Flooding and sinking of dry cargo vessel Rema with loss of 4 lives

Location: Off Whitby, England.

Accident Investigation Report 1/2000

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

Rema.pdf (3,264.19 kb)



Belize registered cargo vessel Rema sank in international waters with the loss the four British crew members. MAIB, undertook the investigation on behalf of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize. The accident occurred about 22 miles north-east of Whitby, North Yorkshire, England.

Safety Issues

The cause of the foundering was water entering the hold without anyone being aware of it. This eventually caused a loss of buoyancy and Rema was lost. Although the available evidence was scrutinised very carefully and the video tapes from the underwater survey were enhanced, it proved impossible to identify the means by which water entered the hull. None of the observed damage could account for any flooding. Although it has proved possible to determine what happened when Rema sank, the investigation has not been able to explain why.


Recommendations have been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize.

This report was published on 17 February 2000.

Published 23 January 2015