Collision between container vessel Cepheus J and general cargo vessel Ileksa

Location: The Kattegat off Denmark.

Accident Investigation Report 12/2005

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

Cepheus J-Ileksa.pdf (776.23 kb)


The 6454gt UK registered container ship Cepheus J, and the 4955gt Maltese registered general cargo ship Ileksa, were transiting the Kattegat off the Danish coast on 22 November 2004 when they collided.

The accident was investigated by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Malta Maritime Authority, as a joint investigation under the International Maritime Organization’s Code for the investigation of marine casualties and incidents.

Safety issues

Factors identified during the joint investigation were: the officer of the watch on board Cepheus J being distracted by radio news and paperwork; the absence of a lookout on board Cepheus J; the poor use of Automatic Radar Plotting Aid and Automatic Information System; poor application of the COLREGS and both ships following the same ground track.


Recommendations have been made to the International Chamber of Shipping to highlight the need for increased vigilance when transiting IMO recommended routes, and also to advise shipping companies on the value of VDR replay to confirm that company instructions are carried out at sea.

This report was published in July 2005.

Published 23 January 2015