Report on investigation of marine accident, Langeland LDJB3, founder in the Kosterfjord, Sweden 31 July 2009

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Early in the morning on July 31st 2009, in rough weather, the cargo ship MV Langeland founded in the Kosterfjord outside the west-coast of Sweden. Langeland had a crew of six on board, who all died in the accident. The combination of heavy weather and inadequate buoyancy in the forward part of the ship are presumed to be contributing factors to the loss.

Safety recommendation

Safety recommendation SEA no. 2012/04T

The Accident Investigation Board’s investigations have discovered that the Langeland’s stability calculations were imprecise and made without considering its longitudinal trim. That resulted in the vessel being built without enough reserve buoyancy and with the forward cargo bulkhead positioned too far forward, thus significantly reducing the vessel’s ability to survive in terms of withstanding considerable cargo shifting along the length of the ship.

The Accident Investiagation Board Norway advises the Maritime Directorate, to instruct ships which have not had calculations prepared with approved software, to provide a full new set of trim and stability documentation.

Safety recommendation SEA no. 2012/05T

At the time the Langeland was built (in 1971), there were provisions on maximum forward trim / minimum bow height under theoretical full load conditions with a homogenous load, but there are no such requirements in the current cargo ship regulations. This means that vessels built/being built since these provisions were removed (in 1987) may have been or will be designed with design errors corresponding to the errors on the Langeland.

The Accident Investiagation Board Norway advises the Maritime Directorate to reintroduce the provisions for cargo ships relating to maximum forward trim / minimum bow height for load conditions with homogenous load.

Safety recommendation SEA no. 2012/06T

The investigation into the loss of the Langeland shows that the vessel’s lightship data had changed considerably since the vessel was built (in 1971), known as the ‘age allowance’, and that no inclining or displacement tests had been conducted that might have revealed this. This meant that the vessel’s stability documentation which was used for preparing operational assessments was unreliable.

The Accident Investiagation Board Norway advises the Maritime Directorate to introduce provisions for regular inclining or displacement tests for cargo ships in line with the provisions which already exist for certain passenger ships and fishing vessels.

Safety recommendation SEA no. 2012/07T

The loss of the Langeland shows that securing hatches is especially safety-critical. The AIBN has reason to believe that hatches are not battened down properly on many vessels, but is unable to establish how common this practice is at the shipping company in question or in the Norwegian cargo fleet generally.

The Accident Investiagation Board Norway would advise the Maritime Directorate to take steps to increase awareness of the risk factors that may be involved in not securing hatches properly.

Kosterfjord, Sweden
Occurrence date
Accident category
Other Nation's Territorial Waters
Name of vessel
Accident type
Capsize, Fatal Accident, Shifting cargo
Vessel type
General Cargo Ship
The Norwegian International Ship Register
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