Persons washed overboard from general cargo vessel Timberland during heavy weather with loss of 2 lives

Location: North Sea.

Accident Investigation Report 11/2013

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

TimberlandReport.pdf (337.73 kb)


On 25 November 2012, two crew members were washed overboard from the general cargo vessel Timberland. The accident occurred during heavy weather in the North Sea.

Safety issues

  • no heavy weather checklist was available and none was required to be completed as part of the vessel’s safety management system
  • previous occurrences of the aft mooring ropes coming loose had not been formally recorded, possibly because there had been no adverse consequences
  • the vessel’s safety management system contained no detailed requirements with regard to sending crew on deck in heavy weather
  • the strength of the fire-fighter’s lifelines was insufficient to withstand the loading exerted on them by the large wave that washed the crew members overboard
  • no designated lifelines were provided on board for use in sending crew on deck in heavy weather


In view of the actions taken by Imperial Ship Management AB following this accident, no recommendations have been made as a result of our report.

This report was published on 7 June 2013.

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015