Cargo shift in heavy weather on vehicle carrier Grande Detroit

Location: Off Land's End, Cornwall, England.

Completed PE Summary: Grande Detroit

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Registered Owner & Manager:   Grinavi, Italy
Port of registry:   Palermo
Flag:   Italy
Type:   Vehicle Carrier
Built:   2005
Classification society:   RIN
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   176.0m
Gross tonnage:   38,651
Date & Time   03/12/06, 0930 UTC
Location of incident:   Off Lands End, England
Incident Type:   Cargo shift due to heavy weather
Persons onboard:   29
Injuries/ fatalities:   Nil
Damage/ Pollution:   Minor Damage to vessel/Nil


In storm force winds the vehicle carrier Grande Detroit was rolling and pitching heavily as the vessel rounded Lands End on passage from Antwerp to Portbury, Bristol. As a result of this movement some of the chain lashings, securing large earth moving equipment parted and several of the large vehicles began to move around an internal deck of the vessel.

At the time of heaviest rolling the vessel was in a Traffic Separation Scheme and the master, who had been on the bridge without a break for more than 14 hours, considered he was not able to adjust course to reduce the vessel’s violent rolling. This resulted in the lashings securing a large portable crane to break allowing it to move around the car deck with the motion of the vessel, causing considerable damage to and breaking the lashings of, other adjacent large vehicles. The incident was not reported to the coastal authorities by the vessel.

Once the lashings had been broken on the vehicles, which weighed between 35 and 76 tonnes, it proved impossible to re-secure them until the vessel reached the safety of port. By this time, considerable damage had been caused to both the cargo and the ship’s structure.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the ship’s managers strongly advising them to review:

  • Cargo securing arrangements for heavy weather

  • Bridge team resource management

  • Perceived pressures Master may have to maintain liner schedules

  • Reporting requirements to relevant authorities in the event of accidents which may compromise the safety of the crew and/or the seaworthiness of the vessel.

Published 23 January 2015