Shift of timber deck cargo on general cargo vessel Sinegorsk resulting in listing and loss of timber into sea

Location: Exiting the western end of the Dover Traffic Separation Scheme, off south east coast of England.

Completed PE Summary: Sinegorsk

A short summary of the accident and action taken.

Merchant Vessel/Accident Details
Vessel name Sinegorsk
Ship Owner/Manager Far Eastern Shipping Co (FESCO)
Port of Registry Vladivostok
Flag Russia
Classification Society Russian Maritime Register
Type General cargo
Built 1991
Construction Steel
Length Overall 132.71m
Gross Tonnage 7095
Date/Time 19/01/2009, 0800
Location of Incident Western end of Dover TSS
Incident Type Cargo handling failure and listing
Injuries/Fatalities None
Damage/Pollution 1500m3 of timber lost overboard


The MV Sinegorsk loaded her cargo of timber in Oskarshamn and sailed for Alexandria on 14 January 2009. Approximately 2,365 te of packaged timber was lashed on deck.

As the ship sailed into the North Sea, she encountered strong winds, occasionally up to force 8, but was able to proceed by heading into wind and sea.

Just before leaving the Dover TSS, the wind veered from south to west and increased to force 9, as forecast. Shortly after this, the timber cargo on deck was seen shifting as the vessel rolled to starboard. As the ship rolled back to port, the timber shifted to port and she continued to heel over until it reached 39°. The cargo lashings then failed and half the deck cargo was lost overboard, after which the ship recovered to a 15° list. The ship’s list was reduced further by ballasting before she diverted to Southampton to assess the damage.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents has written to the ship’s operators highlighting the safety issues raised by this accident, specifically the requirement to:

  • maximise friction within the stow of timber deck cargo

  • have safe access to tank sounding pipes and over the deck cargo itself

  • conduct adequate stability checks before proceeding to sea.

Published: February 2009

Published 23 January 2015