Close-quarters situation between products tanker Bro Axel and beam trawler Noordhinder resulting in Bro Axel grounding

Location: Port of Milford Haven, Wales.

Accident Investigation Report 22/2003

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

bro -axel.pdf (1,672.54 kb)


The Swedish products tanker Bro Axel, and the Belgian registered fishing vessel Noordhinder, were involved in a near miss incident in the confines of Milford Haven on 5 December 2002. Subsequently, the avoiding action taken by the tanker resulted in her running aground.

Safety Issues

This incident has raised various safety issues relating to the operation of MHPA port control, the use of escort vessels, emergency response training for the holders of Pilot Exemption Certificates (PECs), safety management of fishing vessels and, with regard to fishing vessels and merchant vessels, a discrepancy in the Pilotage Act.


Recommendations have been made to Milford Haven Port Authority, the operators of each vessel, Ports Division of the Department for Transport and the UK Chamber of Shipping.

This report was published in September 2003.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015