Failure of mooring bollard on passenger vessel Star Clipper with loss of 1 life

Location: St Katharine’s Pier, River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 3/2005

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

Star Clipper.pdf (811.25 kb)

Star Clipper - Annexes (2,850.11 kb)


Report on the investigation of the failure of a mooring bollard from the Class V passenger vessel Star Clipper resulting in a fatal accident at St Katharine’s Pier, River Thames, London on 2 May 2004.

Safety issues

The mooring bollards fitted in Star Clipper’s passenger access areas were not part of the original build specification. The design of the solid stainless steel bollard and base plate that failed on 2 May had evolved empirically through a series of modifications in reaction to earlier, less catastrophic, failures. The MCA had not been informed of these failures, nor was it consulted over the subsequent proposed modifications.


In an effort to prevent a repeat of this tragic accident, the MAIB has issued several recommendations. The recommendations focus on the need for the MCA to check mooring fittings during its periodic surveys, and for the owners to seek professional advice when considering repairs or changes to fittings that are critical to the vessel’s safety, to ensure these are undertaken to an appropriate standard.

This report was published in February 2005.

Published 23 January 2015