MS FINNLADY Collision of the RoPax ferry FINNLADY with the Skandinavienkai on 16 May 2008 in Travemünde port
The investigation in question is conducted by the German accident investigation authority BSU (Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchnung).
On the evening of 16 May 2008, the ferry FINNLADY, sailing under Finnish flag, put into the Travemünde ferry port. She was operating a line service between Helsinki/Finland and Travemünde. The intention was to moor up as usual, with the stern at pier 6 of the Skandinavienkai.
The weather and visibility conditions were good, and there was a prevailing east-northeasterly wind with a force of around 3 Bft.
On board the FINNLADY were 175 passengers, 34 crew members and a Pilot. The Master, The Chief Officer and the Pilot were on the bridge. The Second Officer was standing by at the stern for the mooring manoeuvre at the mooring station. The Chief Engineer and the Second Engineer were on duty in the engine control room.
Once she had put into the port, the FINNLADY turned at around 1945 inside the turning basin provided. At 1946, a control failure alarm for the starboard controllable pitch propeller (CCP) system was output both on the bridge and in the engine control room. This was not initially attributed on the bridge. The ferry then shortly afterwards headed at up to 4.8 kts across the stern post towards the bridge structure at pier 6, some 5.5 cable away. The Master was navigating from the port-side bridge conning position. The actual pitch of the two propellers was “Astern 2–3”, corresponding to a pitch of approx. 25%. As of 1949, when the Master set the telegraphs to zero pitch in order to hold the vessel up and then to “Ahead”, the pitch display for the starboard propeller still remained on “Astern”. However, as the port-side propeller was set to an “Ahead” pitch, the stern of the ferry swung out to port. After a call to the engine control room, the “RE-CONNECT” button was pressed on the bridge. The steering control was also switched back to the central conning position. At 1952, the starboard propeller could be controlled again. However, by that time, there were just a few metres between the stern and the pier, meaning that, a minute later, the FINNLADY hit the pier loading bridge at a residual astern speed of 3.4 kts.
Despite the significant impact speed, nobody was injured. There was also no leakage of substances harmful to the environment.