Cargo shift in heavy weather on timber carrier Kodima resulting in abandonment and grounding

Location: Cargo shift in the English Channel. Grounding at Whitsand Bay, Cornwall, England.

Accident Investigation Report 1/2003

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons and recommendations made:

kodima.pdf (2,197.33 kb)


On 1 February 2002, the Maltese, 6395gt cargo ship Kodima was on passage from Sweden to Libya carrying 10168 m3 of timber in her holds and on deck. Between 1900 and 1950 her deck cargo shifted to port causing a list of 15° and, although course was altered towards Falmouth Bay, England, the list, compounded by the ship rolling in heavy seas, continued to increase. By 0450 the following morning it had reached 40°, and the ship’s main engine and generators had become inoperable. With the ship stopped in the water about 20 miles from Falmouth, and drifting to the north-east, the master and crew were evacuated by helicopter. Attempts to secure a towline were unsuccessful, and Kodima eventually grounded on Tregantle Beach, Whitsands Bay at 1855.

Safety Issues

  • the wind was south-west force 8 to 9, or higher, and the seas were heavy
  • the vibration, deck movement, and water hitting the timber deck cargo, resulting from the ship pounding into the heavy seas, caused the timber deck cargo to settle
  • the wire lashings had not been checked for 32 hours and were not sufficiently tight
  • large amounts of water probably found its way under the tarpaulin covering the timber deck cargo and lubricated the smooth plastic coverings
  • after 1920, the wind and sea were between 25° and 30° on the starboard bow, which caused the ship to roll more heavily


Recommendations have been made aimed at encouraging compliance with, and improvements to, the relevant Code of Practice.

This report was published in January 2003.

Published 23 January 2015