Girting and capsize of mooring launch Asterix

Location: Fawley Marine Terminal, Southampton, UK

Accident Investigation Report 10/2016

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons learned and recommendations:

MAIB investigation report 10-2016: Asterix

Annexes to MAIB investigation report 10-2016

Asterix being recovered


On 30 March 2015 the mooring launch Asterix girted and capsized while assisting manoeuvring of the small chemical tanker Donizetti at Fawley oil refinery, Southampton UK. The two crew from the launch were rescued the coxswain having been trapped in the upturned wheelhouse for more than an hour. The launch later sank however there was no pollution and although later recovered, the launch was declared a constructive total loss.

Safety lessons

  • the coxswain’s training did not equip him for the task, and specifically did not equip him to use the gog rope/bridal effectively

  • the launch was not being monitored effectively, and there were weaknesses in the communications between Donizetti and Asterix

  • launch crews were not sufficiently experienced in the use of the emergency release mechanism and could not activate it effectively


A recommendation has been made to Østensjø Rederi AS to have full regard to the findings and references to best practice included in this investigation report in implementing its action plan. Further recommendations have been made to Associated British Ports Southampton with regard to reviewing its assessment of towage operations within the port, and to the National Workboat Association with regard to taking account of the findings of this investigation report in its ongoing development of guidance on towing operations.

Published 12 May 2016