Contact made by chemical/product carrier Sichem Melbourne with mooring structures

Location: Coryton Oil Refinery Terminal, River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 18/2008

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

SichemMelbourneReport.pdf (1,552.54 kb)

Annexes (1,789.17 kb)


On the evening of 25 February 2008 the product carrier, Sichem Melbourne, sustained damage and damaged mooring structures as she departed her berth at Coryton Oil Refinery on the River Thames estuary. Fortunately, her broadside contact with a mooring dolphin prevented Sichem Melbourne from striking an oil tanker which was discharging on a neighbouring jetty.

Safety Issues

  • there was an inadequate exchange of information between master and pilot before commencing unmooring operations
  • interaction and communications between members of the bridge team were poor
  • much of the conversation between the crew was conducted in the Russian language. This effectively excluded the pilot from the bridge team


Recommendations have been made to all UK Competent Harbour Authorities, and EMS Ship Management (India) Pvt. Ltd, with the aim of improving: port procedures; pilot/master interaction; bridge team management and pilot monitoring. A recommendation has also been made to the terminal operator regarding its marine risk assessment.

This report was published on 17 October 2008.

Published 23 January 2015