Contact made by bulk carrier Mornes with concrete dolphin

Location: Hunterston Jetty, River Clyde, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Mornes

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Mornes
Manager Thun Ship Management AB
Ship Owner Erik Thun AB
Port of Registry Bergen, Norway
Flag Norway
Classification Society Lloyd’s Register
Type Self discharging bulk carrier
Built 1991
Construction Steel, Ice Class 1A
Length Overall 116.3m
Deadweight 9125 tonnes
Date/Time 11/3/2009, 0353 (UTC)
Location of Incident Hunterston Jetty, River Clyde
Incident Type Contact
Persons Onboard 12
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution None


During the early morning of 11 March 2009 MV Mornes was preparing to depart from Hunterston Jetty with about 8000 tonnes of coal. The master completed his pre-departure checks and instructed the mooring parties to let go the head and stern lines before he had control of the propulsion system on the bridge.

Soon afterwards the ship started to move up the jetty as propeller pitch was inadvertently applied from the Engine Control Room (ECR). The master attempted to clarify the situation with the chief engineer but he was hampered by poor quality communication equipment between the bridge and the ECR. The 2nd mate let go the after springs as the ship gathered speed and as the master tried to take control of the propulsion. However, the control levers in the ECR and the bridge were misaligned which prevented the transfer. By the time this was realised the forward springs parted and the ship made contact with a concrete dolphin at 3.1 knots, 70 metres ahead of the berth. The ship suffered structural damage to the bow area.

Action taken

The ship manager has:

  • Introduced more comprehensive bullet point arrival and departure checklists.

  • Updated the Quality Management System manual to include propulsion system functional tests from the bridge prior to arrival and before mooring lines are let go on departure.

  • Made arrangements to change the communication system between the bridge and the ECR.

  • Introduced drills for practising control and transfer of propeller pitch between the various control positions.

  • Fitted a gag to the ECR propeller pitch control lever to prevent the inadvertent application of pitch.

The Deputy Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to Thun Ship Management AB, expressing his concern that the master was alone on the bridge and strongly advising the company to review its bridge manning level requirements during port arrival and departure.

Published: April 2009

Published 23 January 2015