Major leak of liquefied propane from liquid gas carrier Ennerdale

Location: Fawley Marine Terminal, Southampton, England.

Accident Investigation Report 10/2007

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken and subsequent recommendations:

EnnerdaleReport.pdf (2,607.42 kb)

Annexes (1,203.55 kb)


On 17 October 2006, the Hong Kong registered gas carrier Ennerdale experienced a major leak of liquefied propane, while cargo sampling operations were taking place, alongside Fawley Marine Terminal (FMT). The leak was sealed 29 hours later, after an estimated 66 tonnes of propane had been lost to atmosphere.

Safety Issues

  • the ESD valve on the discharge line of No. 2 cargo tank was jammed open, compromising the ship’s emergency cargo shut down system
  • there was no clear regulatory requirement for sampling arrangements
  • no concerns about the sampling point arrangement had been raised during any of the numerous recent ship surveys by class and other inspection authorities
  • there is a general lack of guidance on cargo sampling in the industry
  • there was no clear regulatory requirement or industry requirement for ESD valves to be regularly pressure tested or inspected to ensure the valve was functioning correctly


Recommendations have been made to SIGTTO, Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) and Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) with regard to providing industry guidance on sampling arrangements and procedures. Lloyd’s Register has been recommended to take two proposals to IACS regarding the standard of sampling connections, and ESD valve design and periodic testing.

This report was published on 25 May 2007.

Published 23 January 2015