Grounding of general cargo vessel Fingal

Location: Sanda Island, south of the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: Fingal

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Vessel name   Fingal
Registered Owner:   Wilmar Shipping and Trading
Manager:   Lee Shipping Company Ltd
Port of Registry:   Willemstad
Flag:   Netherlands Antilles
Type:   General cargo
Classification Society:   Germanischer Lloyd
Built:   1984
Construction:   Steel
Length overall:   79.4m
Gross tonnage:   1409 (499)
Date & Time   7 September 2007, 21.32 UTC
Location of incident:   Sanda Island, south of the Mull of Kintyre
Incident Type:   Grounding
Persons onboard:   6
Injuries/fatalities:   None
Damage/pollution:   Bottom plating damage from around Fr.97 to forefoot. Minor pollution whilst ballasting alongside in Troon following the grounding. Approximately 1m³ of gas oil was released into the harbour from a ballast tank breather pipe, resulting from a transfer of gas oil through a split from an adjacent bunker tank.


The general cargo ship Fingal was carrying a cargo of timber, when she grounded on Sanda Island, south of the Mull of Kintyre, whilst on passage from Campbeltown to Londonderry. There were calm conditions and good visibility. The master had been on watch alone and had fallen asleep after making a course alteration, some 20 minutes before the grounding. The grounding occurred close to high tide and the vessel developed a list of about 14 degrees to port as the tide fell. Four of the crew were evacuated by lifeboat, as a safety precaution. No injuries or pollution occurred at the time of the grounding.

The crew returned the following morning when the vessel was refloated with tug assistance and proceeded to Troon, where a diver’s examination revealed bottom damage to the forward part of the vessel. Whilst alongside in Troon a minor overboard discharge of gas oil occurred during ballasting operations, resulting from a split between a gas oil bunker tank and an adjacent ballast tank, caused by the grounding.

Action taken

The Preliminary Examination revealed a number of safety issues including: manning levels; hours of work and rest; bridge lookout and audit of procedures. After reviewing the actions put in place by the vessel’s managers, following the accident, the Deputy Chief Inspector considered no further recommendations were necessary.

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