Contact made by accommodation ship Wind Solution with quay

Location: Royal Docks, Grimbsy, England.

Completed PE Summary: Wind Solution

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name:   Wind Solution
Manager:   Transnautic Ship Management
Ship Owner:   C-bed bv
Port of Registry:   London
Flag:   UK
Classification Society:   RINa
Type:   ro-ro passenger vessel (to be used as a hotel ship)
Built:   1969
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   123.45m
Gross tonnage:   8909
Date & Time:   5 June 2008, 0557 UTC + 1
Location of incident:   Royal Docks, Grimsby
Incident Type:   Contact
Persons on board:   34 crew, 60 passengers
Injuries/fatalities:   None
Damage/pollution:   Damage to plating at port quarter, small hole at turn of transom.


Wind Solution arrived in Grimsby on 20 March 2008 from dry dock, where she had been converted to act as a hotel ship for engineers constructing offshore wind farms, and had been surveyed to start the process for transferring her to the UK flag. The ship remained in port completing remedial work identified during survey, and on 5 June 2008 prepared to sail for the Lynn offshore wind farm for the first time. She had been issued with an Interim Safety Management System (SMS) Certificate, and had not yet developed full SMS procedures.

At 0532, the pilot was on board, two tugs were in attendance and the crew went to stations. The master agreed to the pilot’s suggestion that the master would manoeuvre the ship off the berth and turn her, and then the pilot would take over to negotiate the locks and the river passage. During the process of letting go, sailing was temporarily delayed while it was confirmed that all passengers had boarded. Letting go having resumed, the pilot went inside the bridge to collect his radio, and on return to the bridge wing found the ship already moving off the quay.

The master manoeuvred the ship sideways parallel to the quay, and then began turning her to starboard. The pilot was stood forward of the engine control console, from where he could see the position of the engine and bow thrust controls. However, he could not monitor the amount of rudder applied, since the steering gear was operated by push button controls, and he was unable to see the rudder angle indicator.

No instructions had been given to the second officer stationed aft on the poop with respect to reporting clearing distances. However, since the poop was divided by the stern door, he had stationed an AB on the port side, with a VHF radio and instructions to call the bridge with distances off the quay if closing. As the turn progressed, and with the port quarter closing the quay, the AB called the bridge by VHF radio several times, counting down the distance. This was heard by the second officer on the starboard poop, but by no one on the bridge. The port quarter made contact, and scraped along the quay for approximately 30 metres, dislodging a set of quayside bollards, before the pilot, who had now taken control, manoeuvred the ship clear.

The ship then continued without further incident to the Bull anchorage for pilot disembarkation. The coxswain of the boat being used for pilot transfer reported to the pilot and master that he could see a hole in the ship’s port quarter. Having inspected the damage, the master decided to return to port for repairs.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the Transnautic Ship Management encouraging early completion of its full SMS procedures, and to highlight the following shortfalls identified in this case:

  • Lack of a detailed departure plan

  • Lack of a comprehensive briefing for those taking part in the departure

  • Lack of a formal master / pilot exchange

  • Lack of an immediate post-incident damage survey.

He has also written to ABP Humber Estuary Services (HES) raising his concerns at the lack of an effective master/pilot exchange and plan for monitoring clearances at the stern, and urging HES to review its procedures for assessing damage before a vessel proceeds to sea following an incident.

Published: July 2008

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