Grounding, capsize and sinking of suction dredger Arco Arun

Location: Broadness Point, River Thames, England.

Accident Investigation Report 6/2000

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

arco arun.pdf (2,235.43 kb)


On 13 October 1998 the suction dredger Arco Arun momentarily grounded while rounding Broadness Point, River Thames, England. After the initial grounding, Arco Arun was successfully manoeuvred close to St Clement’s Anchorage before the bow settled on the river-bed. The vessel suffered only minor damage and despite salvage attempts, capsized about 43 hours after the initial grounding.

Safety Issues

  • those on the bridge failed to use the radar, chart, or echo sounder to good advantage
  • the master, who was the pilotage exemption certificate holder in charge on the bridge, had delegated the first responsibility for navigation to the newly qualified second mate


Recommendations have been directed at the shipmanager, the port authority and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

This report was published on 22 March 2000.

Published 23 January 2015