Last July, the Malterse registered passenger ship Horizon ran aground on the rocky bank ‘Plentinggrunnen’ soon after departing her berth in Stavanger, Norway. At the time of the accident, she had 1615 passengers and 612 crew members on board. The vessel, whose forward draught was 7.55 m, grounded on a marked shoal that was charted at 5.3 m. The safety investigation concluded that the grounding occurred because the planned swing of the vessel’s bow to port was initiated early.
Following the grounding, the vessel used her own propulsion to come off the shoal but these attempts were unsuccessful. The master then requested the assistance of a tug, which was able to pull her off the shoal. Horizon was able to re-berth and assess the damage.
The vessel sustained hull damage to the port side bottom and keel forward. This consisted of ruptures to the forepeak tank and the ballast water deep tank no. 2. Temporary underwater repairs were made to the vessel and Horizon was able to sail after 30 hours to complete her cruise.
The report did not find any signs of fatigue or alcohol use. The area where Horizon ran aground was clearly marked on the chart as a ‘nogo area’ and the shoal was referred to in the ship’s ‘Guideline Notes for Departure’. The bridge was manned in excess of what one would normally expect to find on the bridge of a modern vessel.
The ship’s management adopted a very good practice of providing the opportunity to the incoming master to carry out the departure manoeuvre for familiarisation purposes. Also the report notes that the master had actually provided an opportunity for two-way communication, whereby feedback was possible and the communication loop closed.
Find out more details by reading the report