dry cargo ship M/S PAMELA departed Naantali’s Luonnonmaa harbour on 30.6.2006 at 17:50. The ship’s destination was Kolobrzeg, Poland and as cargo she had 940 metric tons of granite blocks. The route followed archipelago fairways and it went between Korppoo and Pärnäinen islands via Utö to the open sea. The Master did the first watch at 18:00–24:00 and assigned it to the mate at 24:00. During the changing of the watch the Master adviced the mate that there wasn’t any oncoming traffic declared. He told also the ship’s location.

At 00:35 the watchman, who was on duty with the mate, left the bridge. Soon after he had left the mate started to fill in the work time daybook while the ship was being manoeuvred by the autopilot. At this point there was circa 2.1 nautical miles to the next turning point. It would take circa 15 minutes to drive this distance while the speed was over 8 knots. During this time the mate submerged himself in filling in the daybook so deeply that neither did he look out of the window once nor use any navigation equipment on the bridge. The next time he did look out he saw an islet circa 300 meters away in front of the ship when the ship had gone 700 meters over the turning point marked in the voyage plan. The mate grabbed the wheel and turned it hard to starboard, but the ship had time to turn only 10 degrees before running aground with the speed of 8 knots.

The direct cause of the accident was wrong timing of those actions not ensuring ship’s safe routing and navigation. As a weigh in factor for the accident can be considered the watchman’s leaving from the bridge at the wrong moment. When considering the causes of the accident it can not be excluded that the 6/6-watch used onboard could have caused cumulated debt of sleep. Thus fatigue could have caused weakening in judgement call.

The investigators do not give any safety recommendations based on the accident.

M/S PAMELA, Grounding off Uusikaupunki, December 7, 2006

The Finnish flagged bulk carrier MS PAMELA grounded on December 7th 2006 at 22.15 on the south side of Putsaari island off Uusikaupunki.

MS PAMELA departed from the port of Rauma at 17.15 and her destination was Tallinn. As cargo she had 950 metric tons of sandblast dross packed in big bags . The ship had a list of approximately seven degrees caused by cargo shift.

The weather forecast for that day was hard wind so the route to Tallinn went via islands Kajakulma and Sampo and through Finnish Archipelago to Hanko from where the journey would have continued to Tallinn. Around at 22.00 when the ship was bypassing the Putsaari island the Master closed unintentionally the laptop’s cover whereupon the electronic chart used in navigation went off. Because restarting the program lasted so long, the Master asked the mate if he could come to the bridge for starting the program so the Master could himself focus properly on navigation. While the Master was determining the location of the ship with the map, radar and the searchlight the ship missed the turning point. The late turn to the new course started promisingly, but when the ship emerged from the islets sheltering the ship from the wind and the waves the turning stopped and the ship ran aground.

The direct cause of the accident was human error made by the Master when he closed the hood of the lap top unintentionally. This event led to uncertainty of the accurate location of the ship whereupon the turning started too late and finally, the ship ran aground.

As a weigh in factor for the accident can be considered the lack of lookout on the bridge, unfavourable weather conditions and the progression of the vessel without speed reduction when there was no accurate information on the bridge about the site of the vessel. Also the ship’s quite old ergonomics (the radar on the SB-side and the map on the PB-side) on the bridge complicated the “manual” navigation and thereby delayed, for its behalf, the determining of the direct location of the ship.

The investigators do not give any safety recommendations based on the accident.

C3/2006M Report (pdf, 1.79 Mt)

Published 10.8.2006