Grounding of ro-ro passenger ferry European Highlander

Location: Attempting to berth at Cairnryan, Scotland.

Completed PE Summary: European Highlander

A short summary of the accident and action taken:

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel Name European Highlander
Registered Owner/Manager P&O European Ferries (Irish Sea) Ltd
Port of Registry Nassau
Flag Bahamas
Type Ro-ro ferry
Built 2002
Construction Steel
Length Overall 162.7m
Gross Tonnage 21188
Date/Time 08/01/2005, 0641
Location of Incident Scottish coastal waters
Incident Type Grounding
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution Minor damage/None


This Ro-Ro ferry grounded while trying to berth at Cairnryan in very high winds. The vessel was successfully refloated the following day and no injuries or pollution resulted from the accident.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector wrote to P&O Ferries supporting the actions they have taken as a result of their internal inquiry and further commenting that, in future:

  • Passage planning should include details of abort positions, and,

The radar recorded by the vessel’s VDR should be properly adjusted and set at an appropriate range scale.

Published 23 January 2015