Report on marine accident MV Full City grounding at Såstein 31 July 2009

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The Panama-registered cargo vessel Full City received the assignment to ship artificial fertilizer from Herøya in Porsgrunn to Guatemala on 23 July 2009. The vessel was berthed in Newport, England at the time. As early as one week before the vessel entered Norwegian waters, the local Norwegian agent referred the vessel to anchor at Såstein anchorage while awaiting clearance to birth at Herøya. The agent stuck to Såstein as the anchorage site, even though the weather forecasts increasingly indicated that the area would be exposed to strong winds and high waves.

Before the vessel entered Norwegian waters, contact was established between the vessel and the Norwegian authorities (Brevik VTS) in accordance with the international guidelines that apply to permission to enter a VTS centre's area of operation. In its communication with the vessel Brevik VTS did not make it clear that the anchorage referred to was outside its area of operation.

Just before midnight on 30 July 2009, Full City lost its anchor hold and started dragging under the impact of strong south-easterly winds and high waves. Because it was dragging in a south-easterly direction quite close to the shore, there was little opportunity to regain control once the vessel had started dragging. The vessel ran aground at Såstein after dragging anchor for 35 minutes.

The AIBN believes that different role expectations contributed to the master's decision to let the vessel lie at anchor at Såstein in strong winds. The input from the agent and the VTS centre influenced the master's expectation that the vessel should lie at anchor. This did not tally with the expectations of the agent and the VTS centre that the master had to make his own independent assessments.

In the AIBN's view, the greatest potential for preventing similar incidents in Norwegian waters and for safeguarding Norwegian environmental protection interests can be found in the organisation and execution of the authorities' vessel traffic service. If this service is given a more active role, the AIBN believes that both agents and ships can be guided into making decisions that better ensure safety.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has initiated and implemented measures in this area. No safety recommendations are therefore submitted by the AIBN after this investigation.

Norsk territorialfarvann
Fartøyets navn
Full City
Type hendelse
Forurensing/miljøskade, Grunnstøting
Type fartøy
3 - Bulkskip
Annet flagg
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