Grounding of general cargo vessel Islay Trader

Location: Margate, Kent, England.

Accident Investigation Report 9/2018

Investigation report into marine accident including what happened, safety lessons learned, actions taken and recommendations:

MAIB investigation report 9-2018: Islay Trader

Islay Trader aground


During the morning of 8 October 2017, the general cargo vessel Islay Trader began dragging its anchor, the ship’s officer of the watch (OOW) attempted to reposition the vessel without the assistance of the master. The OOW subsequently became overwhelmed, uncertain of the ship’s position and at 0242 the vessel grounded near Margate beach. The vessel re-floated approximately 12 hours later. There were no injuries and no pollution.

The report highlights the importance of planning when going to anchor and the requirement for ensuring that an effective watch is kept whilst at anchor.

Safety lessons

  • the vessel dragged its anchor because the length of anchor cable used was insufficient in the tidal conditions experienced
  • the chief officer did not monitor the vessel’s position and was not aware that the vessel had dragged its anchor until alerted by the London Vessel Traffic Service
  • the master was not told that the vessel had dragged its anchor, and when the chief officer was attempting to reposition the vessel, he became overwhelmed by the situation and uncertain of the vessel’s position
  • the navigational practices on board Islay Trader were adversely impacted by the pressures resulting from having only 2 bridge watchkeepers


A recommendation (2018/114) has been made to Islay Trader’s owner and manager, Faversham Ships Ltd, aimed at improving the standard of navigational and bridge watchkeeping practices on board its vessels.

Published 9 May 2018