Grounding of general cargo vessel Celtica Hav on gas pipeline

Location: River Tay, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Celtica Hav

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Celtica Hav
Registered Owner/Operator Hav Ship Management
Port of Registry Nassau
Flag Bahamas
Classification Society Germanischer Lloyd
Type General Cargo vessel
Built 1984
Construction Steel
Length Overall 82.45m
Gross Tonnage 1537
Date/Time 29/10/2008, 0300 (UTC)
Location of Incident River Tay, Scotland
Incident Type Grounding
Persons Onboard 7 crew and 1 pilot
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution None


On 29 October 2008, Celtica Hav was on passage to Perth, Scotland, carrying a cargo of wheat. The weather conditions were good. After embarking a local pilot at 0115 UTC, speed was adjusted to ensure that the vessel arrived over the Shell NGL pipeline, the shallowest part of the route, at about high water.

As the vessel approached the pipeline, port control advised the pilot that the reading on the Ribny tide gauge was 4.3m. This indicated that the vessel would have minimal clearance over the pipeline; speed was reduced to 3 knots to minimise the effect of squat, and the vessel’s course was adjusted to keep her in the deepest part of the navigable channel. Celtica Hav grounded as she passed over the Shell gas pipeline at 0300.

There were no injuries to persons, or pollution, and the vessel was refloated at the following high water.

Action taken

Perth and Kinross Council, the port operator, has increased the minimum under keel clearance required for a vessel to pass over the pipeline. It has also recalibrated the Ribny tide gauge and commissioned consultants to examine options for improving navigational safety in the vicinity of the pipeline.

Shell UK Ltd commissioned a study to assess the effect of vessels grounding on the pipeline. The study concluded that the stresses generated by the grounding of Celtica Hav and other vessels of similar size were within acceptable limits.

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to Perth and Kinross Council, recommending it to:

Ensure that the recently increased minimum under keel clearance required by vessels passing over the Shell NGL pipeline is strictly adhered to, and that the risks associated with any proposed dredging in the vicinity of the pipeline are fully assessed in consultation with key stakeholders.

Published: July 2009

Published 23 January 2015