Report on marine accident - MF Godfjord aground off Kalvhyllodden 21 September 2015

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Description

The passenger ferry ‘Godfjord’ ran aground near Kalvhyllodden on the morning of Monday 21 September 2015.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway’s (AIBN) investigation shows that, for the last few minutes before it ran aground, ‘Godfjord’ was making a steady turn to port until the vessel hit Kalvhyllodden. Because the captain believed he had activated the autopilot and set course for Vågsodden, he focused his attention on the uncompleted work orders lying on the chart table. The lookout had not come up to the bridge after departure. This meant that, in reality, no one was navigating or steering the ferry until it ran aground. The turn towards port was therefore not detected.

‘MF Bognes’ ran aground on Indre Grytholmen on Monday 21 November 2016. Bognes is one of the shipping company's other ferries. There were similarities between this accident and the one involving ‘MF Godfjord’.

After the grounding 'Godfjord' quickly started listing, and the captain decided to beach the vessel in a nearby bay. The six passengers were evacuated. The captain’s resolute action in a critical situation and decision to beach the vessel, plus the fact that there were only six passengers on board, helped to limit the extent of the accident.

When ‘Bognes’ ran aground, both the chief mate and the captain were manning the bridge. The navigator who steered ‘Bognes’ was not aware that they had passed the planned turning point and were heading directly for Indre Grytholmen. Nor was the navigator on lookout aware of this.

The shipping company has established several procedures in its safety management system that are intended to ensure safe navigation. However, in the AIBN’s view, the implementation of the company’s sailing procedures and fairway descriptions did not sufficiently ensure that an error of judgement or omission would be detected, so that measures could be implemented to maintain control of the vessel.

The company has implemented and is planning the implementation of several measures, including risk assessment of the different services. AIBN believes these measures will help to ensure the implementation of the company's procedures.

The passengers on board ‘Godfjord’ were not notified by a general alarm, nor were they informed via the vessel’s PA system about what had happened or what action would be taken. The passengers were also left with the impression that they had not received necessary assistance from the crew with putting on life jackets. The AIBN submits a safety recommendation to the shipping company on this point.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation MARINE no 2017/01T

After MF Godfjord grounded at Kalvhyllodden, in the morning 21 September 2015, an extensive water ingress occurred in the passenger lounge. The passengers on board ‘Godfjord’ were not notified by a general alarm, nor were they informed via the vessel’s PA system or otherwise. The passengers were left with the impression that they had not received necessary assistance from the crew with putting on life jackets. This can be critical for the survival aspects in emergencies including more passengers and other circumstances that hinders evacuation.

The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) recommends the company along with representatives from the crew to undergo procedures and practices to ensure that passengers receive adequate information and assistance from the vessel crew in an emergency.

Location
Kalvhyllodden on the coast of Helgeland
Occurrence date
21.09.2015
Accident category
Grounding
Area
Norwegian Territorial Waters
IMO number
8615277
Name of vessel
MF Godfjord
Accident type
Grounding
Vessel type
Passenger Ship - Ferry
Register
The Norwegian Ship Register
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