MAIB blames bridge team for grounding ro-ro cargo ferry in Aberdeen port


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The United Kingdom’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its report in the grounding of the Arrow ro-ro cargo ferry last summer, causing extensive damage to the ship’s hull.

The M / V Arrow, registered in the Isle of Man, ran aground in heavy fog as it entered Aberdeen harbor on the morning of June 25, 2020. During its approach to the harbor, a licensee Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) provided by the charterer the vessel was navigating by radar and steering the vessel.

The grounding caused extensive underwater damage to the port side of the hull, including ballast holes, deformation of the hull plating, damage to the keel, propeller and rudder.

MAIB’s investigation revealed that the vessel encountered heavy fog a few minutes before entering the Aberdeen shipping channel, which is 70 meters wide, and with limited support from the bridge team. , the PEC holder became overloaded. As a result, while attempting to correct a deviation north of the intended course, he over-corrected to the south. The overcorrection was not noticed by the bridge team in time to avoid the grounding, the MAIB.

After the grounding, the vessel began to list heavily on ebb tide. After confirming that there was no water infiltration in the hull, with the help of a tug, the captain used Arrow’s engines and bow thruster to refloat the vessel. There were no injuries or pollution.

The main security issues identified by the MAIB included:

  • The Arrow bridge crew were not fully prepared for low visibility piloting. There was no effective common mental model of the pilotage plan and the vessel’s progress.
  • The level of support provided to the CEP holder by the bridge team was poor.
  • The navigation techniques used did not provide the Arrow Bridge crew with an accurate view of the potable water available in the Aberdeen Approach Channel.
  • The poor ergonomics of the bridge and the limited capabilities of the electronic chart system meant that the PEC holder was navigating using radar alone.

MAIB made no recommendation.

The MAIB report is available on: MAIB 8-2021 investigation report: Arrow

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