The crew of a cargo ship that became stranded off the Hampshire coast are to blame for what happened, accident investigators have concluded.
Hoegh Osaka grounded on a sandbank in the Solent in January last year while travelling from Southampton to Bremerhaven carrying cars and construction equipment.
A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said the vessel was “unstable” when it left port.
‘Fundamental principle of seamanship’
The 51,000-tonne ship had more than 1,400 cars and 105 pieces of construction equipment on board.
It was deliberately beached on Bramble Bank sandbank, near Southampton, on January 3, 2015 after it began listing as it left the city’s port.
But MAIB found that the vehicles were stored in a way that meant the upper decks were full while the lower decks were only “lightly loaded”. It said the crew failed to identify the ship’s instability before setting sail, something which directly led to the shipping accident.
The report stated: “No allowance was made for the vertical centre of gravity of the cargo loaded being above deck level.”
Investigators also found that the estimated weight of many items of cargo on board was less than their actual weight.
AIB described ensuring that a ship has adequate stability as a “fundamental principle of seamanship that must not be neglected”.
Most of the cars on board survived the incident unscathed, said a spokesman for ship owners Hoegh Autoliners at the time.
Some were not so lucky though, suffering multiple dents and scratches as the ship ran aground. But businesses that specialise in shipping goods must not only look after the goods on board, they must also look after the crew.
Accidents a sea can cause a variety of injuries, from minor to more serious, so precautions must be taken.
There are several notorious shipping routes around the world, so it is no surprise that shipping regularly features near the top of lists detailing the most dangerous jobs.