Altering Passage For ‘Promotional Activities’ Led to Loss of Tall Ship Astrid – MCIB Report
If the initial MAYDAY message from the Sail Training Ship Astrid had been sent out in the correct format the emergency services could have been activated 10 minutes earlier, which could have been critical to the final outcome had conditions been more severe, according to a Marine Casualty Investigation Report (MCIB) published today.
The 95-year-old vessel ran aground on to Rocks off Kinsale during a photocall for the Irish Sailing Association Gathering Cruise promotion, prompting dramatic scenes as 30 people were rescued from rough seas. The vessel ran aground on July 24th 2013.
The main cause of the grounding is that the ship was not operated in a safe manner in compliance with the International Conventions, the report says.
The report also concluded that passage planning of the voyage from Oysterhaven to Kinsale was inadequate for a ship to navigate a course within 300 (m) of a lee shore in a Force 6 wind. The passage planning appears to have been influenced by the desire for photograph opportunities for the Irish Sailing Association’s (ISA) ‘Gathering’ cruise. The report says SOLAS Chapter V Regulation 34 was not complied with.
The immediate cause of the ship grounding and subsequent sinking can be attributed to the loss of power from the main engine. The main engine stopped as a result of fresh water contamination of the fuel. The cause of the water contamination can be attributed to human error when taking on fresh water in Brighton on 12th July 2013. Once water contamination had been found, insufficient action was taken to ensure fresh water was removed from the fuel system.
The operation and condition of the ship did not correspond with the applicable SOLAS Conventions, presenting a danger to the ship and the persons on-board and a threat of harm to the marine environment.
The ship was not certified as a passenger ship for either EU or international voyages nor were the crew appropriately certified and the ship should not have been at sea.
The emergency services responded in a timely manner and effected the recovery of 30 persons without injury.
A link to download the report as (17mb) PDF file is HERE.