Grounding of general cargo vessel Emsland

Location: Departing the Port of Montrose, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Emsland

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name Emsland
Registered Owner/Manager Heli Schiffahrts Verwaltungs GmbH & Co KG
Port of Registry St Johns
Flag Antigua & Barbuda
Type General cargo vessel
Built 1984
Classification Society Germanischer Lloyd
Construction Steel
Length Overall 80.17m
Gross Tonnage 1857
Date/Time 29/12/2006, 1606 (UTC)
Location of Incident Montrose, Scotland
Incident Type Grounding
Persons Onboard 6
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Damage to steering gear/None


In semi-darkness and adverse weather conditions, the general cargo ship Emsland grounded whilst leaving the port of Montrose, Scotland. The master had conduct of the vessel, and was assisted on the bridge by the chief officer. The grounding occurred within the port limits and resulted from the ship being set out of the narrow navigable channel by the wind and swell, shortly after the harbour pilot had disembarked.

Although initial attempts to re-float the ship using a local lifeboat and tug were unsuccessful, she was eventually re-floated on 4 January 2007 after her bunkers and about 500t of her timber cargo was removed. The ship was then towed back to Montrose for survey.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the:

  • port authority, strongly advising that it reviews its pilotage directions and risk assessments related to the safety of navigation, paying particular attention to the position of pilot disembarkation and the manoeuvrability of vessels.

  • ship’s owner, strongly advising that he ensure that the ship’s masters are aware of the manoeuvring characteristics of the vessel, including the power output of the main engine, and that passage planning and onboard instructions are sufficiently detailed.

  • Antigua & Barbuda Register, advising it to obtain independent verification of the power output of the ship’s main engine, and to ensure that the correct output is used on all appropriate documentation.

Published 23 January 2015