Collision between bulk carrier George Lyras and 5 unlit drifting barges

Location: Tilbury, River Thames, England.

Completed PE summary: George Lyras

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name 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 192m
Gross Tonnage 22322.00
Date and Time 15/11/2005, 0040
Location of Incident Tilbury, 51 29.7N 000 28.5E
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.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015