Girting and capsize of tug Domingue while assisting container ship CMA CGM Simba with loss of 2 lives

Location: Tulear, Madagascar.

Accident Investigation Report 16/2017

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

MAIB investigation report -16/2017: Domingue and CMA CGM Simba

Tug Domingue


The tug Domingue girted and capsized while assisting the container ship CMA CGM Simba departing from the port of Tulear, Madagascar. As a result of the accident two of Domingue’s five crew died.

Domingue had been connected to CMA CGM Simba’s port quarter to help pull the vessel’s stern off the berth. During the manoeuvre, the prevailing tidal conditions caused CMA CGM Simba to move towards a mooring dolphin. To avoid striking the dolphin, CMA CGM Simba’s master briefly manoeuvred his vessel ahead, the pilot did not warn the tug that they would be coming ahead. As CMA CGM Simba built up ahead speed Domingue girted and capsized.

Safety Issues

  • Domingue was less manoeuvrable than the port’s normal tug which was undergoing maintenance, and its crew were inexperienced in assisting ships

  • The tug was not fitted with a gog rope, nor did the towing point have any mechanism to release the tow in an emergency and doors and hatches on the tug were open

  • The extent to which a plan for CMA CGM Simba’s departure had been discussed between the pilot and Domingue’s skipper before commencement is uncertain, and during the manoeuvre no-one on board CMA CGM Simba monitored the tug’s position


In view of current published guidance and the actions since taken by Midocean (IOM) Ltd, no recommendations have been made.

The scope of the MAIB investigation has focused on aspects concerning the involvement of CMA CGM Simba with only observations relating to the tug Domingue owing to limited access to evidence. The Madagascar maritime authority, Agence Portuaire, Maritime et Fluviale (APMF), has confrmed it is conducting a safety investigation into the causes and circumstances of the accident in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s Casualty Investigation Code, but has not advised when its report will be published.

Published 19 July 2017