Collapse of stack on container feeder vessel Husky Racer resulting in loss of 18 containers overboard

Location: Berth Stomkaje, Port of Bremerhaven, Germany.

Completed PE Summary: Husky Racer

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Husky Racer
Registered owner:   Magellan Chartering Services
Charterer:   Maersk Line
Port of registry:   London
Flag:   UK
Type:   Container Feeder
Built:   1997
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   138.97m
Gross tonnage:   9991
Date & time:   03/10/2009, 0420 UTC+1
Location of incident:   Berth Stomkaje, Bremerhaven
Incident type:   Container stack collapse
Persons on board:   14
Injuries/fatalities:   None
Damage/pollution:   18 containers lost overboard

Synopsis

The container feeder vessel Husky Racer arrived in Bremerhaven shortly before midnight on 2 October 2009. As soon as she was made fast, an unlashing gang boarded to release the twist locks and lashing bars of the bottom two containers of each stack stowed on deck. The remaining upper four containers in each stack remained locked together by twist locks until it was time to discharge the bay they occupied. At 0420, during discharge and loading operations, the containers in bay 26 toppled to port resulting in the loss of 18 containers overboard. It was subsequently found that top containers in 7 of the 9 stacks which were shown on the plan as empty, actually had contents ranging between 15 and 30 tonnes.

The MAIB preliminary examination of the accident found that the inaccurate container weights were on the loading plan because of a system shortcoming which did not update the operations department when the shipper provided more accurate contents details to the carrier. The trigger that caused the containers to collapse is unclear.

Action taken

Maersk Line is running trials on an upgraded software package that will provide cargo planners with the declared weights of the containers. This is scheduled to be introduced in the first weeks of January 2010.

The Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to Maersk Line advising that its operations department should use the most accurate container weights and ship stability data available. He has also written to Quadrant Bereederungsges, the technical operators of Husky Racer, urging them to make accurate comparisons between calculated and observed draughts, using actual dock water densities, prior to departure.

Published: 5 January 2010


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