Collision between general cargo vessel Union Moon and ro-ro passenger ferry Stena Feronia

Location: Belfast Lough, Northern Ireland.

Accident Investigation Report 26/2012

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

StenaFeronia.pdf (1,790.89 kb)

Annexes (6,020.47 kb)


At 1858 on 7 March 2012, the outbound general cargo vessel Union Moon collided with the inbound ferry Stena Feronia, in the vicinity of the fairway buoy that marks the harbour limit of Belfast Harbour. Both vessels suffered major structural damage; however, there were no injuries or pollution and each vessel managed to proceed into port without assistance.

Safety lessons

  • Union Moon’s master had been under the influence of alcohol and had altered course to port resulting in a collision course with Stena Feronia
  • a lack of clear guidance regarding traffic flow around the fairway buoy
  • no action taken by the bridge teams of either vessel to prevent a closequarters situation from developing
  • action taken on board Stena Feronia to avoid collision
  • sub-standard VHF communications


Northern Marine Management Ltd has been recommended (2012/149) to amend its safety management system to provide clarity on the roles and responsibilities of the bridge team when a Pilotage Exemption Certificate holder is acting solely as a pilot.

This report was published on 15 November 2012.

Published 23 January 2015