Electrical failure and subsequent grounding of feeder container vessel Clonlee

Location: River Tyne, England.

Accident Investigation Report 6/2012

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

Clonlee.pdf (3,861.03 kb)

Annexes (6,616.86 kb)


At 0110 on 16 March 2011, the Isle of Man registered feeder container vessel Clonlee suffered an electrical blackout as she entered the Port of Tyne, England. The ship’s engineers were unable to restore the ship’s power immediately and the vessel ran aground on Little Haven Beach at about 6 to 7 knots. The grounding caused no injuries and the vessel’s hull remained intact.

Safety issues

  • the ship’s critical systems had not been operated, tested or maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions or the requirements of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code

  • Copies of the manufacturer’s manuals for the electrical power supply and distribution systems were not held on board Clonlee because the ship’s owners had not translated them into the ship’s working language

  • the bridge team did not plan or execute Clonlee’s approach to the Port of Tyne in accordance with the ship’s safety management system, international maritime regulations or local requirements

  • the two-man bridge team was under-resourced to respond to the emergency situation


Recommendations have been made to Clonlee’s owners, North Atlantic Shipping Ltd, aimed at addressing the atmosphere of complacency identified on its vessels and improving safety culture through effective safety management and training.

This report was published on 28 March 2012.

Published 23 January 2015