Grounding of container vessel Maersk Kendal

Location: Monggok Sebarok reef in the Singapore Strait.

Accident Investigation Report 2/2010

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

MaerskKendalReport.pdf (2,078.98 kb)



Maersk Kendal, a UK registered container ship, ran aground on Monggok Sebarok reef in the Singapore Strait on 16 September 2009. The vessel had altered her course to starboard to give way to three vessels exiting Jong Channel. This caused her to head towards the reef with the intention of altering course to port and resuming her original planned track after passing astern of the third vessel. Despite warnings from Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System, the vessel did not reduce speed or alter course in sufficient time to prevent her from grounding. Substantial damage was sustained to the fore part of the vessel. However, there were no resulting injuries and no pollution.

Safety issues

  • the movement of the engine telegraph from full ahead manoeuvring to half ahead had no effect on the engine speed; neither the master nor the chief officer appreciated this at the time

  • the master’s assessment of the situation and decision to alter course to starboard were based on his observation of true vectors and relative trails of the radar targets; no trial manoeuvres were carried out

  • the master and chief officer misinterpreted the information received from VTIS in respect of which three vessels it had referred to

  • the master and chief officer became irritated by the frequent interventions by VTIS, which resulted in important information from VTIS being missed


In view of the actions that have been taken, the MAIB has issued no safety recommendations.

This report was published on 16 March 2010.

Published 23 January 2015