Grounding of dry bulk carrier Pentland

Location: 1.5 miles north of Arbroath, Scotland.

Accident Investigation Report: Pentland

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

pentland.pdf (765.52 kb)


The 909 gt Barbados registered dry bulk carrier Pentland ran aground 1.5 miles north of Arbroath while on passage from Amsterdam to Inverness. The vessel was refloated on the following tide. Damage was sustained to the forepeak hull plating. There was no pollution.

Safety Issues

  • the master fell asleep on watch and consequently failed to make a course alteration at the due time as he was suffering from the effects of cumulative fatigue
  • the absence of an additional person on watch during the hours of darkness contrary to UK regulations
  • the absence of a bridge watch alarm


MCA is recommended to reaffirm its position on the requirement to post a lookout in addition to the officer of the watch during the hours of darkness, to continue to promote the concept of an international standard and carriage requirement for watch alarms and to seek international agreement on the specific number of qualified watchkeeping officers to be carried when determining minimum safe levels of manning. Recommendations have also been made to the manager of the vessel to consider employing an additional watchkeeping officer on those vessels where the master and mate are currently the only qualified watchkeeping officers on board, ensure that a lookout is posted in addition to the officer of the watch, during the hours of darkness, and to consider fitting a watch alarm.

This report was published on 21 July 1999.

Published 23 January 2015