Finnish cargo ship RAMONA, Collision with railway bridge in Denmark on 28 March 2012
The investigation was conducted by the Danish accident investigation authority.
The cargo ship RAMONA sailed into the Railway Bridge on 28 March 2012 at 2226 hours. There were no injuries, but very serious material damage to the bridge and minor damage to the ship.
It had been agreed between the ship and the bridge keeper that passage could take place at 2226 hours. The time matched the train traffic across the bridge and the ship's speed was adjusted accordingly.
The bridge keeper’s disposition of the timing up to the passage at 2226 hours was based on specific attention to a train crossing the Railway Bridge and his experience and routine with the typical timing in connection with bascule openings and ship passages. This led to a very narrow time margin from the train crossing the Railway Bridge to the immediately subsequent opening process for the vessel's intended passage through the bridge.
The ship sailed faster than predicted by the bridge keeper and arrived at the Railway Bridge earlier than the bascule could be opened. When the bridge keeper noticed this and informed the ship that it had to stop, the ship was too close to the bridge to do so.
The light signals on the Railway Bridge had no effect on the master's dispositions and manoeuvres as they were not turned on while there was still time and room to manoeuvre. Therefore the master decided to adhere to the verbal agreement on the time of passage.
The investigation has led to a recommendation that the Danish Maritime Authority initiates a dialogue with the relevant parties, including the Danish Transport Authority, Rail Net Denmark, the Danish Road Directorate and pilots, to review relevant aspects of safety of navigation related to bridges in Danish waters.