Flooding and sinking of tug Adherence

Location: Bay of Biscay.

Accident Investigation Report: Adherence

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

adherence.pdf (548.25 kb)


Loss of the tug Adherence in the Bay of Biscay on 25 October 1996.

Safety issues

  • the operation took place in rough weather and demonstrated the limitations of a low freeboard harbour tug for such an operation. She was not a suitable choice for such an operation in the prevailing conditions

  • the weather conditions during this operation were not good. The wind was south-west, force 6-7 and the seas were rough. The conditions could have been foreseen


Recommendations have been made to HM Customs and Excise and the Investigation Branch of HM Customs and Excise.

This report was published on 1 December 1999.

Published 23 January 2015