Collision between bulk carrier George Lyras and 5 unlit drifting barges

Location: Tilbury, River Thames, England.

Completed PE summary

George Lyras

Registered Owner & Manager:   Paralos M. Paralos Maritime Corporat
Flag:   Greece
Type:   Dry Cargo/Bulk Carrier
Built:   1984
Classification society:   Lloyds Register
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   192
Gross tonnage:   22322.00
Date & Time   15/11/05 00:40
Location of incident:   Tilbury 5129.7N 00028.5E
Incident Type:   Collision
Injuries/ fatalities:   None
Damage/ Pollution:   Material Damage/Pollution caused


This bulk carrier collided with five unlit barges at night while outbound on the River Thames. The barges were drifting in the channel after their mooring had parted. A shackle in the mooring system had failed due to twisting which occurred after a swivel piece had been jammed but a wire/rope. The drifting barges were not noticed on the ship’s radar or by VTS.

Action taken:

To prevent a similar accident occurring in the future - the ship owner was advised to:

  • Ensure that an adequate lookout is maintained at all times, including proper monitoring of radars.

  • Ensure that the general alarm is sounded in similar circumstances.

- the port authority was advised to:

  • Ensure that customers using its moorings utilise appropriate securing methods.

  • Ensure that VTS screens are adequately monitored at all times.

- the barge operating company was advised to:

  • Ensure its employees use appropriate securing methods when tying up moorings.

  • Ensure that its safety management system includes lessons learned from this and previous accidents involving moorings.

Published 23 January 2015